August 14 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm EDT
Mike Alvarez (IMA ’10, MFAW ’13) will be giving a Keynote presentation on Internet use, suicidality, and online personas/ communities. Alvarez is a two-time Goddard graduate and Communications PhD candidate at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. A suicide attempt survivor, his work challenges the medicalization of so-called mental illness and suicide by centering the individual, their communities, and their search for meaning.
“This presentation seeks to deepen our understanding of the relationship between Internet use and suicidality, by viewing technology not as mere tools, but as extensions of our selves and our communities” -Alvarez.
Current projects include a book based on his IMA thesis titled, The Paradox of Suicide and Creativity; a memoir of his past struggle with suicidal depression and psychiatric hospitalization; an edited anthology on suicide in popular culture; and a dissertation on the Internet’s role in suicidal individuals’ lives. Mike is the recipient of a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship, and his writings have appeared in Cross-cultural Studies, The Awakenings Review, Mason’s Road, Connotation Press, Participations and New Writing, among others.