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Notes toward Day 15: On Seeing (and Not Seeing) Disability

Kristin's picture

Day 15: On Seeing (and Not Seeing) Disability

Kickboxing, posted by kjmason

from “Motion Disabled” by Simon McKeown

kjmason: I really loved the way Riva Lehrer’s and the other disability focused artwork made me feel in class. It was a different situation to be invited to fully look at pictures of people with disabilities. As a little curious kid I always wanted to stare at people in wheelchairs or with other physical disabilities, so I guess this new affinity for crip art dates back to that.

I. Course-keeping

sign-up sheet for conferences

essays now due Sunday, Nov.1 at 5 PM, unless your conference is next week, in which case it's due two days after we meet

great images (as above) showing up in the forum; what about music, too?
send Anne songs that occur to you in relation to class topics? 
(trying to keep that popular culture thread going along w/ all else....!)

events this week:
7:30 pm tonight in Ely Room, Wyndham: Carol Rogers,
"On the Front Lines:  A Career in the Philadelphia Department of Public Health"
Carol has been a member of the Philadelphia Women's Health Collective, the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW), the Philadelphia Reproductive Rights Organization, Women Against Sterilization Abuse, and has served on the boards of the Greater Philadelphia Women's Medical Fund, the Elizabeth Blackwell Health Center for Women, AFSCME Local 2187 Executive Board, and the Maternity Care Coalition.

4:30 pm tomorrow in Thomas 224: Frances Negrón-Muntaner,
"'Mariconerias' of State: Mariela Castro, Homosexuals, and Cuban Politics":
"homophobia has now given away to the result of a process of
political 'transformism' through which the Cuban state attempts to modernize itself"

by Fri, 10/30 contact lrescorla for admission to master class in screenplay writing
to be held 4-6 p.m. on Thursday, November 5, 2009, led by Sarah Schenck,
writer and directoor of "Slippery Slope" (comedy about feminism and porn)

For Thursday's class

Gender Outlaw (1995), My Gender Workbook (1997) or Hello Cruel World (2006).
Come to class ready to teach it to those who haven't yet read it:
--in what ways do Kate's books pick up on (challenge, extend?) our
recent conversations about disability, sex and gender?
--what's important, what problematic in these texts?
--what have you learned from reading them?
--what do you want to understand better?
--what do you want to ask Kate Bornstein when she comes next week,
--what do you want to tell Kate?
(these are also the forum questions this week....)


II. Lynda Barry and Drawing the Line: Comics and the Art of Social Transformation

Barry: all about the image

art/the image as having a biological function

making or interpreting an image as drawing on the unconscious as well as the conscious mind

story of treatment for phantom limb pain

other aspects of Lynda Barry's talk and workshop or other portion of the symposium you'd like to discuss?









III. Visibility and Invisibility

" In representing disability, the visualization of impairment, never the functional experience of it, defines the category of disability" (346).

Revisiting Riva Lehrer's Self-Portrait: what does the white space DO?

Invisible disability: what kinds of disability are invisible?

Why do we need a visual marker, visual "proof" of disability or other embodied identities?

Ellen Samuels, "My Body, My Closet: Invisible Disability and the Limits of Coming-Out Discourse" GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 9.1-2 (2003) 233-255. 


"Understanding how images create and recreate disability as a system of exclusions and prejudices moves us toward the process of dismantling the institutional, attitudinal, legislative, and architectural barriers that keep people with disabilities from full participation in the society" (372) 

Four visual rhetorics (from "Seeing the Disabled")

1) the wondrous

2) the sentimental

3) the exotic

4) the realistic

Can you think of others? Do these rhetorics operate in narrative as well as visual representations?

aimee2 aimee7
aimee3 aimee5

photos of Aimee Mullins

IV. Dreaming your essays and an audience

OMG I have no idea what I'm writing about. . .

1) What is the seed of your essay: the image or idea, the knotty problem or unanswered question from which it begins? Stay with the energy and aliveness of this seed.

2) What form(s) might be generative as you grow the essay? How might you play/work with form?

3) How are you working the junctures or disjunctures between sex, gender, and disability? Are you drawing on analogical, additive, hierarchical, and/or intersectional modes of thinking? Others?

4) Make a representation, in words and/or images, of the seed of your essay