In light of the uncertainty the COVID epidemic has caused this year, we have chosen to hold The VII Critical Psychology Symposium online rather than postpone it further, as it was originally planned to be held in 2020 by TODAP.  This year’s theme is “Liberation”, and it will be held 22-24 October 2021.

Last year, the fundamental concepts in determining the symposium’s theme were those of “essence” and “free”, which are the root and stem of the word “liberation” (in Turkish, öz and özgür, respectively). Since these concepts connote notions such as free, freedom, emancipation, liberation, subjectivity, self-defence, and autonomy, we felt they could be a source of fruitful discussion. We determined that a theme of “Liberation” would allow us to think about “freedom” as an ideal, goal, possibility, or reality that encompasses every area of our lives. On the alternate end of the spectrum, it also evokes discussion of struggles along the path to liberation, including oppression, violence, occupation, censorship, discrimination, ignorance, exploitation and colonization, which are the policies of those who hold power in our educational institutions, workplaces, academies, hospitals, prisons, and now in our homes.

During this global struggle, we have seen how significant the effects of the pandemic have been on both a societal and individual level. In the global struggle to defeat the virus, we have witnessed, first-hand, that disadvantaged groups and communities are more vulnerable to the pandemic than others, as is the case with so many struggles. While women have had to take on more care services, workers and labourers have been increasingly exploited, the poor have grown more hunger, minorities and other subordinates are more vulnerable to acquiring and dying from the pandemic; liberation once more has continued to be “postponed”. With this in mind, we invite you to rethink the meaning of liberation altogether and to examine the relationship between individual and societal liberation during this extraordinary period, when to leave or not being forced to leave our homes has become interrelated to freedom.

We believe that psychology has not yet properly addressed the issue of liberation from a critical perspective. In particular, mainstream psychology, which does not consider a human being as a subject with individual social and historical experiences, has had difficulties being part of the defence and resistance against the forces that limit and seek to subdue people, has had challenges interpreting the transformative effects of such defences and resistances as well as their manifestations in human subjectivity, the self and emotions. They instead prioritize adaptation to the system, which is a further challenge in light of pandemic conditions. In this symposium, we hope there will be an opportunity to ask and try to answer questions such as, “What are the critical perspectives of liberation? How can they be developed? How can such perspectives impact the psychology and the world that psychology interprets?” 

The VII Critical Psychology Symposium aims to bring together critical researchers, practitioners, students in psychology and related disciplines. Therefore, the symposium welcomes studies relevant to the liberation theme and any other submissions that fit the framework of critical research on psychology and other social sciences. Papers from other countries and languages are all welcome to be submitted to the symposium.

Applicants who want to present a paper or poster at the VII Critical Psychology Symposium that focuses on liberation and its ideals, possibilities, and realities, should prepare an abstract according to the format and criteria stated here, and upload it here by May 15, 2021. If you want to submit more than one paper, you need to make a new application for each paper.

Submitted papers will be assessed by the Evaluation and Support Board, who has the responsibility to maintain a critical perspective throughout the symposium, and if needed, they will provide feedback to the authors to make the necessary arrangements for a re-submission. Therefore, we would like to highlight that we especially support students and practitioners working in the field as well as academics.

You can follow the symposium website or TODAP's social media accounts for further developments. 

The VII Critical Psychology Symposium Organizing Committee

Aydın Bayad 
Buket Kara 
Can Önalan 
Ece Bişirir 
Ersin Aslıtürk 
Gülşen Kılıçarslan 
Sadberk Arpacı 
Sedef Nergiz Karagöz 
Sibel Sabırlı 
Olga Selin Hünler 
Selim Cillov 
Yılmaz Can Derdiyok 

The VII Critical Psychology Symposium Evaluating and Supporting Board
Aysel Gürel 
Baran Gürsel 
Demet İslambay 
Doğa Eroğlu 
Düzgün Uğur 
İdil Atabinen 
İlker Özyıldırım 
Umut Şah 
Yudit Namer