Emotional Labor, Postnatal Writerly Identity: Postpartum Depression and the Writing Center

Published in The Peer Review July 27, 2020


Although many college students are parents and postpartum depression (PPD) is common post-birth, there is a lack of writing center scholarship on supporting students with PPD. This article fills this gap by offering approaches to defining PPD for consultants and strategies for supporting writers with PPD in the writing center. It also makes visible the intersectional forms of emotional labor that are connected to PPD in the writing center and wider academy, contributing to emergent conversations about the emotional contours of writing center disciplinary labor. The authors take a narrative-based, auto-ethnographic approach in order to challenge stigmas associated with PPD and shed light on how it impacts college writing and working in writing centers. Their stories are grounded in scholarship from feminist theory, trauma studies, critical race theory, medicine, psychology, and neuroscience and build on existing writing center literature on emotionalism, wellness, dis/ability, and disciplinary labor.

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