Bard Events Calendar

Main Image for Bard Events Calendar
Grey Art Gallery (NYU)

French Studies Program and Big Ideas 215: Of Utopias, as well as the Experimental Humanities Program Present

Thursday, March 15, 2018
Disalienation: Politics, Philosophy, and Radical Psychiatry in France
Olin, Room 102
5:00 pm
Camille Robcis
Associate Professor of History, Cornell University
Hosted by Big Ideas 215: Of Utopias.

This talk explores the intersections of politics, philosophy, and radical psychiatry in 20th-century France. It focuses on a psychiatric reform movement called “institutional psychotherapy” that had an important influence on many intellectuals and activists, including François Tosquelles, Jean Oury, Felix Guattari, Frantz Fanon, Georges Canguilhem, and Michel Foucault. Anchored in Marxism and in Lacanian psychoanalysis, institutional psychotherapy advocated a fundamental restructuring of the asylum in order to transform the theory and practice of psychiatric care. More broadly, for many of these thinkers, the psychiatric offered a lens to rethink the political in the particular context of postwar France.

Camille Robcis is associate professor of history at Cornell University. Her teaching and research interests have focused on three broad issues: the historical construction of norms, the intellectual production of knowledge, and the articulation of universalism and difference in modern French history. Her first book, The Law of Kinship: Anthropology, Psychoanalysis, and the Family in France (2013), examines how French policy makers called upon structuralist anthropology and psychoanalysis to reassert the centrality of sexual difference as the foundation for all social and psychic organization. She is currently working on a history of institutional psychotherapy, a movement born after World War II that advocated a radical restructuring of the asylum in an attempt to rethink and reform psychiatric care.

For more information, call 845-752-4612, or e-mail

Time: 5:00 pm

Location: Olin, Room 102