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Cecilia Morales's picture


omentz's picture

I found this project particularly interesting to read while we're reading Good Kings, Bad Kings and thinking through concepts like institutionalization and infantilization. I appreciate the portion where you talk about the pity/judgment that the performers in the freak show felt towards the audience, because that feels like such an important part of understanding freak shows. I also appreciated your mention of the showing including the Morbidity Museum, and how that's similar to the Mutter Museum in Philly—I've been to the Mutter Museum, and I know there's an ongoing conversation in the disabled community about museums like that, and the tension between the museums portraying disability as something of a horror spectacle, vs the power of seeing bodies like yours in a space. The Mutter Museum also does something similar to Dr. Arden keeping brains in jars in his labs, in that they preserve skull samples/some brain samples for people to see. I remember that many of the samples didn't even have names associated with them—I think some were from people who'd committed crimes, too? So also an interesting thing to consider as we talk about the similarities between places like asylums and prisons. Overall this was a really interesting read, and I appreciate how you brought in the concept of medicalization in different ways.