Sun, 24 November 2013
gendercast episode 41: interview with Jacks McNamara on a lot of awesome things
Join Jesse and Sean for an interview with Jacks McNamara about their work in radical mental health and with The Icarus Project, their writing and other projects they are involved in. We explore the concept of radical mental health, creating some analyses of the medical industrial complex and corporate psychology’s impact on the mainstream mental health system/pathologizing of people experiencing emotional distress or psychic impairments. Jacks discussed that emotional distress does not happen in a bubble, but rather, it happens within a social context where capitalism, racism, classism, ableism, transphobia, homophobia and many other isms are operating.
Jacks also draws some comparisons between gender nonconformity and mental health/emotional distress as “ a shared inability to fit into boxes” and will discuss how this is something that queer and trans people as well as people experiencing emotional distress have in common. We will talk about the impact of labels (diagnoses) on both gender identity and mental health as a mechanism of access (to medications). We also talk about disability justice and radical mental health. Jacks also talks about collective access, access intimacy and reads some of their poetry!
Jacks McNamara is a genderqueer writer, artist, activist, educator, performer, and somatic healing practitioner living in Santa Fe, NM. Jacks is the co-founder of The Icarus Project, a radical mental health support network and media project by and for people living with the dangerous gifts that our society commonly labels as "mental illness," and the subject of the poetic documentary film Crooked Beauty. In 2012 Jacks was selected as a Lambda literary fellow, and their first book of poetry, Inbetweenland, was released by Deviant Type Press in March 2013. You can find out more about Jacks at http://redwingedjacksbird.net.
Icaruses Harm Reduction Guide To Coming off Psychiatric Drugs and Withdrawl (you can download the pdf free)
Icarus reader Navigating the Space Between Brilliance and Madness
Icarus Project blog
Jacks' article on access intimacy
links to other badass projects that jacks talked about
Wed, 6 November 2013
supplemental episode (40.75) An Unconference of students, student groups, community organizations, and faculty
gendercast supplemental episode 40.75: The University of Washington Unconference
Listen along with the University of Washington's 2013 Disorientation Unconference. This is a supplemental episode to follow Episode 40 that explores the four different segments of the first UW Disorientation, and Episode 40.5 features the Radical History Tour of Campus. For folks that could not be there in the moment, take a listen, and if you feel moved contact the organizers or stay tuned about how to get involved next year or in your local area.
From its founding on occupied Duwamish land, to the passage of a diversity credit requirement, the University has always been a part of the larger landscape in both destructive and generative ways. The history of campus is shaped by militarism, departments founded and funded in the service of a litany of wars. Today we see corporate models of management imported into University life. We see the reduction of students to “consumers” of a degree, and big banks profiting off student debt. We see academic salaries stagnate and working conditions degenerate.
But we also remember histories of struggle, and we recognize that the University space can cultivate resistance. Disorientation is a place to challenge oppressive structures by expressing our creativity, diversity and curiosity around the themes of social justice, decolonization, and liberatory education. A decolonized university is a place where we can learn to “write back” to imperial power–not do research in its service. A liberatory education questions the gatekeeping that claims classrooms as the only spaces where knowledge can be cultivated. By looking at our histories and sharing stories, we can begin to shake off the dominant narrative of privilege and exceptionalism.
As students, faculty, and community members connected to the University of Washington, we have the power to reorient the University’s path toward justice. So we ask, how has our university been radically repurposed in the past? How do we reclaim those histories now? What might this look like?