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Social and Educational Foraging and Gleaning: Only free open access events and activities get listed on the website…


Click on the event to get more information.  If you have an event or activity in Edinburgh which you want to put on the calendar email in the details.


Please check external event websites to confirm details and get tickets


Spotlight on Iran! Dr Friederike Voigt traces the history of the Iranian collections of National Museums Scotland @ Seminar Room (Learning Centre Level 4), National Museum of Scotland,
Feb 11 @ 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Spotlight on Iran! Dr Friederike Voigt traces the history of the Iranian collections of National Museums Scotland @ Seminar Room (Learning Centre Level 4), National Museum of Scotland, | Scotland | United Kingdom

Senior curator  Dr Friederike Voigt traces the history of the Iranian collections of National Museums Scotland, from their beginnings in the 19th century. She will focus on the role of Scottish engineer and diplomat, Sir Robert Murdoch Smith, in building up the collections, and explore how ideas surrounding their development, research and display have changed. The talk will be complemented by a show and tell with a selection of objects from our collections.

Please click here to visit the museum’s website for further details.

Spotlight on Iran! 
Date: Friday 10th Feb 2017
Time: 14:30 – 16:00
Venue: The National Museum of Scotland, Chambers St, EH1 1JF, Seminar Room ( Learning Centre Level 4)
Entry: FREE Admission (Ticketed)
Box Office: call the museum on +44(0)300 123 6789 for booking)

Gender, mental health and disability rights in Asia @ 6th Floor Staff Room, Chrystal Macmillan Building
Mar 2 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Gender, mental health and disability rights in Asia @ 6th Floor Staff Room, Chrystal Macmillan Building | Scotland | United Kingdom

The seminar is about the linkages between Gender, disability rights and Mental health, from the point of view of low income communities; and drawing from advocacy experiences in Asia and program experiences in Pune, India. The Seminar is informed by developments in gender studies, disability studies, mad studies to set the scene for emerging questions. The disability movement since a decade, has been guided by the UNCRPD (United Nations Convention on the Rights of persons with Disabilities), which is hailed as the first treatise of the Millennium.

The Convention opened up the possibilities of a ‘paradigm shift’ in conceptualizing disabilities and recasting practices: Recognition of the experience of marginalization, and an unconditional policy shift towards inclusion of persons with mental health problems and psychosocial disabilities are expected to happen, under this new international policy frame.

Those traditional identity mantles of ‘user survivor’, ‘consumer’, ‘mentally ill’, etc. are being contested by disabled people’s voices from the global south, as an indicator of over-medicalization and not as an indicator of political resistance. The first part of the seminar will focus on the normative challenges and opportunities found in present times, in Asia, for developing inclusive communities; and lessons learnt from various initiatives (both programmatic and advocacial) including the work we are doing in the Bapu Trust.


Bhargavi V Davar is a childhood survivor of the Indian mental asylums, being exposed to a variety of them for years in early childhood. Compelled by those early experiences, she completed her PhD in1993, from the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai on the ethical and epistemological foundations of the mental and behavioural sciences. Through her early years, she studied theories of freedom and consciousness, human physiology, psychology, buddhism, ‘anti-psychiatry’, and the philosophies of social sciences. Her research has been on gender, culture and disability studies, and making sense of modern mental health policy frames in India and Asia.

The impact of colonialism on mental health systems in post colonial times, in India, is also a big area of research interest. She has published works, including (co-author) Psychoanalysis as a Human Science (Sage, 1995); Mental health of Indian women (Sage, 1999); (ed.) Mental health from a gender perspective (Sage, 2001); Gendering mental healthKnowledges, identities, institutions (OUP, 2015). She is Director of the Bapu Trust for Research on Mind & Discourse, Pune; and Convenor for an Asia advocacy platform, called ‘Transforming Communities for Inclusion, Asia’ [TCI Asia]. She is a practising Arts Based Therapist and teacher; an international certified trainer of the UNCRPD; and an organic farmer. She lives with her daughter in Pune, India.

Political women in the early United States: International Women’s Day lecture @ National Library of Scotland
Mar 8 @ 6:00 pm
Political women in the early United States: International Women's Day lecture @ National Library of Scotland | Scotland | United Kingdom

Could women be political before they got the vote? ‘Yes’, says Catherine Allgor, Director of Education at the Huntington Library and noted scholar of women and politics. In the new capital of the United States during the early republic, white ruling class women borrowed heavily from English court culture to further their families’ political aims. In doing so, they built the structure that would support the United States’ future as a democratic nation-state.

Wednesday 8 March
Free. Book ‘Political women’ on Eventbrite or phone 0131 623 3734.

Ragged University: ‘News Stories and Popular Fiction’ plus ‘From the Problems of Our Nature’ @ The Castle Hotel
Sep 14 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Ragged University: 'News Stories and Popular Fiction' plus 'From the Problems of Our Nature' @ The Castle Hotel | England | United Kingdom

Come along to The Castle Hotel (66 Oldham St, Manchester M4 1LE) from 7pm. Come along for a bite of food, a chance to socialise and a talk about how news stories reflect on popular fiction plus alternative views in mental health…


The first talk is:

News Stories and Popular Fiction by Julian Edge

I’ve always wondered if I could write fiction. I mean, inventing characters and having them populate a context in ways that other people will want to read about? Over the years, I once or twice thought of interesting set-ups for a novel, but never followed them through. I started to develop a story, a fiction, something that did not relate to any real people, no, but which did, yes, draw on the documented fact that such events as I was imagining, and my characters were experiencing, were, in principle, possible.

None of it is “true.” It’s all made up. But it’s made up against the backdrop of some basic events that occurred. Is that permissible? Where does that leave the possibly injured feelings of some of the real people about whom I am not writing, but whose actions created a news context that fed the creation of the story?…



During the break there is a chance to share food, conversation and a bite to eat.  Everyone is invited to bring an item of food to put on the table to share, as well as take away what is left at the end.  The second talk follows the break:


From the Problems of Our Nature, to The Nature of our Problems by Rowland Urey

Having been involved greatly in championing a re-reading of the evidence bases for views and approaches, in particular for what gets treated as Obsessional Compulsive Disorder, I want to put forward that there is something fundamental missing from how we are understanding people caught up with these clinical terms and labels.

I argue that there as emerged in the last few years that there is absolutely no evidence base in Mental Health Universally for The Brain Disease, Medical Model which underpins psychiatric interventions and practice. And I will be presenting an Evidence Base Alternative based on Emotional and Social Trauma.


Come along and put your feet up, have a bite to eat and enjoy picking over the subject with Julian in good company.  As usual, everyone is welcomed to bring an item of food to put on the table to share, but there is no obligation to do so.  It is free and open to everyone, so you are welcome to bring your friends.  No need to book…