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Not an Elegy: An Oral History of our Opioid Reckoning

Opioid Reckoning Event Image

 

Not an Elegy:
An Oral History of our Opioid Reckoning

Monday, November 15, 2021
12:30 pm

Online via Zoom and
In Person | Brazos Hall

Advanced Registration Required

 

In the midst of this COVID pandemic, another set of communities have also been traumatized by a rise in overdoses and opioid related deaths.  Amy Sullivan, a medical humanities and oral history specialist, has focused on the family and care-giving connections that help people with addiction issues persist.  Through extended interviews and case-studies with staff, family and people with addiction issues, Sullivan identifies an alternate lived morality in these care networks, one focused on harm reduction and damage mitigation, and slowly becoming a practice in rehab, parenting and care-giving efforts.  Her book, Opioid Reckoning: Love, Loss and Redemption in the Rehab State brings these difficult lives, their policy connections and her carefully crafted oral histories into our public sphere.


Amy SullivanDr. Amy C. Sullivan (Macalester College) focuses her work on women, children, trauma, drugs/addiction and the history of medicine. Her book, Opioid Reckoning: Love, Loss and Redemption in the Rehab State (University of Minnesota Press, 2021) centers the voices and experiences of family members, physicians, social workers, treatment specialists, and harm reduction advocates. She is currently at work on a second book project about the legacy of trauma after the 1977 Girl Scout murders in Oklahoma. Using oral history interviews she conducted, the project recasts the tragedy from the perspective of survivors, mostly girls and young women at the time, to explore the life-span of trauma on individuals and their communities for decades afterwards.

Dr. Sullivan taught in the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies department at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse from 2002-2011 and served as program director of the department’s Self-Sufficiency Program, a one-semester college prep course for low-income parents. She received her Ph.D. in History from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2013.