Misunderstood minds: questions on mental health and care. Michael Guggenheim in conversation with Barbara Plagg, Julia Maier, and Peter Koler

Misunderstood minds: questions on mental health and care.
Michael Guggenheim in conversation with Barbara Plagg, Julia Maier, and Peter Koler

19 November from 17 to 18:30
in German
Free admission


Starting from specific questions on prevention, what is illness and what is health and how we organise care and the public care system for (mental) health, the conversation aims to stimulate the audience to highlight how our language is affected.


Michael Guggenheim (he/him) is a sociologist who works at the Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the co-founder and convenor of the MA Visual Sociology at Goldsmiths. He has published widely on expertise, lay people, disasters, change of use of buildings, environmental research and food and social theory. He has developed numerous performative experiments, most recently together with Jan-Peter Voss the exhibition “Taste! Experiments for the Senses” at the Museum of Natural History Berlin.

Barbara Plagg (she/her) is a researcher at the Institute of General Medicine (Claudiana) and a lecturer in Social Medicine, Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the University of Bolzano. She conducts research in the interdisciplinary context between human medicine, biology and anthropology. Barbara studied at the Universities of Padua, Vienna, Zagreb and Munich, and in her research doctorate in human biology at the University Hospital of Munich she dealt with the diagnostics and genetics of Alzheimer’s dementia. She subsequently conducted research at the University Hospital in Innsbruck. Barbara Plagg is active in the scientific advisory board of the Alzheimer’s Association South Tyrol Alto Adige (ASAA), is committed to equal rights and climate protection and, in addition to her scientific work, is an author.

Julia Maier (she/her) is a Social Designer with a background in graphic design and illustration. Her work focuses on the value of design, visual creativity and positive social impact. She worked in a design agency from 2014 to 2019, meanwhile studied Media Design in Ravensburg until 2018 and started working as an independent designer in 2020. She is currently completing her Master in Eco-Social Design in Bolzano. For her project mis(s)understood bodies, she works closely with female and female-perceived patients who have experienced negative effects of the so-called “gender health gap“.

Peter Koler (he/him), born in 1965 in Bolzano, studied Psychology and Pedagogy at the University of Innsbruck. In 2013 he completed his PhD at the Faculty of Education, University of Dresden. He is an emergency psychologist. Trainer in motivational interviewing, from 1993 to 2001 Koler was a psychologist at the Addiction Service of the Bolzano Health Authority, since 2001 coordinator of the specialist centre for addiction prevention and health promotion of the Forum Prevenzione-ONLUS foundation in Bolzano, and since 2007 director of at present six specialist centres of the foundation (eating disorders, violence prevention, youth, family, streetwork). Member of the coordination unit for addictions of the Autonomous Province of Bozen/Bolzano, member of the Austrian prevention organisation ARGE. Lecturer at the Free University of Bozen/Bolzano and the Pädagogische Hochschule Oberösterreich in Linz (Austria). Publications and thematic contributions in the fields of youth, drugs, preventive work and health policy.