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Janice (Jan) Haaken is professor emeritus of psychology at Portland State University, a clinical psychologist, and documentary filmmaker. From refugee camps, war zones, abortion clinics and mental hospitals to drag bars, dairy farms and hip-hop clubs, her documentary films focus on jobs carried out on the social margins and liminal spaces and work that becomes the focus of public anxiety and controversy.
As a psychologist and documentarian, Haaken weaves historical analyses into rich and vividly drawn landscapes that represent the perspectives of her subjects. Through the lens of psychology, she shows how people carrying out difficult jobs in conflict zones offer important insights on the world around them. Her published work draws on many of her field interviews, including Psychiatry, Politics and PTSD: Breaking Down (New York City: Routledge Press, 2020), which draws on interviews with clinicians working in crisis zones. Haaken has published extensively in the fields of psychoanalysis and feminism, history of psychiatric diagnosis, gender and violence, culture and memory, the psychology of storytelling, and documentary and visual methods.
Feature films directed by Jan:
Necessity: Climate Justice & the Thin Green Line (2022)
Necessity: Oil, Water, and Climate Resistance (2020)
Our Bodies Our Doctors (2019)
Milk Men: The Life and Times of Dairy Farmers (2016)
Mind Zone: Therapists Behind the Front Lines (2014)
Guilty Except for Insanity (2008)
Queens of Heart: Community Therapists in Drag (2006)
Diamonds, Guns and Rice (2005)
Short films directed by Jan:
Walking Conversations (2020)
Being There (2017)
Feminists Walking the City (2015)
Searching for Asylum (2013)
Haaken is a member of Film Fatales, an organization of recognized female directors, and recipient of a number of awards, including the Lena Sharpe Persistence of Vision award at the 2019 Seattle International Film Festival.
Haaken has taught and consulted on documentary storytelling as a Fulbright scholar at Durham University (UK) and as a visiting professor at London School of Economics (UK), York University (UK), and University of Michigan Ann Arbor, and includes students on her documentary teams. She is a programmer and film reviewer for KBOO Community Radio in Portland, Oregon.