Ann Cvetkovich Depression: A Public Feeling

ISBN 13: 9780822352389

Depression: A Public Feeling

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9780822352389: Depression: A Public Feeling
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In Depression: A Public Feeling, Ann Cvetkovich combines memoir and critical essay in search of ways of writing about depression as a cultural and political phenomenon that offer alternatives to medical models. She describes her own experience of the professional pressures, creative anxiety, and political hopelessness that led to intellectual blockage while she was finishing her dissertation and writing her first book. Building on the insights of the memoir, in the critical essay she considers the idea that feeling bad constitutes the lived experience of neoliberal capitalism.

Cvetkovich draws on an unusual archive, including accounts of early Christian acedia and spiritual despair, texts connecting the histories of slavery and colonialism with their violent present-day legacies, and utopian spaces created from lesbian feminist practices of crafting. She herself seeks to craft a queer cultural analysis that accounts for depression as a historical category, a felt experience, and a point of entry into discussions about theory, contemporary culture, and everyday life. Depression: A Public Feeling suggests that utopian visions can reside in daily habits and practices, such as writing and yoga, and it highlights the centrality of somatic and felt experience to political activism and social transformation.

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Review:

"A provocative addition to Ann Cvetkovich's eloquent writings on the archives of public feelings, this book takes depression out of the space of the private into the complex politics of our time. Weaving together memoir, cultural and medical history, and literary and theoretical discussion, Cvetkovich experiments with and reflects on unconventional ways of writing about embodiment, cognition, and affect. Along the way, she offers myriad prescriptions, small and large, on how to cope with the daily effects of depression and how to heal the world."—Marianne Hirsch, author of The Generation of Postmemory: Writing and Visual Culture after the Holocaust

"Combining cultural critique with nuanced readings of queer aesthetic practices, and mixing theoretical reflections on experience with experiments in memoir, Depression: A Public Feeling delivers not only critical insights but also wisdom. The book offers a model for something like collective or collaborative authorship; framed as a project conceived in concert with a far-flung community of academics, activists, and artists, Depression is a departure from academic business as usual. This is a profoundly inspiring book."—Heather Love, author of Feeling Backward: Loss and the Politics of Queer History

“Aesthetics, anecdotes and evidence against the medical model.” Author: Tyler Cowen Source: New York Times Magazine

Depression: A Public Feeling... sets out to challenge ‘contemporary medical notions’ of depression ‘that simultaneously relieve one of responsibility (it’s just genes or chemicals) and provide agency (you can fix it by taking a pill)’. . . . In anatomising her ‘lived experience’ of writer’s block, Cvetkovich invites the reader to ask whether, despite the trade-specific terminology, this is still a symptom exclusive to writers. . . . [H]er perceptions are agile.” Author: Talitha Stevenson Source: New Statesman

Depression succeeds at opening up a public discussion on certain kinds of depression that are often dismissed as trivial, like the stress of academic labour. . . . [C]lear and helpful with a vision for overcoming melancholy through a transformation of everyday life.” Author: William Burton Source: Lambda Literary Review

“[Cvetkovich] has taken some huge risks with Depression. Rather than building a traditional academic argument with research and theory, the book combines stylistically distinct and potentially disparate parts that add up to a highly readable, relatable, radical treatise that provides many points of entry and fresh thinking on one of the most overexamined subjects of the past few decades.” Author: Cindy Widner Source: Austin Chronicle

“At one end, Depression is a call to expand how we frame and engage with depression, and at the other it’s an internal appeal to academia to accept personal experience as a valid source material for scholarship. By melding the personal and the academic, Cvetkovich is creating an important new forum for how we discuss depression. . . . The material is totally fascinating. . . .” Author: Nina Lary Source: Bitch

“Cvetkovich offers us an introduction to thinking critically about depression's causes and its manifestations as well as, perhaps, the localised tactics that are necessary to enable recovery. At the end, she turns rather sweetly to crafting as one reparative habit, partly because of the aesthetic of connectivity that it can stimulate. Knitting yourself out of depression: it's kind of folksy, but I liked it.” Author: Sally Munt Source: Times Higher Education

“The book’s merit is in jolting us out of our habit of thinking about depression as a personal, medical issue, reminding us of the ways in which the rules and roles of society influence our psyches and feelings about ourselves. By taking depression out of the exclusive domain of the therapeutic culture, [Cvetkovich] challenges us to make new connections between the individual’s experience of depression and life within a depressive culture.” Author: Irene Javors Source: Gay and Lesbian Review/Worldwide

“[A]n experiment in connecting personal feelings with social conditions and critical analysis. . . . Cvetkovich finds a variety of ways to utilize the tools of academe to build a shelter from the traumas of academe.  It's both funny and oddly endearing to see an academic response to depression that turns it into a field, organizes conferences and protests with special and entertaining dress requirements, recommends cures for writing blocks, and appropriates American anxiety in the interest of getting academic work published.”  Author: Elaine Showalter Source: Chronicle Review

From the Author:

Ann Cvetkovich is Ellen C. Garwood Centennial Professor of English and Professor of Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Texas, Austin. She is the author of An Archive of Feelings: Trauma, Sexuality, and Lesbian Public Cultures, also published by Duke University Press, and Mixed Feelings: Feminism, Mass Culture, and Victorian Sensationalism; a coeditor of Political Emotions; and a former editor of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies.

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Book Description Duke University Press, United States, 2012. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. In Depression: A Public Feeling, Ann Cvetkovich combines memoir and critical essay in search of ways of writing about depression as a cultural and political phenomenon that offer alternatives to medical models. She describes her own experience of the professional pressures, creative anxiety, and political hopelessness that led to intellectual blockage while she was finishing her dissertation and writing her first book. Building on the insights of the memoir, in the critical essay she considers the idea that feeling bad constitutes the lived experience of neoliberal capitalism. Cvetkovich draws on an unusual archive, including accounts of early Christian acedia and spiritual despair, texts connecting the histories of slavery and colonialism with their violent present-day legacies, and utopian spaces created from lesbian feminist practices of crafting. She herself seeks to craft a queer cultural analysis that accounts for depression as a historical category, a felt experience, and a point of entry into discussions about theory, contemporary culture, and everyday life. Depression: A Public Feeling suggests that utopian visions can reside in daily habits and practices, such as writing and yoga, and it highlights the centrality of somatic and felt experience to political activism and social transformation. Seller Inventory # AAJ9780822352389

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