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Try Walking in My Shoes: Empathy and Portrayals of Mental Illness on Screen

 Romulus 500x250

Date: 13 - 14 February 2014
Location: The Dax Centre, Kenneth Myer Building, The University of Melbourne.
Registration Fees: $160 Full, $75 Concession, includes catering.
Single day registration also available.  Thursday is $100 Full, $50 Concession; Friday is $75 Full, $30 Concession.
The registration deadline has been extended, and registrations are still open.
To register on-line: visit http://alumni.online.unimelb.edu.au/trywalkinginmyshoes
To register in person:
the registration desk opens 8.30am Thursday 13 February;  9am Friday 14 February. Credit card only, no cash.

Try Walking In My Shoes: Fincina Hopgood and Patricia di Risio in Conversation from History of Emotions on Vimeo.


Culture of Empathy interview with Dr Fincina Hopgood
Portraying Mental Illness on the Small Screen

For further information, contact Dr Fincina Hopgood.

Download Symposium flyer

 Download Booklet and Program (5MB)


About the symposium:  How is mental illness represented in film and television? What emotions are elicited from the viewer? How have these portrayals changed over time? And what are the implications of these portrayals for mental health awareness in the community?

By examining a range of representations from early cinema’s portrayals of mental illness through to recent television programs such as United States of Tara and Homeland, this interdisciplinary symposium invites scholars, filmmakers, mental health practitioners and consumers to explore questions about representations of mental illness on screen. The symposium has a particular focus on women’s mental health and the portrayal of mental illness in Australian films. Films such as Romulus, My Father; Shine; The Home Song Stories; Cosi; Angel Baby; Mental; An Angel at My Table; Sweetie; The Black Balloon; Mary & Max will be given particular attention.

A key theme of the symposium is the emotion of empathy. Speakers are invited to examine the ways in which the viewer’s empathy is elicited (or not) by the portrayals of mental illness on screen. In addressing this theme, paper/workshop topics may include, but are not limited to:

•    The role of acting and performance in the portrayal of mental illness on screen
•    Conventions of genre and/or commercial considerations
•    Narrative and stylistic techniques eg. sound, music, mis-en-scene
•    The socio-historical context in which these portrayals are produced
•    Issues of stigma and stereotypes that are perpetuated and/or challenged by screen portrayals of mental illness
•    The relation between screen portrayals of mental illness and other forms of visual culture
•    The ways in which gender, sexuality, class or race impact upon the representation and/or interpretation of mental illness
•    The portrayal of psychiatry/psychology on screen
•    The impact of screen portrayals on the lived experience of mental illness

This symposium is supported by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions and the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne, in collaboration with the Dax Centre. The symposium is convened by Fincina Hopgood, Patricia Di Risio and Victoria Duckett, from the University of Melbourne. Confirmed speakers include Professor Raimond Gaita (University of Melbourne), Professor Barbara Creed (University of Melbourne), Associate Professor Jane Stadler (University of Queensland), Associate Professor Stephen Macfarlane (Caulfield Hospital), Dr Pia Brous (The Dax Centre), Dr Samuel Margis (NEST Clinic) and Dr Mark Nicholls (University of Melbourne).

The convenors invite submissions for 20-minute papers or workshop proposals. For papers: submit your abstract (200-300 words, headed by a paper title) with a short biographical statement. For workshops: in 200-300 words, identify the key themes and questions the workshop will explore and attach a brief statement about your expertise in that area. Pre-constituted panels will also be considered. Email your submission to try-walking@unimelb.edu.au by Friday 15 November 2013.

Date: Thursday 13 February 2014
Bookings are essential for the FREE public event as places are limited.  Book at http://alumni.online.unimelb.edu.au/trywalkinginmyshoes

Richard Roxburgh's acclaimed adaptation of Prof. Raimond Gaita's memoir Romulus, My Father, starring Eric Bana, Franka Potente and Kodi Smit-McPhee.  The screening will be followed by a panel discussion wiht Prof. Raimond Gaita, Dr Sam Margis and other guests, chaired by Dr Pia Brous.

Bookings are essential for the FREE public event as places are limited.  Book at http://alumni.online.unimelb.edu.au/trywalkinginmyshoes