Duke Press's Reviews > Depression: A Public Feeling

Depression by Ann Cvetkovich
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Feb 11, 13

bookshelves: american-studies, cultural-studies, gay-and-lesbian-studies, queer-theory
Read from October 30, 2012 to January 22, 2013

“Cvetkovich offers us an introduction to thinking critically about depression's causes and its manifestations as well as, perhaps, the localised tactics that are necessary to enable recovery. At the end, she turns rather sweetly to crafting as one reparative habit, partly because of the aesthetic of connectivity that it can stimulate. Knitting yourself out of depression: it's kind of folksy, but I liked it.”--Sally Munt, Times Higher Education

“At one end, Depression is a call to expand how we frame and engage with depression, and at the other it’s an internal appeal to academia to accept personal experience as a valid source material for scholarship. By melding the personal and the academic, Cvetkovich is creating an important new forum for how we discuss depression. . . . The material is totally fascinating. . . .”--Nina Lary, Bitch

“Depression: A Public Feeling… sets out to challenge ‘contemporary medical notions’ of depression ‘that simultaneously relieve one of responsibility (it’s just genes or chemicals) and provide agency (you can fix it by taking a pill)’. . . . In anatomising her ‘lived experience’ of writer’s block, Cvetkovich invites the reader to ask whether, despite the trade-specific terminology, this is still a symptom exclusive to writers. . . . [H]er perceptions are agile.”--Talitha Stevenson, New Statesman

“The book’s merit is in jolting us out of our habit of thinking about depression as a personal, medical issue, reminding us of the ways in which the rules and roles of society influence our psyches and feelings about ourselves. By taking depression out of the exclusive domain of the therapeutic culture, [Cvetkovich] challenges us to make new connections between the individual’s experience of depression and life within a depressive culture.”--Irene Javors, Gay and Lesbian Review/Worldwide

“[Cvetkovich] has taken some huge risks with Depression. Rather than building a traditional academic argument with research and theory, the book combines stylistically distinct and potentially disparate parts that add up to a highly readable, relatable, radical treatise that provides many points of entry and fresh thinking on one of the most overexamined subjects of the past few decades.”--Cindy Widner, Austin Chronicle

“Depression succeeds at opening up a public discussion on certain kinds of depression that are often dismissed as trivial, like the stress of academic labour. . . . [C]lear and helpful with a vision for overcoming melancholy through a transformation of everyday life.”--William Burton, Lambda Literary Review


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