Cultural/Sane: Immigrant Domestic Violence Survivors, Mental Health, and Logics of Citizenship


Mellon/ACLS Community College Faculty Fellowships


Social Sciences, Human Services, and Criminal Justice


“Cultural/Sane” examines how mental health systems work with the law, particularly criminal and immigration law, to circulate and produce knowledge about race, gender, and violence within and beyond the realm of the legal system. With a focus on the experiences of immigrant domestic violence survivors, this project analyzes the ways that public health policies and practices concerning mental health reflect and shape understandings of citizenship through assessments of “healthy” and “sick” migrants. Based in Queens, New York City, where almost half of the population is foreign-born, this project traces the genealogy of domestic violence as a matter of public health, studies legal cases involving immigrant survivors-defendants to analyze the relationship between mental health systems and the carceral state, and employs ethnographic research to understand everyday implications for racialized migrant communities who may themselves engage public health discourses as they advocate for community safety and wellbeing.