Psychiatric Encounters in the Colonial Matrix of Power: Persistent Colonialism in a Mexican Psychiatric Institution (VIRTUAL)

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Beatriz M. Reyes-Foster
Associate Professor
Graduate Program Director
Department of Anthropology, University of Central Florida

In Mexico, contemporary psychiatric encounters reflect the myriad ways in which colonial relationships persist in contemporary times. This talk, based on Reyes-Foster's book Psychiatric Encounters: Madness and Modernity in Yucatan, Mexico (Rutgers University Press, 2018) is a close examination of medical encounters in Las Lomas, a state psychiatric hospital in Yucatan, Mexico. Using a framework inspired by Fanon’s Zones of Being and Non-Being and scholarship around the Coloniality of Power, Reyes-Foster proposes Zona del Estar as a conceptual tool for analyzing the ways in which neoliberalism, state power, and indigeneity come together to shape the experience of madness and psychiatric care in the acute ward. 

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