Call for Papers

‘Alternative psychiatries’ and Philosophy. The Critique of Institutions

P.O.I. – Points of Interest, 14, I/2024

Abstract submission deadline: 30th March 2024

The six-month journal “P.O.I. – Points of Interest” invites you to contribute to the issue I/2024, developing the theme presented according to the following terms, and considering the reflections proposed here as a starting point.

March 11, 2024, will mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Franco Basaglia, a Venetian neuropsychiatrist whose work has inspired the law 180 (‘Basaglia Law’), which forty-five years ago determined the closure of asylums in Italy. This could be the chance to rethink that season’s debate, in a non-hagiographic key. It is about asking whether ‘alternative’ or ‘humanistic psychiatries’ (or even ‘anti-psychiatries’) of that period were a generous illusion lacking scientific foundations, or the beginning of a new field of inquiry into the whole dimension of “care” and management of social and personal distress. Debate that should be continued. Besides, the alternative psychiatrists of that period were steeped in philosophy, from Jaspers to Binswanger, from the French existentialism to phenomenology. Indeed, the Foucault of History of Madness’s was one the reference points of the asylum institutions. Was that experience a test to prove the limits of these ‘humanistic’ approaches, their last chant before neurosciences triumph? Or was it rather a manifestation of how philosophy can provide tools for critique and subjectification, as it will later happen with feminism and movements supporting gender rights? It is, therefore, about re-discussing the Basaglia experience in a wider field of psychiatric and psychotherapeutic experiences launched in that period, about investigating theirs philosophical and political roots, and about understanding the reasons of a progressive exhaustion yet also what remains of that peculiar Italian political-institutional experience.

Among the possible themes that this issue aims to accommodate:

  • The figures of alternative psychiatry between Italy, Europe and USA: a multiple voices debate?
  • The inspirational profiles of the Italian anti-psychiatry (for ex. Jaspers and Binswanger) and the weight of the latter within the Italian Thought
  • Critique of the clinic, the total institutions and the history of madness: Foucault and his legacy
  • Does it still exist a thought in /about psychiatry? The epistemological and philosophical debate on mental distress in the era of DSM
  • The “others” then and the “others” now between stigmatization and subjectivation

For submitting papers, please note the following terms and conditions.

The response to this CFP must be preceded by the submission of an abstract, which will be submitted to prior evaluation by the editorial staff, on the basis of its relevance to the theme, as it has been listed in the Call.

Final deadline for sending the abstract (approximately 2000 characters, spaces included): 30th March 2024. The outcome of the assessment will be transmitted after the expiry of the time limit.

Final deadline for sending the full paper (20,000 – 60,000 characters, spaces included): 15th May 2024

Contributions should be unpublished and must not be simultaneously undergoing evaluation on the behalf of other journals.

Languages accepted: Italian, English, French, German, Spanish.

The journal uses a double blind peer-review system; therefore, the author’s name and membership, if any, must appear only once, under the title of the article. Papers, in full, must be complete with an abstract in English (max. 1500 characters, including spaces) and 5 keywords in English.

Editorial rules can be found here:

Submissions should be sent to the email address: