Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


IAS Book Launch: Madness and the demand for recognition

6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, 24 April 2019


We are delighted to welcome Mohammed Abouelleil Rashed (Wellcome ISSF Research Fellow at Birkbeck) for the launch of his book 'Madness and the demand for recognition - A philosophical inquiry into identity and mental health activism'. Dr Kai Syng Tan and Dr Sarah Richmond will provide responses.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Institute of Advanced Studies


IAS Common Ground
Gower Street, UCL
United Kingdom

Contemporary developments in mental health activism pose a radical challenge to psychiatric and societal understandings of madness. Mad Pride and mad-positive activism reject the language of mental 'illness' and 'disorder', reclaim the term 'mad', and reverse its negative connotations. Activists seek cultural change in the way madness is viewed, and demand recognition of madness as grounds for identity. But can madness constitute such grounds? Is it possible to reconcile delusions, passivity phenomena, and the discontinuity of self often seen in mental health conditions with the requirements for identity formation presupposed by the theory of recognition? How should society respond? 

Guided by these questions, this book is the first comprehensive philosophical examination of the claims and demands of Mad activism. Locating itself in the philosophy of psychiatry, Mad studies, and activist literatures, the book develops a rich theoretical framework for understanding, justifying, and responding to Mad activism's demand for recognition.

Please find Mohammed Abouelleil Rashed's book here

All welcome. Please note that there may be photography and/or audio recording at some events and that admission is on a first come first served basis. Please follow this FAQ link for more information.