OCD in Society: Theory & Practice
28 May 2022 South East London, Peckham Levels

The conference will be held in person. Free registration via eventbrite. 

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) affects up to 3% of the general population and is considered to be one of the most debilitating mental disorders. While OCD is a well-known disorder for its stereotypical representations (e.g. excessive urges for cleanliness, perfection, and order), it is actually highly misunderstood. Starting in 2019, the goal of OCD in Society has been to provide a platform to explore the social meanings constituting the obsessions, the nosology of OCD, and the lives of affected people. What can we learn about society through a critical engagement with OCD? How do specific ideologies interact with sufferers' obsessions? How is OCD represented in different artistic forms, and what are the challenges in translating a mental disorder into different artistic modalities? How can our understandings of OCD change by focusing on the social aspect of the disorder? And ultimately, what profits can therapists gain from such explorations? The conference thus joins OCD sufferers, artists, charities, and academics who work in the humanities and qualitative social sciences to investigate these issues.

The theme of the third OCD in Society Conference is 'Theory and Practice'. The event will explore how the humanities, social sciences, activism, and the arts can offer ways to conceptualise, understand, and raise awareness about obsessive-compulsive symptoms. The conference will think about how obsessions and/or compulsions are constituted by, embedded within, and regulated through forms of practice. We interpret ‘practice’ to include practices of care for the body, regulatory practices, creative practices, and modes of performativity. The day will create a space which brings together scholars, creatives, activists, clinicians, those with lived experience, and anyone else with an interest in OCD symptoms.

The third edition of OCD in Society is sponsored by the White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities doctoral training partnership, and the podcast The OCD Stories.

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