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Mad Science/Mad Pride

Semester and Year SP 2017
Course Number IDSEM-UG1311
Section 001
Instructor Bradley Lewis
Days T
Time 3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Units 4
Level U
Requirement   SCI



Despite extensive numbers of people diagnosed with mental illness, there remains considerable debate and controversy surrounding these diagnoses. This class uses narrative theory to map out the terrain of these conflicts and to explore competing approaches to madness from professionals (mad scientists) and activist (mad priders). We start with an overview of narrative theory as relevant to issues of mental difference and suffering. Key narrative topics we discuss include plot, metaphor, character, and point of view. With narrative theory as our guide, the many approaches we consider include biopsychiatry, psychoanalysis, cognitive therapy, family therapy, feminist therapy, spiritual approaches, creative approaches, and disability studies approaches. We conclude with a consideration of the mad pride idea that sometimes madness is best seen as a “dangerous gift.”


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Course Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)