Event Title

Beyond "Self-Care": Rethinking the Issue of Marginalized Scholars' Mental Health

Location

Littlefoot B Room 124B

Start Date

22-4-2023 1:00 PM

End Date

22-4-2023 2:15 PM

Publication Date

2023

Disciplines

Arts and Humanities | Law | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Description

There have been increasing calls to attend to the mental, emotional, and physical health or well-being of marginalized scholars within far right studies. Such calls to attention are welcome, because marginalized scholars belong to communities often targeted by supremacists who seek to preserve and intensify white, cis, heteropatriarchal dominance especially in Western contexts. Reading supremacist texts, consuming supremacist media, interviewing, and conducting participant observation with supremacists can adversely impact scholars of color, Jewish scholars, cis women, and LGBTQ people as these activities mean they must repeatedly confront the reality that they – and their communities – are at risk of bodily, somatic, structural, institutional, and psychological harm. Yet proposed ways of addressing these issues tend to align with neoliberal ideas “self-care” or are limited to individualized psychological interventions. To cope with distress, marginalized scholars are advised to take breaks, engage in enjoyable activities unrelated to their work, drink water, reach out to friends, or make sure to get plenty of sleep. Psychological interventions include seeking therapy and pushing for better access to mental health resources. There is nothing inherently wrong with caring for the self, and certainly, access to quality healthcare is crucial. At the same time, we question the tendency to place the responsibility of addressing issues marginalized scholars face on individuals rather than working to understand and change the structures that generate these problems in the first place. Finally, how might the rhetoric of “self-care” among academics distract from our entanglements with those most vulnerable to the dangers of supremacist and fascist politics? In other words, how does our preoccupation with individual well-being prevent us from working in solidarity with oppressed peoples, especially low-income communities, migrant groups from the Global South, and incarcerated people who struggle with forms of precarity from which most academics are relatively insulated? This roundtable will turn a critical eye towards individualistic approaches to health and well-being in far right studies.

Description Format

html

Full Text of Presentation

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Media Format

flash_audio

Type

Roundtable

COinS
 
Apr 22nd, 1:00 PM Apr 22nd, 2:15 PM

Beyond "Self-Care": Rethinking the Issue of Marginalized Scholars' Mental Health

Littlefoot B Room 124B

There have been increasing calls to attend to the mental, emotional, and physical health or well-being of marginalized scholars within far right studies. Such calls to attention are welcome, because marginalized scholars belong to communities often targeted by supremacists who seek to preserve and intensify white, cis, heteropatriarchal dominance especially in Western contexts. Reading supremacist texts, consuming supremacist media, interviewing, and conducting participant observation with supremacists can adversely impact scholars of color, Jewish scholars, cis women, and LGBTQ people as these activities mean they must repeatedly confront the reality that they – and their communities – are at risk of bodily, somatic, structural, institutional, and psychological harm. Yet proposed ways of addressing these issues tend to align with neoliberal ideas “self-care” or are limited to individualized psychological interventions. To cope with distress, marginalized scholars are advised to take breaks, engage in enjoyable activities unrelated to their work, drink water, reach out to friends, or make sure to get plenty of sleep. Psychological interventions include seeking therapy and pushing for better access to mental health resources. There is nothing inherently wrong with caring for the self, and certainly, access to quality healthcare is crucial. At the same time, we question the tendency to place the responsibility of addressing issues marginalized scholars face on individuals rather than working to understand and change the structures that generate these problems in the first place. Finally, how might the rhetoric of “self-care” among academics distract from our entanglements with those most vulnerable to the dangers of supremacist and fascist politics? In other words, how does our preoccupation with individual well-being prevent us from working in solidarity with oppressed peoples, especially low-income communities, migrant groups from the Global South, and incarcerated people who struggle with forms of precarity from which most academics are relatively insulated? This roundtable will turn a critical eye towards individualistic approaches to health and well-being in far right studies.