Emily Walsh, PhD

Hecht-Levi Fellow

Emily Walsh recently graduated with a PhD from the Philosophy department at McGill University. Her dissertation explored how mental illness, marginalization, and memory interact. In particular, her dissertation aimed to illustrate the different ways in which feeling “stuck in time”, whereby an individual feels stuck in a set of beliefs, events, or traumatic memory repertoire, cause individuals to suffer mental distress. She argued that feeling stuck in this way causes one not to be able to see or feel different imaginal possibilities for oneself, which results in several personal and relational harms. She is engaged with several interdisciplinary research groups aimed at tackling the social determinants of mental health and hopes to place memory at the forefront of bioethical questions. As a Hecht-Levi fellow at Johns Hopkins, she will be delving further into the interaction between memory, marginalization, and imaginal possibilities. On the theoretical side, she is interested in exploring what role negative self-regarding attitudes, such as depreciated self-trust, play in sustaining mental illness. On the applied side, she is interested in conducting qualitative research to investigate if vulnerable, marginalized populations, specifically individuals experiencing addiction and homelessness, feel limited in their capacity to envision different kinds of futures for themselves.