Ill Theory Documents Where Theory And Practice Collide For Young People of Color

Rachel’s Team Pick:

Usually, we make a division between theory and practice. The former is only useful up to a point, but then we have to get up and do something, no? But then again, if anyone understands the importance of theory to practice, it’s queers. We understand that even if we don’t fully understand all the words Judith Butler ever wrote, they’re instrumental in why we feel so good wearing suspenders or a fitted cap on our nights out, or why it hurt so much when our mother responded to us coming out by desperately buying us a dozen sundresses. Theory is different from real life, but it helps us figure out how to live. Which is why I’m so excited about ill theory.

ill theory is an original web series documenting critical thought as processed by young people of color regarding various relevant social issues. these topics range from identity representation in mainstream media, to dating culture, sexual violence, and education among many others.

The theories that academics toss around about marginalized people, people of color, identity, and community are often not accessible to the people who actually are marginalized, of color, poor, or struggling with identity all on their own. They’re often the subject of discourse, without being allowed to enter into the discourse themselves. So anything that allows young marginalized people to make critical discourse their own can only mean good things for the way we think and the way we live. And hey, if you’re someone who finds theory boring or alienating? It’s a webseries! It’s like TV! How can you say no?

The first two episodes both have to deal with the election, which you’re probably pretty into right now. The first episode, ill politricks, was filmed before the election; the second episode will be posted afterwards as a reaction to the results. I can’t wait to see what they’ll talk about next.

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Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. Really interesting. But could they put the volume of the voices up and the background music down just a little? (Might be my shitty speakers but occasionally I can’t hear them!)

  2. This is awesome. Tumblr has A LOT of current, relevant discourse going on that you’re just not going to find in a college setting and I’m really glad to see that it’s reaching other parts of the interwebs and getting recognition for what is it – praxis. I’m not sure about everyone in the video because I haven’t been on tumblr recently, but I know Hannah has a great blog full of amazingness and you should go read it if you don’t already.

  3. Hey! I’m glad so many of you like what we’re doing! Audio issues are our fault, not yours – but part two won’t have any of those problems! Thanks so so much for the support!

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