Thomas Szasz special issue – call for contributions

A call for contributions to a special issue of Asylum: The Magazine for Democratic Psychiatry on Thomas Szasz (1920-2012)

Dr Thomas Szasz
Dr Thomas Szasz

Thomas Szasz, the Hungarian American psychiatrist — who published the Myth of Mental Illness in 1961 — recently died at the age of 92. As Szasz was one of the most well-known critics of psychiatry, Asylum magazine is devoting an issue to a discussion of his work. As a forum for debate, Asylum is interested in any contributions engaging with Szasz’s ideas.

This could include those who unreservedly support his ideas, those who were critical and those who have a more nuanced view – for example, those who agreed with his critique of psychiatry but did not agree with his critique of the welfare state, his libertarianism, his continued support of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights or with other of his views.

We are particularly interested in contributions by service users and survivors who encountered Szasz’s views. Some like American self-help pioneer Judi Chamberlin (who died in 2010), author of the 1978 classic, On Our Own: Patient-Controlled Alternatives to the Mental Health System, quoted Szasz’s ideas approvingly but others in the survivor movement took a different view.

Deadline: Friday 7 December (the special issue should appear in the first half of 2013). See below for details of where to send contributions.

Articles should:

• Be less than 1,000 words in total (including references etc) and, ideally, shorter

• Be written in an accessible and non-academic style, keeping references to an absolute minimum and avoiding footnotes
• Include a 1-2 line biography about yourself

We would also like:

• Any copyright-free graphics, images, cartoons etc.
• Graphics must be sent as jpegs (or equivalent) with a resolution of at least 300dpi and permission must be given for the use of any graphic that is not your own.
• Photos and graphics – unless selected for the covers – will be printed in black and white – keep this in mind as not all images translate well into black and white (i.e. make sure they have strong bold lines)

Editorial process

• Please send all contributions to the editors of this special issue: Dave Harper ( and Ron Roberts
( Dave and Ron will read the articles, communicate with authors about content and make the final selection for the special issue. They will then send the issue to Asylum’s Executive Editor (Phil Virden) who may make standard proofreading and changes to grammar without negotiation (as this usually occurs very close to the publication deadline).