A Psychoanalytic Review of Audre Lorde’s The Cancer Journals

Abstract: Read through a psychoanalytic lens, The Cancer Journals by Audre Lorde makes a significant contribution to the understanding of the Self in conflict with societal pressures to be docile and conform. Lorde manages to reconcile her past self with her new reality by rejecting the guise provided by a False Self in order toContinue reading “A Psychoanalytic Review of Audre Lorde’s The Cancer Journals”

What is a Mental Health Doula?

During my training as a birth and postpartum doula, I received little education on perinatal mental health. When mental health was addressed in the postpartum doula training, the acronym PMADs was thrown around as a catch-all phrase for Postpartum Mood and Anxiety Disorders. In a previous post titled Language Matters: Perinatal vs Postpartum, I articulateContinue reading “What is a Mental Health Doula?”

The Language of Madness

Since my diagnosis in 2012, I slowly became indoctrinated in the medical model of mental illness which emphasizes a biological basis for “abnormal” behavior. As a person living with bipolar disorder, I learned to categorize my lived experience within diagnostic terms, like manic or depressed, and looked to therapy, psychiatry, and psychopharmacology for a cure.Continue reading “The Language of Madness”

Thinking with Octavia Butler: Prophetic Parallels between Parable & COVID-19

Octavia Butler’s dystopian novel set, Parable of the Sower (1993) in the 2020s, uncannily parallels our current sociopolitical reality. Based in California, the narrative centers teenage Lauren Oya Olamina living a world devastated by the environmental, economic, and political consequences of neoliberalism. Water is costly and scarce, all public services are privatized, and racial tensionsContinue reading “Thinking with Octavia Butler: Prophetic Parallels between Parable & COVID-19”

Breastfeeding While Black (& Bipolar): A poem & reflections

In honor of our ancestors the enslaved wet nurses / their life-force liquified sentenced to sustain white supremacy’s offspring Now we celebrate our brown babies suckling / in our arms against our skin / on our bodies / at our breasts Liberated lactation is a revelation a revolution / nourishment only Black bodies can provideContinue reading “Breastfeeding While Black (& Bipolar): A poem & reflections”

Thinking with Ashanté Reese: Grief as a Black Feminist Methodology

In my blog post Peer Ethnography: My Theory & Method, I think through my decolonized approach to research inspired by Black feminist theory. An example of this is the way Ashanté Reese discusses grief as methodology in her ethnography Black Food Geographies: Race, Self-Reliance, and Food Access in Washington, D.C. As a mental state andContinue reading “Thinking with Ashanté Reese: Grief as a Black Feminist Methodology”

Peer Ethnography: My Theory & Method

During a workshop on how to conduct “liberated research projects,” Dr. Nadine Naber walked the class through an exercise to help us students and emerging scholars personalize our own theories and methodologies. After thinking about what makes my research distinct, I came to the terms “peer ethnography” and “lived experience research.” This is because ofContinue reading “Peer Ethnography: My Theory & Method”

Thinking with Audre Lorde: The Politics of Disclosure

Since beginning my PhD in Anthropology, I’ve wrestled with how to navigate the politics of disclosure vis-à-vis my psychiatric diagnosis. I’ve been playing it safe by (mostly) keeping that part of my identity to myself. For many people, especially those with other marginalized identities, holding their mental health diagnosis to their chest is a modeContinue reading “Thinking with Audre Lorde: The Politics of Disclosure”