An Active Mind's blog

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Seeing Stigma

I am an English major interested in how literature tends to the mind and how the written word can come to both reveal and conceal issues of illness and health. This semester, with the assistance of Anne Dalke, I will be exploring mental illness through the emerging field of disability studies

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Seeing Stigma

Hi everyone,

I'm so sorry I wasn't able to make it to your class last Tuesday, but I've posted some of what I had planned on talking about below.  I'm sure you all ended up having an interesting discussion--your class seems great!

-Clare 

Seeing Stigma

How it came to be…

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Bridging Advocacy and Disability Studies

Anne suggested that for my last post this semester I make a list of suggestions for mental health advocacy organizations like Active Minds through the lens of some of what I've been learning about in disability studies.  

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"My Body, My Closet" - The Intersection between Queer Studies and Disability Studies

In Ellen Samuels’s essay “My Body, My Closet: Invisible Disability and the Limits of Coming-Out Discourse”, she discusses the convergence between “queer” and “disabled”, suggesting that they both express “the uneasy, often self-destroying tension between appearance and identity; the social scrutiny that refuses to accept statements of identity without ‘proof’; and, finally, the discursive and practical connections between coming out” (233). She wonders, what happens i

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Alison Bechdel's Fun Home - Repetitions of Disability & Queerness

I'm particularly interested in exploring Alison Bechdel's (2006) Fun Home in the context of my independent study because it explores issues of both disability (Bechdel has suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD since the age of 10) and also queerness (both Alison and her father are gay).  

Alison Bechdel, Fun Home

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Lady Gaga's New Cover Album for "Born This Way" - Figuring Disability?

 Just yesterday Gaga released the cover of her new album Born This Way:

Lady Gaga's Album Cover for Born This Way

Lady Gaga's Album Cover for Born This Way

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"Stomp Out Stigma" with Active Minds!

Last night Active Minds held an unveiling of their “Stomp Out Stigma” video followed by a panel discussion, which included Anne, Michael Tratner (a professor of English and Film), and Elna Yadin and Alexis Rosenfeld (two psychologists at the Child Study Institute). 

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Post Secret: Depersonalization vs. Personalization

Last night, Frank Warren--the founder of Post Secret--spoke at Bryn Mawr. The Post Secret campaign was started in 2005 when Frank had the idea to ask people to write down their secrets on a blank card.  He had two rules: (1) that the secret be truthful and (2) that the secret had never been told to anyone before.  Now Frank receives over 1,000 postcards each week from people all across the country and around the world.  I found his presentation incredibly moving and it reminded me a lot of what was discussed at Haverford's In/Visible Disability conference in relation to visual art and its ability to both empower and disempower.

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Taking Jamison's Advice...

My past few days have been anxiety ridden and I’ve found myself just wanting it to all go away, angry at myself for not trying hard enough to break out of old habits, old ways of thinking.   But when things get rough I’ve been finding myself returning to Jamison’s epilogue in her memoir, An Unquiet Mind. She reminds me to both reflect on what my OCD has taken away from me, but to also be thankful for what it’s given me in return (and maybe, too, how it can enlighten my own work despite how hard it is to meet the demands of the academic structure when going through a rocky time). Jamison strives to accept who she is, what she’s struggled with, and she “no longer makes attempts to exert too much control over essentially uncontrollable forces” (218). Try t

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