College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences Theses and Dissertations

Graduation Date


Document Type


Department/Program Conferring Degree

Women's & Gender Studies


schizophrenia, women of color feminism, madness studies, trauma, mutual aid


Through autobioethnography this project demonstrates a complex, yet incomplete picture of schizophrenia as an illness mediated by and through racist ableist (trans)misogynistic queerphobic capitalist heteropatriarchy. It describes the beginnings of schizophrenia as genetically inherited, yet entirely socially mediated process where subjects come to know themselves as pariahs through the processes of criminalization, incarceration and poor healthcare. Furthermore, it questions the project of wellness and contests schizophrenia as a site of wholly illness. It uses the disciplines of Madness Studies and Women of Color Feminism to argue that schizophrenia is a way of being that upsets patriarchy, so it must be valued. Schizophrenia is a terrifying illness, but it also contains a wealth of counter hegemonic knowledge and new ways of thinking more madly that ‘out mad’ the system and provide liminal space for liberatory politics.