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In our first episode of 2024 we speak to Robert Chapman, author of Empire of Normality: Neurodiversity and Capitalism.

Awareness around and diagnoses of neurodiversity have exploded in recent years, but as Robert argues, we are still missing a wider understanding of how we got here and why. In today’s episode we discuss the rich histories of the neurodiversity and disability movements, as well as how our understanding of mental and physical health and disability has been profoundly shaped by the development of capitalism. We also explore the origins of the pathology paradigm, the emergence of the anti-psychiatry movement in the 1960s, and the limitations of a liberal rights-based approach to neurodiversity activism today.

Robert Chapman is a neurodivergent philosopher, writing on neurodiversity theory, madness and disability. They have taught at King’s College London, the University of Bristol, Sheffield Hallam and Durham University where they are currently an Assistant Professor in Critical Neurodiversity Studies. They blog at Psychology Today and at Critical Neurodiversity.

Podcast listeners can get 40% off Empire of Normality on, using the coupon PODCAST at the checkout.