Dr. Julie Minich: “Radical Health: Justice, Care, and Latinx Expressive Culture.”

Abstract: This talk addresses the overlaps between disability studies, Latinx cultural studies, and the health humanities, positing Latinx expressive culture (literature, film, and visual art) as an archive through which we might reimagine contemporary health politics in the United States. Although the field of disability studies has had a fraught relationship to the concept of health due to its associations with the medical-industrial complex, Latinx writers and artists concerned with questions of health equity provide an opportunity to reexamine how concerns like access and accommodation are mobilized in the field. The first half of the talk outlines how Latinx cultural workers engage with ideologies of health, critiquing individualist framings of health that treat it as the result of personal choices and behavior, and assert an ethic of radical health that reconceptualizes wellbeing as a communal responsibility. The second half of the talk engages with Karla Cornejo Villavicencio’s recent nonfiction book The Undocumented Americans (2020) to consider the act of writing as a vehicle for reimagining access, care, and wellbeing.

The first video is Dr. Minich’s general speaker series talk. The second is the video for the Writing Center @ MSU staff meeting discussion.


Julie Avril Minich is Associate Professor of English and Mexican American & Latina/o Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, where she teaches courses on disability studies and Latinx cultural studies. She is the author of Accessible Citizenships: Disability, Nation, and the Cultural Politics of Greater Mexico (Temple University Press, 2014), winner of the 2013-2014 MLA Prize in United States Latina and Latino and Chicana and Chicano Literary and Cultural Studies.