Concepts of Mental Health (Call for Participants, British Postgraduate Philosophy Association Masterclass, April 2013)

BPPA Masterclass 2013
April 12th-13th
University College London

A unique opportunity for graduate researchers within the field of philosophy and mental health has just been announced. This year’s British Postgraduate Philosophy Association masterclass will be on concepts of mental health. A masterclass involves a mixture of seminars, group-workshops, presentations by students and experts and critical discussion. The small number of participants (8-10) means that all will have a chance to speak and discuss their research as well as getting to know others working in similar areas. It is an excellent way of deepening and broadening understanding of a given area and further developing one’s own research.

This year’s masterclass will be led by experts committed to furthering interdisciplinary research into mental health issues, combining philosophical training with clinical experience. Professor Bill Fulford is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy and Mental Health at the University of Warwick and is a Member of the Philosophy Faculty at the University of Oxford. His previous posts include Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at the University of Oxford and Special Adviser for Values-Based Practice in the Department of Health. Dr Hanna Pickard is a fellow of All Souls College at the University of Oxford and a Wellcome Trust Biomedical Clinical Ethics Research Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Oxford. She also holds a clinical post as a therapist at the Complex Needs Service with the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. The experts will be leading group-workshops and seminars and will present on their own research over the course of the masterclass.

The broad focus of the masterclass will be on exploring the varying conceptions of mental health and illness and the assumptions accompanying and lying behind these conceptions. The aim is to explore the assumptions and often false dichotomies which shape perceptions of mental health, from the perceptions of those in the field of psychiatry to those found amongst other medical professionals and the non-medical public. Topics we expect to be discussed include, but are not restricted to: free will, responsibility and related notions and their applications and misapplications within understanding of mental health problems, in particular in relation to addiction; The effect of neurological research on conceptions of mental health; The distinction between cognitive disorders and personality disorders; The extent to which mental illness can and ought to be understood within the framework of physical illness. The precise content of the masterclass will be in part determined by the research interests of the participants and there will be opportunities for 6 participants to present their own research.

To apply, please send an academic CV (including any relevant clinical or practical experience) with a cover letter stating your area of research, the relevance of your research to the masterclass and what you could contribute to the masterclass (500 words max). Please also state whether you would like to present on your research (presentations will be brief, about 20minutes each). Please also attach a reference from your supervisor (if applicable), confirming your interest and that you would make a valuable contribution to the masterclass.

The masterclass will be held at University College London. Breakfast and lunch will be provided on both days and accommodation if coming from outside of London. There may also be some small travel bursaries available.

Deadline for applications: February 15th

Please email applications and any queries or visit the web site for more information

About Centre for Medical Humanities

Centre for Medical Humanities
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