Angélica Clayton is a PhD candidate in the history of science and medicine department at Yale University who works at the intersection between histories of psychology and histories of the information sciences in the United States during the last half of the twentieth-century. Their dissertation, titled “Traumatic Information: Interpersonal Violence and the Cybernetic Human,” uses critical frameworks from STS, disability studies, critical Black studies and gender and sexuality studies to look at the development of psychological trauma as a concept from the 1960s through the early 2000s. By centering research on interpersonal violence, her project reveals the entangled histories of trauma and cybernetics, questioning the common historical genealogy of psychological trauma and showing how Cold War models of the cybernetic human came to define our methods for recovery and healing from experiences of violence, even to this day. Her work also demonstrates how trauma researchers resisted and therefore revealed the limitations, failures and inadequacies of cybernetics for describing human suffering and therefore representing the human.
Angélica is also interested in representations of psychological trauma, and particularly childhood trauma, in literature and popular media and she is currently working on an article focused on the work of Elena Ferrante, Toni Morrison and Octavia Butler.
Angélica was raised in Seattle, Washington before attending high school in New Hampshire. Before arriving at Yale, she obtained a B.A. in history of science from Harvard University. She is passionate about teaching and serves as a McDougall Graduate Teaching Fellow at Yale’s Center for Teaching and Learning where she has developed and run workshops on disability, class, gender and race in the classroom with her eye towards making more equitable, safe and motivating learning environments for our students.