‘An intimate conversation with readers’
Whynacht graduated with her thesis “‘Citizens of Nowhere’: Diffractive Engagements with Borderline Personality Disorder”. Examining the lived experiences of individuals with borderline personality disorder through arts-based qualitative research, her work built on her understanding of prison abolitionism and prisoner advocacy — issues that, in turn, helped her with the ideas and conversations found in Insurgent Love.
“The book is an intimate conversation with readers, one where I reconcile confusing and conflicting ways I felt about the prison system,” Whynacht says. “It’s a radical acceptance of the mess and incoherence of it all.”
In it, she reassures both herself and the reader that part of the process in grappling with these entangled issues is accepting that if they begin to seem coherent and tidy, you may be off the right track.
“The reality of violence, especially violence from someone you love, is that you have those feelings of affection and fear bound up together.”
Today, Whynacht continues her work as an interdisciplinary scholar and activist focused on mental health, violence and social transformation in her hometown of Halifax. There, she works as an associate professor in the Department of Sociology at Mount Allison University, and director of a new interdisciplinary degree program in health studies, helping students to embrace creative approaches to research methods, just as she has done — and continues to do.