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Representations of Health, Embodiment, and Experience in Graphic Memoir
Abstract

ABSTRACT:

This essay focuses on the importance of incorporating graphic memoirs in feminist considerations of health, embodiment, and experience. It argues that graphic memoirs refine feminist engagement with these questions by demonstrating the complexity of embodied health experiences with both visual and written text. Like personal accounts, memoirs, and autobiographical writings on health and medicine, graphic memoirs provide valid and important empirical information for dealing with questions of health and medical questions in medical practice and research. The essay draws on Ellen Forney’s graphic memoir Marbles to illustrate its point, which centers on her experience with bipolar disorder. Embodiment is central not only to Forney’s experience of bipolar disorder, but also to her written and visual narratives; specifically, she emphasizes how the contrasting moods of mania and depression create distinct embodied experiences.