Seminar| Epistemologies of the South Working Group

The translation of emancipatory care experiences | Articulating Epistemologies of the South, Mad Studies and Critical Science Studies

Tiago Pires Marques (CES)

February 8, 2023, 16h00

Room 1, CES | Alta

Comments: Boaventura de Sousa Santos (CES)


In the field of psychiatry and mental health, the translation operations of emancipatory experiences arising in localised contexts have been decisive in the construction of forms of care based on the rights of psychiatrized subjects. This is the case of the Brazilian Psychiatric Reform, a “complex social process” that took Italian Democratic Psychiatry as its main epistemic reference, but produced original devices and concepts. It is also the case of the Mad Movement in North America which, proceeding from multiple translations, from the epistemologies of the original American peoples to the various civil rights movements, has played a crucial role in the growing valorisation of “experience-based knowledges” and in the recent centrality of “rights-based therapeutic approaches”.   
From these two historical experiences, I propose to revisit the concept of “translation”, as it is articulated by Epistemologies of the South, with the aim of densifying the grid of historical analysis and boosting the co-construction of methodologies of political intervention in the field of health. To this end, I will also mobilise recent proposals from Mad Studies, namely the reflections around the articulations between identity and universality; and from Critical Science Studies, such as the genealogical analysis of “translation systems” and the idea of an “epistemological-ontological-ethical matrix”..

Bio note

Tiago Pires Marques | Principal Investigator FCT at CES since 2019, Tiago Pires Marques integrates the Thematic Line Risk(s), Ecologies, Health. He obtained his PhD in History from the European University Institute (2007) with a thesis on the transformations of criminal law under the construction of Fascisms. (See 'Crime and the Fascist State', Routledge, 2016). Since 2008, he has studied the developments of psi knowledge (psychiatry, psychology and psychoanalysis) and the "manufacturing of the psyche", at the intersection between the history of sciences and the history of religions. Researcher at CES since 2014, he develops his socio-historical research on mental health, extending his scope of observation to contemporary times. He is currently investigating the history of mental health models in their relationship with the medicalization of life and the history of human rights. He is especially interested in knowledge, political proposals and alternatives to psychiatry produced by user movements in the field of psychiatry.

Series | Epistemologies of the South Working Group

Forging Paths