The Fifth R.L.Kapur Oration: “Drift of Contemporary Ideologies: Social and Psychic Defenses In the Discourses and Practices of Hate” by Prof. Gilles Bibeau, JRD Tata Auditorium, NIAS


Indian Institute of Science Campus,

Bengaluru - 560 012


The Fifth R.L.Kapur Oration


“Drift of Contemporary Ideologies: Social and Psychic Defenses

In the Discourses and Practices of Hate”


Prof. Gilles Bibeau

Professor Emeritus at the Université de Montréal, Canada


Chairperson: Prof. Sundar Sarukkai, NIAS

Friday, June 16th 2017, 6.00 p.m. (Coffee/Tea at 5:30 pm), JRD Tata Auditorium, NIAS, IISc Campus, Bengaluru 560012


Abstract:  In a globalized world in which the figure of the other tends to be erased as a principle of differentiation, ideologies appear to be more and more enmeshed in discourses and practices of hate. Clinicians and social scientists have disclosed the destructive effects of the fanatical engagements at all levels – individual and collective – and across areas within societies – politics and religions. Such ideologies infiltrate the thinking of both the dominant and the excluded, and constitute a trap from which nobody can escape. Borrowing from ideas developed by Dr. Ravi Kapur and a few other thinkers, I will suggest avenues that may help to move out of such dangerous illusions and to put in place thoughts and practices opened to the plurality of positions in matters of politics and religion.


About the speaker: 

Gilles Bibeau, Professor Emeritus at the Université de Montréal, Canada, where he has been professor of medical anthropology and cultural psychiatry over a period of 35 years. He has received academic training in biochemistry, philosophy, comparative religions and anthropology.

Between 1966 and 1979, Bibeau has lived in Africa where he conducted research dealing with the evaluation of African traditional medicines and their potential contribution to the health services.  In the 80ies, Bibeau has developed, with Ellen Corin, the International Network for Ethnoepidemiology and Community Mental Health (INECOM). This international comparative and action-geared project (Brazil, Peru, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, India, Italy, Romania) in social and cultural psychiatry was dealing with the study of SIGNS - the popular ways people use to identify (popular semiology) – MEANINGS – the explanatory models to explain onset of pathologies – and ACTIONS – the responses provided by individuals, families and communitiesto handle mental health problems. In the 90s, the INECOM project gave birth to the international network REDET on the Social Determinants of Health to which the schools of public health of Brazil, Peru, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Canada have participated.  This network has promoted critical approaches in linking public health with the problems of social and economic inequality and questions of Human Rights and Justice.


Over a period of 8 years, Bibeau has chaired of the International Scientific Council for the Nouna Health Research Centre, in Burkina Faso. Over the past 3 decades, he has served successively as President of the Canadian Association for African Studies and President of the Canadian Council of Area Studies Learned Societies (Asia, Latin America, Africa). In that context, he has developed a number of cooperative activities between universities of the North and those of the South. Bibeau is the author of over 350 publications: author or editor of 17 books; 90 chapters of books; and more than 250 articles in peer-reviewed journals. He has trained over 100 PhD students. The topics he explores in his writing are the following: Origin of languages; Popular Systems of Knowledge; Cultures of Youth; Street Gangs; Comparative Ethical End Legal Systems; World Mental Health; Social and Cultural Pediatrics; Comparative Literature Critical Approaches in Public Health; Social Determinants of Health; Biotechnologies, Genomics and Anthropology; Human Rights, Ethical Relativism and Comparative Legal Systems; Decolonisation in Africa; Ethnicity and Immigration; Juvenile Culture, Drug-Abuse and Violence.


In cooperation with RL Kapur and E Corin, Bibeau conducted studies, over a period of 12 years, on asceticism via collection of life trajectories of sadhu and sanyāsi which served to map the language of renunciation, its appropriation or distortion by individuals who took the path of ‘sadhuism’ and its potential transformative power for them.






For further details, please contact: Dr. M.B. Rajani <>

Friday, June 16, 2017