Save the date: 'Suicide, Society and Crisis', 18-19 May 2018

Stephanie Wright's picture
May 18, 2018 to May 19, 2018
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Contemporary History, Health and Health Care, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Psychology, Public Health

On 18-19 May 2018, a two day symposium entitled 'Suicide, Society and Crisis' will be held at the University of Sheffield to investigate the links between suicide and political and social crisis, at macro and micro levels. 

For over 150 years, instances and rates of suicide have been a hugely symbolic resource for making statements about society. Do suicide rates increase in times of socio-political crisis, and, if so, why? How do psychiatrists, pathologists, jurists, coroners, politicians, and the public understand suicide epidemics as symptomatic of instability? The symposium emerges out of Dr Julie Gottlieb's Wellcome Trust Seed funded project of the same name, and hopes to bring together scholars in the medical humanities and the crossdisciplinary field of suicidology.
During the conference, we will test psychological, psychiatric, sociological and historical theories about how internalisation of dramatic socio-political change affects incidents, methods, and attitudes towards suicide. Our preliminary findings will be disseminated through journal articles, History & Policy, and blogs, offering historical insight into recent suicide epidemics connected to PTSD and veterans of the Iraq Wars, the increase in suicides during the 2008 Financial Crisis, mental health in refugee communities, up to the psychological fallout of Brexit.
A call for papers will be sent out in due course, but potential participants are encouraged to get in touch with Dr Julie Gottlieb ( or Stephanie Wright (RA and Conference Administrator, at an earlier stage if they would like to find out more.