Please join us in welcoming Mimi Khúc to celebrate the release of dear elia: Letters from Asian American Abyss. For this event, Mimi will be joined in conversation by Sandie Yi.

Event Date: Wednesday, April 10 · 7 - 8:30pm CDT

Please note: This event is free to attend, but registration is required. By registering, you agree to wear a face mask throughout the duration of the event. Read more about our Covid-19 policies here.

In dear elia Mimi Khúc revolutionizes how we understand mental health. Khúc traces the contemporary Asian American mental health crisis from the university into the maw of the COVID-19 pandemic, reenvisioning mental health through a pedagogy of unwellness--the recognition that we are all differentially unwell. In an intimate series of letters, she bears witness to Asian American unwellness up close and invites readers to recognize in it the shapes and sources of their own unwellness. Khúc draws linkages between student experience, the Asian immigrant family, the adjunctification of the university, and teaching methods pre- and post-COVID-19 to illuminate hidden roots of our collective unwellness: shared investments in compulsory wellness and meritocracy. She reveals the university as a central node and engine of unwellness and argues that we can no longer do Asian American studies without Asian American mental health--and vice versa. Interspersed throughout the book are reflective activities, including original tarot cards, that enact the very pedagogy Khúc advances, offering readers alternative ways of being that divest from structures of unwellness and open new possibilities for collective care.

Mimi Khúc, PhD, is a writer, scholar, and teacher of things unwell. She is the creator of the acclaimed mental health projects Open in Emergency and the Asian American Tarot, and the author of dear elia: Letters from the Asian American Abyss, a deep dive into the depths of Asian American unwellness at the intersections of ableism, model minoritization, and the university, and an exploration of new approaches to building collective care.

Sandie (Chun-shan) Yi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art Therapy and Counseling and Program Director of the Disability Culture Activism Lab (DCAL) at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). She has a Master of Art in art therapy from SAIC and an MFA from the University of California Berkeley. She is a disabled artist and disability culture worker whose work focuses on wearable art made for and with self-identified disabled people. As a part of the Disability Art Movement, Yi’s project Crip Couture explores the issue of intimacy, desire, and sexuality of the disabled body-mind. The wearable art objects and their wearers call for a recognition of disability as an aesthetic choice and suggest the possibility for a new genre of wearable art: disability fashion. Yi recently defended her Ph.D. dissertation in Disability Studies at the University of Illinois Chicago. Her research interests include Disability Arts and Culture; disability fashion; accessibility design and programming for arts and cultural venues; and social justice-based art therapy.



Women & Children First (5233 North Clark Street Chicago, IL 60640)

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April 10, 2024

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