“Pain and Representation” Student Projects Spotlight

Postdoctoral Instructor Amy Krauss shares the following context for the incredible work featured here:

At the end of the Winter 2020 course “Pain and Representation,” students were trying to complete final projects just as the COVID-19 pandemic was beginning to change our practices on campus. While many students were not able to do what they had planned given the circumstances, some of them created critical and deeply personal work.

One option for the final project was to write an illness narrative. In the tradition of Medical Anthropology, the researcher listens differently than a clinician in order to allow other kinds of information and social histories to affect our understanding of the etiology of disease and modes of healing. The other option was to build on our class readings and discussions to explore how sometimes we need images, sound, and poetic forms of writing to reach towards what we are trying to say. 

Students addressed difficult topics, such as their own or someone else’s struggle with mental illness, chronic pain, the death of loved ones, the pleasure and pain of sexuality, and experiences of sexual assault. In honor of the class and all of the students’ work throughout the quarter, we are showcasing three of the final projects here:

Veronica Myers (Art History, Spring 2020)
Artist's Statement 
Oil paintings: on coming out, and living with the loss of one’s social world

Sam Casale (Spring 2022)
Artist's Statement
Song: on living with a mood disorder that challenges the sense of self

Harini Shah (Neuroscience and Human Rights, Spring 2020) 
Artist's Statement
Collage: on the politics of visibility in the COVID-19 pandemic