CfP: Psychopharmaceutical subjectivity, industry, and historical contingencies

This call for papers is being circulated by Dominique Béhague and Junko Kitanaka

Call for papers
American Anthropological Association meetings
110th Annual Meeting
November 16-20, 2011
Montreal, QC, Canada

“Psychopharmaceutical subjectivity, industry, and historical contingencies”

Dominique Béhague, Senior Lecturer, Anthropology, Brunel University, UK
Junko Kitanaka, Associate Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Keio University, Japan

This two-part panel explores the diverse ways in which subjectivity, industry, and biopsychiatric knowledge have come to intersect with the globalization of psychopharmaceuticals. While psychopharmaceuticalization has tended to emerge alongside the rise of a neuro-biological model of mental illness, recent ethnographies have shown that psychotropic medications are also infiltrating in settings where the neuro-biological ideology is either largely absent or highly contested. These emergent forms of pharmaceuticalization reflect the powerful and often culturally astute strategies of the pharmaceutical industry as well as localized understandings about the mind, body, and medication. By considering how pharmaceutical technologies are themselves intersubjective actors that permeate broader societal systems, this panel investigates the way historical contingencies have prepared the ground for the medicalization of societal ills much prior to the recent re-biologization of psychiatry.

Confirmed participants:
Allan Young
Annette Leibing
Dominique Béhague
Eugene Raikhel
Junko Kitanaka
Kalman Applbaum
Lawrence Kirmayer
Stefan Ecks

We will be applying for invited status to the Society for Medical Anthropology. Therefore, please send proposed abstracts of up to 250 words to and by February 14, 2011, as the deadline for invited panel applications is March 1st.

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