The Genre of the Mood Memoir and the Ethos of Psychiatric Disability

40 Rhetoric Society Quarterly 479-501, (Issue 5, 2010)

UNC Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1811127

23 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2011 Last revised: 11 Nov 2013

See all articles by Katie Rose Guest Pryal

Katie Rose Guest Pryal

University of North Carolina School of Law

Date Written: April 15, 2011

Abstract

Recent rhetorical accounts of mental illness tend to suggest that psychiatric disability limits rhetorical participation. This article extends that research by examining how one group of the psychiatrically disabled – those diagnosed with mood disorders – is using a particular narrative genre to engender participation, what I call the mood memoir. I argue here that mood memoirs can be read as narrative-based responses to the rhetorical exclusion suffered by the psychiatrically disabled. This study employs narrative and genre theory to reveal mood memoirists’ tactics for generating ethos in the face of the stigma of mental illness.

Keywords: rhetoric, psychiatry, mood disorder, depression, bipolar disorder, genre, memoir, narrative, disability

Suggested Citation

Pryal, Katie Rose Guest, The Genre of the Mood Memoir and the Ethos of Psychiatric Disability (April 15, 2011). 40 Rhetoric Society Quarterly 479-501, (Issue 5, 2010), UNC Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1811127, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1811127

Katie Rose Guest Pryal (Contact Author)

University of North Carolina School of Law ( email )

Van Hecke-Wettach Hall, 160 Ridge Road
CB #3380
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380
United States
919-962-2558 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://katieroseguestpryal.com

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