Mbonde’s Musings

Welcome to my blog where I integrate the personal and the political, my academic and artistic self. As a Black feminist anthropologist-in-the-making, this is where I process how my lived experiences with motherhood and mental health intersect with my research interests and my professional identity as a writer and a scholar.

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Meditations on Mad Love: Using Lessons from Polyamory as a Roadmap

I have been thinking a lot about love lately and the importance of unlearning certain cultural scripts about how love should be, including it being only between a man and a woman or monogamous. While we have witnessed great strides towards openness and equality in who and how we love, I am still challenged by the fact that there is barely any conversation around Disabled, Neurodivergent, or Mad love. I have been thinking about this…

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Graduation SZN | Part 2 – The Tarot Edition

It’s truly remarkable how quickly one’s life can change in the span of a few days or weeks. If I had to pick a tarot card to sum up my life since my last Graduation SZN post in May, I would choose The Tower. The Tower card emerges when monumental life events disrupt our mundane existence. Sudden change erupts from both the undesirable like death, illness, loss, and hardship as well as the desirable like…

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Sexuality & Bipolar: The Pride Edition

Living with bipolar for a decade has obliterated all my preconceived notions about the human capacity for love, lust, and longing. Prior to my diagnosis and subsequent journeys through altered states, I was convinced I was straight. Raised with conservative Christian values, as a young girl I dreamt of being a Proverbs 31 woman – a wife and mother “of noble character[…] worth far more than rubies.” I was obsessed with a book co-authored by…

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Graduation SZN | Part 1

I am pleased to announce that I have officially completed the second year of my PhD program in Sociocultural Anthropology at NYU! In addition to coursework, I completed by first of three comprehensive exams which are considered a rite of passage and meant to test my knowledge before I undertake my dissertation research. This is the first step to transitioning from a PhD Student to a PhD Candidate. Although I am nowhere near to finishing…

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Post-COVID Fatigue

Today I emerged out of what has been a cascading wave of post-COVID fatigue after my recent experience being sick with COVID-19 for the first time. Although I was mostly recovered and tested negative almost two weeks ago, since then I have experienced a frustrating amount of lethargy. This made me face my worst fear second to experiencing COVID-19 induced psychosis, namely, enduring Long-COVID. A person is generally considered to be experiencing Long-COVID when the…

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