Grounded in analyses of two graphic memoirs, Ellen Forney's Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me and Allie Brosh's "Depression (Parts One & Two)," this article draws from Sara Ahmed's 2006 book, Queer Phenomenology: Objects, Orientations, Others, in order to theorize the "queer phenomenology" of what gets called depression within many Western psychiatric, medical, and cultural discourses. Arguing that queer desires orient the subject away from (hetero)normative objects (or "happy objects," as Ahmed calls them, because they promise a life of happiness), Queer Phenomenology suggests that the subsequent turn toward queer objects produces feelings of dis-orientation in the subject. Noting the similarities between Ahmed's idea of queer disorientations and my own disorienting experiences of depression, this essay posits that depression similarly constitutes a turn away from"happy objects" andtoward objects which, through their newfound prominence in the depressed person's life, may appear as strange or even queer.


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pp. 96-112
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