The Psychiatric Hospital in the Colonial Matrix of Power: Fanon, Zona del Estar, and the Mexican State

Key information

3:15 PM to 5:00 PM
Paul Webley Wing (Senate House)
SOAS Paul Webley Wing (Senate House), Room S113

About this event

Beatriz Reyes-Foster, University of Central Florida, Dept. of Anthropology

Like all medical practice in Mexico, contemporary psychiatric encounters reflect the myriad ways in which colonial relationships are created and maintained. In this talk, I present 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, I propose 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.

Dr. Beatriz M. Reyes-Foster is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Central Florida. Her research areas include medical and psychological anthropology, mental health, psychiatry and care, and medical encounters and their intersections with power, race, and class. She has conducted research in Mexico and the United States.