The Future of Madness Network aims to bring established, emerging and future scholars together at the University of Newcastle to provide a community of interest in the future of madness studies.

As part of the School of Humanities and Social Science, this network will intersect with international and national groups and researchers, and will showcase a rare concentration of researchers. A strong focus will be placed around:

  • The histories of mental illness
  • Mental health
  • Institutions
  • Post-institutional care
  • Community psychiatry
  • Colonial, national and global mental health
  • Methodologies and approaches to interdisciplinary scholarship in mental health care
  • Trauma studies
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Critical disability studies

The group aims to present the next generation of scholarship in madness studies and play host to visitors and internationally recognised scholars, whilst becoming a magnet for new postdoctoral and postgraduate research and attracting ARC fellowships and grants in the wider field.


  • Coleborne, CI2 - ARC Discovery Grant DP190103655 ‘The development of Australian community psychiatry’ CI2with University of Sydney $233,000 (2019 – 2021)
  • Coleborne, CI2 - ARC Discovery Grant DP180103952 ‘Silent Treatment: The impact of solitary confinement on wellbeing’, CI2 with University of Tasmania $417, 684 (2018 – 2020)


  • Catharine Coleborne and Elizabeth Roberts-Pedersen, Making Mental Health: A Global History, Routledge Critical Approaches to Health series

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.