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Apr 11 2024

dear elia: Letters from the Asian American Abyss: A book event with Mimi Khúc

April 11, 2024

4:30 PM - 6:00 PM


Daley Library 1-470 & Zoom


801 S. Morgan St., Chicago, IL 60607

Register to join on Zoom

Promotional poster: The top of the flyer has a pale blue square in with a band of muted green stretching across the page horizontally. Large dark gray text has the title of the event. To the right is an image of the dear elia book cover, which is light blue and has a photo of a small child on a gray sidewalk facing away from the camera. Below is a photo of Mimi Khúc. On the bottom half of the flyer are icons for captions, ASL, and masking. A wavy-edged green circle announces the book raffle. There is also an event description and a number of logos for the hosts and co-sponsors. A QR code at the lower left leads to the full event website.

What shifts if we recognize how we are all differentially unwell? What is the university’s role in that unwellness? Mimi Khúc’s project, “a plea and a prayer that we all survive,” asks us to move away from individualized, medicalized understandings of wellness to take up understandings that account for the ways racism and ableism structure our unwellness. It asks us to consider “how we can go on living while it hurts,” recognizing the power of community for care and transformation.

Join us for a conversation about Khúc’s new creative-critical, genre-bending book on mental health and a pedagogy of unwellness, dear elia: Letters from the Asian American Abyss (Duke University Press) (preview Chapter 1 here) ! We’re so delighted to welcome Mimi Khúc on her book tour, and in our time together, we’ll learn from the wisdoms the project has generated, reserving a generous portion of our time for conversation and questions.

Please register if you would like to attend via Zoom. (No registration required for in-person attendees.)

Please also join us on Friday, April 12 for Surviving Academic Hyperproductivity: A conversation for instructors with Mimi Khúc!


Book raffle: Get a copy of dear elia! Access Living’s Arts & Culture Project is generously sponsoring copies of the book to be raffled off.

Safety and Accessibility:

  • We are still masking at our events as an accessibility measure for chronically ill/immunocompromised folks and those living interdependently with them. Please wear a mask! We’ll have extras on hand.
  • ASL and CART (live captions) will be provided.
  • The Daley Library has several entrances:
    • Main Doors Facing Quad (East Doors): To the left of the revolving doors there is a single entrance door with a push button. The pushbutton is on the card swipe post on the left side of the door (approximately 3 feet high)
    • Doors facing Morgan (West Doors): In between the two revolving doors there are two single entrance doors. Each door has a push pad located on the brick pillar approximately 7 feet from the door.
  • There are multi-stall restrooms on all floors with a wheelchair accessible stall. These restrooms have automatic door buttons. On the second floor, there is a gender-inclusive, single user ADA restroom. This restroom does not have an automatic door button.
  • UIC is not a fragrance-free campus. To maintain a low-fragrance environment, please refrain from wearing scents to this event.

Please contact DCC with any questions or access requests: or (312) 355-7050.


Hosted by the UIC Women’s Leadership and Resource Center, Disability Cultural Center, and Department of Disability and Human Development.

Co-sponsored by the UIC Asian American Resource and Cultural Center, Global Asian Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, Institute for the Humanities, and Center for the Advancement of Teaching Excellence.

Additional funding provided by the Arts and Culture Project at Access Living, an independent living center for people with disabilities; Shirley Ryan Abilities Lab; and the Disability Culture Activism Lab (DCAL), a teaching lab housed under the department of art therapy and counseling at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The Arts and Culture Project received generous funding from Healing IL: funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services in partnership with the Field Foundation. This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

The Access Living Arts and Culture Project is also supported by a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant number 90RTCP0005). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this program do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, or HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

Date posted

Mar 19, 2024

Date updated

Mar 19, 2024


Mimi Khúc, PhD

Mimi Khúc, PhD, is a writer, scholar, and teacher of things unwell. She is Co-Editor of The Asian American Literary Review and an adjunct lecturer in Disability Studies at Georgetown University. Her work includes Open in Emergency, a hybrid book-arts project decolonizing Asian American mental health; the Asian American Tarot, a reimagined deck of tarot cards; and the Open in Emergency Initiative, an ongoing national project developing mental health arts programming with universities and community spaces.