Joan Marcus, assistant professor in the Department of Writing specializing in Nonfiction, Fiction, and Children's Literature, has won a Summer Research Grant from Ithaca College’s Center for Faculty Excellence for her upcoming memoir, Avoidant Type.
Professor Marcus’s memoir is a family history framed by research in and her experience with iatrophobia, or fear of doctors. To uncover the source of her phobia, Professor Marcus explores her family’s past, revealing how trauma and mood disorders are passed between generations. “This memoir chronicles my mother’s debilitating anxiety, her use of prescribed antipsychotic medication, and her battle with ALS in the mid-1980’s,” Professor Marcus says. She is hoping to use this grant to research the possible connection between her mother’s medication and ALS. But, she notes, when writing a memoir “you search for answers and when you don’t find the answers, that’s what your memoir is about.”
To dig deeper into her mother’s medical history, Professor Marcus will use her grant to travel to Boston and interview neurologists at Tufts New England Medical Center, where her mother received experimental treatments for ALS.
Congratulations to Professor Marcus!