Events

Ongoing

“Making Our Voices Heard: Memoirs to (Re)imagine Mental Healthcare.” A Herstory Writers Workshop in partnership Madwomen in the Attic and the Humanities Institute at Stony Brook University, Spring 2021 – Present.

Upcoming

“Mad Feminist Ingenuity at the Edge of Rage: Gathering Theory and Stories to Challenge Epistemic Injustice,” Co-presenting with Nicole Crevar at the National Women’s Studies Association Conference, Fall 2022.

Presenter and Chair of “Disobedient Lives, Disorderly Archives: Social Justice Agency in Archival Spaces and Arts” at the Northeast Modern Language Association Convention. Roundtable. Niagara Falls, NY, March 2023

Past Presentations & Workshops

“The Meta Potencies of Madness: Gaslighting, Mad Time, and the Archive of the Unhinged.” Presenter and Chair of “Theorizing Madness: Conceptualizations of Identity, Consciousness, Disability, and Care” at the Northeast Modern Language Association Convention. Roundtable. Baltimore, MD, March 2022.

“Building a Mad Archive: Informing, Reforming, and Transforming Mental Healthcare Law and Policy through Literacy.” Conference on Community Writing. Coalition on Community Writing. Presentation. Virtual, October 2021.

“(Re)defining and (Re)imagining through Memoir: A Story-Shaping Workshop,” 2021 Bi-County Empowerment Conference, Hands Across Long Island, Workshop, October 2021.

“Mad Praxis and the Mad Academic: Bringing together Scholarship and Activism to Affect Mental Healthcare Policy.” Social Justice Works-in-Progress Series. University at Buffalo’s Department of English. Virtual, March 2021.

“Draw the Curtains, Light the Lamp, Narrow the Enquiry: Woolf’s Methodology of Uncovering and the Webs of Meaning around Institutionalization.” The Lunatic Upstairs: Virginia Woolf and the Ethics of Institutionalization. Co-Chair of Panel and Presenter. Northeast Modern Language Association Convention: Tradition and Innovation: Changing Worlds Through the Humanities. Presentation.  Philadelphia, Virtual, March 2021.

“Teaching Media Literacy in the Gender Studies Classroom.” Presentation. Northeast Popular Culture Association Conference, Virtual/Remote, October 2020.

“Mad Feminist Activism in the Global Feminist Movement.” Lead Organizer and Dialogue Facilitator of Dialogue. Seneca Falls Dialogues: “Disrupting the Past, Questioning the Present, and Imagining the Future,” Virtual/Remote, October 2020.

“Madwomen in Social Justice Movements, Literatures, and Art” Co-Chair of Two Roundtables. Facilitation (Session 1&2) and Presentation (Session 1). Northeast Modern Language Association Convention. Presentation. Boston, MA, March 2020.

“Combat of Words,” Workshop. Just Buffalo Literary Center, Spring 2020.

“Gender Education for Educators: Pedagogies of Inquiry and Inclusion.” Workshop. NYSEC 2019 Conference: Reigniting The Spark: Empowering Our Students, Our Colleagues, and Ourselves Through Reflection, Hope, and Compassion. New York State English Council. Albany, NY, October 2019.

“Orlando’s Brain on Trial.” International Conference on Virginia Woolf. Cincinnati, OH, June 2019.

“Making a Mad Community, from Attic to Attic.” Madness, Violence, and Technologies of Care: A Symposium. Center for Disability Studies, University at Buffalo. Buffalo, NY, May 8, 2019.

“Orlando’s Brain on Trial.” Northeast Modern Language Association Convention. Washington, D.C., March 22, 2019.

“(Re-/Un-)Writing the Identity.” Just Buffalo Literary Center, Spring 2017.

“Woolf’s Alternative Medicine: Queer Cognition, Narrative Defiance, and the Undoing of Diagnosis.” 24th Annual Int. Conference on Virginia Woolf. Chicago, June 2014.

“Open Access to Desire: Queering Classrooms to Build Connections.” Open Source(s), Access, Futures: 2014 Conference on College Composition and Communication Annual Convention. Indianapolis, March 21, 2014.

–. “Open Access to Desire: Queering Classrooms to Build Connections.” Western Illinois University First Annual Graduate Research Conference. WIU, Feb. 7, 2014.

 “Metaphorical Moves and Spatial Transgressions: The Househeld Mind of Virginia Woolf.” Banquets and Borders in Language and Literature: English Graduate Organization Conference. Macomb,  October 26, 2013.

“Gender Incarnations and Incantations: Rhetorical Reinventions of the Canon and Collective Acts of Identity-Villainy in Macbeth.” Courtliness and Convention: The 37th Annual Ohio Valley Shakespeare Conference. Cleveland. October 10-12, 2013.

 “Diagnosing The Hours: An Ambivalent and Disjointed Fictional Anti-Clinical Case Study and  Feminist Analysis of Fictional Woolf and her Struggle within the Fragmenting Machine of Heteronormativity.” Being Undisciplined: An Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference. University of Cincinnati, April  6, 2013.

–. Lenses into War: An English Graduate Organization Annual Conference. Macomb, November 10, 2012.

Past Readings & Talks

Featured Reader, “Magic, Madness, and Meaning: Reclaiming Our Power,” Herstory Writing Workshop’s Reading Series, Virtual, January 9, 2021.

Invited Guest, “The December Letters Project: A Conversation with Jessica Lowell Mason and Melissa Bennett, Founders of Madwomen in the Attic.” Episode 7, The Gender Matters Podcast, Gender Institute, University at Buffalo, December 2020.

Invited Guest, Your Morning YAAS, YouTube, December 2020.

Invited Speaker, Network of Western New York Open & Affirming Congregations, October, 21, 2018.

Invited Reader, Book Launch, (Dis)Integration, The Disability Education and Advocacy Network of WNY, November 3, 2017.

Invited Speaker, Masquerade Ball Supporting Mental Health Through United Way; United Way of Niagara, Ontario; October 27, 2017.

Invited Featured Reader; Boiler Room Reading Series; Western Illinois University Art Gallery; October 3, 2013.

Featured Reader; Being Undisciplined: An Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Pre-Conference Poetry Reading; University of Cincinnati; April 5, 2013.

Sample Roundtable Proposals

“Disobedient Lives, Disorderly Archives: Social Justice Agency in Archival Spaces and Arts” (Co-chairing with Nicole Crevar, Spring 2023)

“This roundtable will bring together scholars interested in developing and studying archives that push the boundaries of what we consider the archive. At the roundtable, through our work, we will consider questions that arise within archival practices and arts, such as: what constitutes or counts as an archive, what kinds of archival delineations should be drawn, pushed back against, or ruptured, and, perhaps most importantly, what is or should be the role of the archive in combating systemic injustice and advancing social justice? The roundtable seeks to bring together scholars across disciplines and community activists and archivists who are interested in the relationship between social justice activism and the archive, those who are building archives or deconstructing archives or imagining new and different archives with the goal of helping communities and those whose lives have been hidden or suppressed or ignored completely within archives.

Archivist-activists and scholars interested in the political and social role of the archive, especially those whose projects are geared toward utilizing the archive as mechanism or space for social justice activism are invited to submit proposals that demonstrate the connection between their social justice concerns and their archival work and interests. The roundtable will be geared toward scholars and activists engaging the archive, in both material, corporeal and immaterial, conceptual senses. It will allow archivists and scholar-activists alike to come together to share and make wisdom concerning the use of the archive as a space for shaping and advancing social change, and for changing the social and material conditions of communities that have been marginalized, historically.”


“Theorizing Madness: Conceptualizations of Identity, Consciousness, DisAbility, and Care” (Chaired at NeMLA, March 2022)

“As academia works to transform its practices in order to include a variety of perspectives and marginalized voices, so too should higher education consider the perspectives and conceptualizations of those who identify as Mad, as having psychiatric disabilities, as neurodiverse, or as psychiatric consumers/survivors/ex-patients.

Madness and Mad theory are emerging epistemologies and categories of thinking that reckon with several formative questions: Who identifies as Mad? What does madness look, speak, sound, and feel like? What does madness resist? What is mad theory? What does the concept of neurodiversity contribute to theorizations of identity, such as mad, queer, and trans theory? How can Mad theory revolutionize the way that we do critical and literary theory? How is madness positioned in relation to disability studies, feminist theory, queer theory, transgender studies, postcoloniality, and critical race theory? What do Mad epistemologies look like? How does mad theory construct or deconstruct identity categories? How is madness a political identity as well as a state of being? Is it possible to embody madness, or is madness a social construction? What are the ethical dimensions and implications of madness? How does madness function as part of a theory of care? And how can Mad theory elevate the voices and perspectives of students, professors, and academics who identify as Mad?

This mad theory roundtable will bring together scholars to theorize madness in relation to other fields of theoretical study in order to (a) respond to questions of consciousness, queerness, ability, identity, and care and to (b) craft new inquiries into and developments of mad theory as an often-liminal field within the humanities.  One of the purposes of our mad theory roundtable will be to launch future research into contemporary theorizations of madness that do not rely on the sexist, racist, colonial, heteronormative, and ablesanist presumptions that have been historically present in theories relating to the mind and to the concept of care in medical and academic contexts.”


“Mad Feminist Ingenuity at the Edge of Rage: Gathering Theory and Stories to Challenge Epistemic Injustice” (Co-Presenting with Nicole Crevar, NWSA 2022)

“Recognizing that at the edge of our rage is our ingenuity, a creative space for us to gather in order to (re)claim our identities and stories and (re)shape our futures, this presentation brings together two Mad feminist scholar-artists and co-editors of a collection of Mad feminist stories and critical essays, Madwomen in Social Justice Movements, Literatures, and Arts (Forthcoming 2022, Vernon Press). We will demonstrate, through performance art, storytelling, and reflection, the ways that Mad feminist activists and scholars are working at the edge of rage to combat what Miranda Fricker terms “epistemic injustice” by asserting and validating Mad testimonial authority. Sharing our own stories and reflecting on the process of gathering stories, we will explore how stories and critical essays assert testimonial power to challenge power structures, transmute trauma, and reclaim critical autonomy.

At the end of “The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism,” Audre Lorde calls feminists to gather “face to face, beyond objectification and beyond guilt” at what could be called the edge of anger, a productive and mobile space of transition toward “a future of pollinating difference and the earth to support our choices” (118). Through performance and reflection, this presentation aims to demonstrate and bring to life the ways in which feminist writers and Mad-identifying activists gathered at the edge of rage to form a collection of creative and scholarly writing that breaks disciplinary and genre norms and propels the rage of the figure of the madwoman forward into the 21st Century’s “future of pollinating difference.” Recounting a book project that started as a Mad feminist activist roundtable and performing feminist madness in our own personal stories and poems, our presentation aims to bring attention to the paradoxically simultaneous surveillance and invisibility of Mad feminist bodies through the sharing of our voices and stories in connection with the voices and stories that were shared in our co-edited collection, Madwomen in Social Justice Movements, Literatures, and Art (Forthcoming, 2022, Vernon Press). As scholars, teachers, and Mad-identified writers, we hope to (re)introduce Mad feminist study to fellow feminist scholars, as well as to bring madness––especially stories and theorizations of Mad people, including ourselves––into conversation with other feminist scholars and scholarship through this story-centered presentation. We also hope to celebrate the work of writers within the Mad community who are (re)theorizing and (re)imagining the madwoman within feminist scholarship and activism.

Work Cited

Lorde, Audre. “The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism.” Your Silence Will Not Protect You. Silver Press, 2017.”


“Mad Activism in the Global Feminist Movement: A Dialogue on and of Dissent” (Chaired at the Seneca Falls Dialogue, October 2021)

“This dialogue will invite mad feminist activists and the broader community of feminist activists to come together across difference in order to look to and generate new knowledge about the past, the now, and the future of feminist directions within the mad pride social justice movement. It will center around the question of mad activism’s role within a larger feminist agenda and will explore questions about the ways in which mad feminist activism has drawn and draws attention to parallels and divergences within social justice movements and intervened upon oppressive misogynist institutionalized traditions. It will also address the rights of women and gender-non-conforming people living with psychiatric labels or the stigma attached to mental illness labels, those who have been fighting for their rights, sometimes on the periphery of or from unique localities within, larger social justice efforts because their rights continue to be violated on a legislative and societal level globally. The dialogue will put women and gender non-conforming people in conversation on the subjects of non-normative activism and of old and new feminist directions within and around the mad pride movement, and will seek to elicit discourse on what mad feminist activism has been, is now, and is becoming, delving into the ways the mad pride social justice movement has been a feminist movement, as well as with the ways in which the movement has dealt and deals with identity, erased histories, and contested activist and advocacy tendencies and trajectories.

In order to create a dialogue across difference, the organizers will introduce the topic by offering different accounts of feminist entryways into and personal histories of their work in the mad pride movement, pointing out struggles that the movement has faced in establishing its legitimacy and visibility as a movement and offering potential structural and other reasons for these struggles. Audience members will be asked to engage and respond to difficulties within movements of dissent and to share their own histories, and the organizers will include small and large group discussions on old problems and new trends in order for the dialogue to serve as a moment of grassroots organizing.”

Sample Event Flyers