This epistolary essay chronicles the making of Open in Emergency: A Special Issue on Asian American Mental Health (2016, 2019), an interdisciplinary, hybrid book arts project that is an antiracist and disability justice rethinking of mental health. Open in Emergency works to decolonize our approaches to un/wellness and radically expand our vocabularies through the arts and humanities. This essay, written in the form of love letters, journeys through the relationships, experiences, and curatorial processes that inform Open in Emergency’s interventions, particularly what the author dubs a “pedagogy of unwellness,” a crip temporality, epistemology, and ethics that rethink how we experience unwellness and the kinds of care our unwellness requires. The essay offers up Open in Emergency as an example of the kinds of intellectual and arts practices we might engage to develop new ways, and times, of care, for all of us.
Making Mental Health through Open in Emergency: A Journey in Love Letters
Mimi Khúc is a writer, scholar, and teacher of things unwell. She is the managing editor of The Asian American Literary Review, a DC-based arts non-profit, and the 2019–21 Scholar/Artist/Activist in Residence in Disability Studies at Georgetown University.
Mimi Khúc; Making Mental Health through Open in Emergency: A Journey in Love Letters. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 April 2021; 120 (2): 369–388. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-8916116
Download citation file: