Center for Global Humanities Lecture/Seminar Series

What Is Mental Illness?

Portland Forum in Innovation Hall
Richard McNally

Free and open to the public

The fifth edition of the "bible" of American psychiatry, the DSM-5, was published in 2013 amidst a swirl of controversies. Critics claimed that psychiatry was colonizing ever more of everyday emotional life, erasing the distinction between normal emotional distress and psychiatric disorder. Others objected to the categorical medical model embodied in DSM, arguing that disorders differ more by degree than by kind. The purpose of this lecture is to probe these controversies, discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the social constructionist, evolutionary, and genomic approaches to resolving them. This lecture will close by briefly introducing network analysis, a radically new approach to conceptualizing psychopathology that promises to transform our understanding of mental illness.


Portland Forum in Innovation Hall
716 Stevens Avenue
Portland, ME 04103
United States

Richard McNally Lecturing at U N E Center for Global Humanities

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