My current research examines the durable phenomenon of the pathologization of dissociative experiences, and the coproduction of illness between physician and patient. By comparing photographs of women diagnosed as hysterical in fin-de-siècle America and contemporary women diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder (DID) on social media, my project locates the role of visual culture in determining illness, as well as feminist resistances to the medicalization of trance and dissociative experiences. Drawing on theories of embodiment, feminism, and critical disability studies, my research traces the medicalization of non-normative behaviors to determine how performance shapes visual cultures of mental health experiences, both in the past and the present day.

Research Interests

Photographic history and theory; visual and material culture; global art history; critical theory; performance studies; memory studies; psychoanalytic theory; representations of mental illness; dissociation; death and mourning; Spiritualism; spectralities; sepulchral monuments; social media; critical curatorial practices; radical pedagogy; research-creation.

Using Format