Signum Symposium: Mental Health in the Academy

Mental Health in Academia
Dr. Karl Persson and Sørina Higgins will address reasons for the difficulties around discussion of mental health amongst academics, as well as ways we can begin to break the silence and move toward hope.

Speakers

Sørina Higgins
Chair of the Department of Language & Literature
Dr. Karl Persson
Karl Persson
Lecturer; Preceptor
Sparrow F. Alden
Precepting Professor, Hestia of the Hearth, Signum Advisor

Start

September 27, 2018 - 4:00 pm EDT

End

September 27, 2018 - 5:00 pm EDT

Mental illness and scholarship. Juxtaposed starkly, these two terms likely conjure in our minds two deeply contrasting images: the first an image of disorder, madness, and lack of control; and the second an image of precision, reason, and order. What could the two have in common?

In fact, what they do have in common is that the experience of mental illness is increasingly common among students and faculty at institutions of higher education. Further, in addition to being affected by the usual societal stigma surrounding mental illness, the academy is haunted by a vexed and questioning silence particular to university contexts. If the measure of a scholar’s worth is the sharpness of the brain, what can be said when the brain fails to function the way it should? Where then is the scholar’s worth?

In “Beginning the Discussion: Mental Illness and the Academic Enterprise,” Literature Professor Karl Persson, in conversation with Sørina Higgins, will address reasons for the difficulties around discussion of mental health amongst academics, as well as ways we can begin to break the silence and move toward hope.

About the Presenters

Sørina Higgins is Chair of the Literature & Language Department at Signum University and a PhD student at Baylor University. She also serves as Thesis Coordinator and Host of the Signum Symposia.

Dr. Karl Persson has a Doctorate in English from the University of British Columbia, and a Masters’ degree in English from the University of Regina. His area of scholarly interest is premodern literature, with reference to the ways it intersects with theological, philosophical, and sapiential traditions.

Sparrow Alden is a preceptor and student advisor at Signum University. She bravely manages Signum’s online learning platform, Google Classroom, and the Community Hearth. Sparrow has also represented the Signum staff on the Board.

Suggested Reading

Link Round Up: Academia is bad for our mental health, and how to talk about it

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