My name is A.J. Martin. I’m a writer, an academic, and a feminist, and I’m originally from North Dakota—no, it’s not a myth. I moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2012 to complete my summa undergraduate degree in English literature and gender history. I currently live in the greater Boston area, earning my MA in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Brandeis University. My research focuses on reconsidering the possibility of a gendered history of epilepsy. Alongside my academic pursuits, I am a fantasy writer seeking representation (like so, so many others). I have published short fiction in several publications in a variety of genres, including dramatic fiction, poetry, and non-fiction essays about social justice.
My special interest in epilepsy, academic and otherwise, stems from my personal experience with epilepsy. I was diagnosed with a rare form of genetic epilepsy at the age of eleven. I have experienced and continue to experience direct discrimination and social stigma because of my epilepsy. I have faced these experiences while also dealing with the deeply personal struggle to figure out who I am as a person. Throughout my relatively short life, I’ve collected several moments—both good and bad—detailing what it’s like to live with epilepsy. Because of these experiences, I’ve learned a lot about what it means to have epilepsy and how to manage it.
But…I am human and, therefore, am always subject to failure. Both my failures and successes have taught me invaluable lessons about myself and having epilepsy. Because I value these experiences, I have decided that I want to share these experiences with you.