Creativity and Mental Health
In 2020 we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the publication of William Styron’s Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness with this online exhibit, and with the accompanying virtual panel discussion on creativity and mental illness. The October panel also coincides with Mental Illness Awareness Week, National Depression Screening Day, and Depression Awareness Month, and recognizes the heightened threat of such illnesses this year in particular, when so many are suffering during these unprecedented times.
This small selection of materials from the extensive papers of Styron himself, as well as the work of other writers, artists, and activists--including Duke students--shows a range of creative responses to mental illness, trauma, and even the burden of everyday stresses, as documented in the Rubenstein Library’s collections.
This online exhibition was curated by Sara Seten Berghausen with the assistance of Meg Brown, Rachel Ingold, Amy McDonald, with thanks also to Yoon Kim, Hope Ketcham Geeting, Holly Ackerman, Michael Daul, and Aaron Welborn, and to the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation for its support.