From Wine Moms to QAnon: The Harms inflicted by White Women’s Wellness Culture
Session type: 

This panel historicizes the harms leveled by the white middle class’s  appropriation of Audre Lorde’s investment in self-care. More specifically, we consider how aspirational white “wellness” culture has emerged as a force that obscures the violence embedded in individualism, neglects collective trauma, and negates the possibility of collective solutions. Inspired by Kyla Schuller’s observation that the ease with which women’s wellness culture “presents capitalism as the deliverer of equality” prevents us from grappling with how “capitalism is actually a chief engine of social harm.”We seek papers that explore how wellness/lifestyle/self-improvement culture—broadly defined from the nineteenth century to the present day, exerts a discipline that narrows the radical possibilities of what carework could mean, either for oneself, one’s family or for one’s community.

Please send a cv. and a 250 word abstract to Anna Mae Duane (anna.duane@uconn.edu) and Beth Marshall (elizabeth_marshall@sfu.ca) by January 25th.

Some possible topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • Contemporary “lifestyle” feminism and self-help
  • Carceral feminism (suggest cut this b/c next one includes caretaking
  • QAnon and wellness culture 
  • The carceral logic of caretaking
  • The affective vocabulary of wellness, then and now
  • Viral self-care, TikTok, and pandemic parenting 
  • Wine moms and commodified resentment
  • Temperance movements from the 19th century to the present day
  • “Feeling right” and he affective economy of antislavery humanitarianism
  • Black twitter and the Karen phenomenon
  • Pets and emotional well-being
  • Caretaking and the Youtube Family
  • Disability and  “wellness” culture
  • Affect, race, and the labor of school volunteerism
  • Lockdowns, homeschooling, and the reworking of the public sphere 
Current contributors: 
Anna Mae Duane
Beth Marshall
Panel contact: