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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Altered Men: War, Body Trauma, and the Origins of the Cyborg Soldier in American Science Fiction

Dr. Sue Smith
Centre for American Studies, University of Leicester

Date: Wednesday 16 November 2011

Time: 2.15pm–3.45pm
Place: Eden 109, Liverpool Hope University 

This CCDS Research Forum will host Dr. Sue Smith’s discussion of the emergence of (and fascination with) the altered human male in American Science Fiction. In particular, the focus will be on the reconstruction of the impaired soldier and Science Fiction texts that coincide with major wars and conflicts in western society. Additionally, Dr. Smith will offer analysis of texts and their significance to disability and gender at the time of their publication, and propose the need for further research in relation to more recent representations of the impaired soldier in Science Fiction. 

For further information, please contact:
Dr. David Bolt
Director, Centre for Culture & Disability Studies
Editor, Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies
Lecturer and Recognised Researcher, Education
Telephone: 0151 291 3346
Office: EDEN 128
Postal address: Graduate School, Faculty of Education, Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool, L16 9JD.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

FROM ASPIRATION TO ARTIST: a conversation about physically integrated dance in Chicago

FROM ASPIRATION TO ARTIST: a conversation about physically integrated
dance in Chicago

Join us!
Wednesday November 9th, 2011
Access Living
115 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60654
5 pm-7pm, 4th floor

In preparation for the auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University's
presentation of AXIS Dance Company on November 19th & 20th, a panel
discussion exploring the state of training and performance for
physically integrated dance--dance that includes both dancers with and
without physical disabilities--will explore:

--The history of physically integrated dance in Chicago
--Training available for young dancers
--Barriers that dancers with disabilities face in the profession
--Best practice for physically integrated dance training
--Critical assessment of physically integrated performances
--Training of educators and choreographers on incorporating dancers
with disabilities into work
--Preparing audience to appreciate the art form

Panelists Include:
Stephanie Clemens, Co-founder and Artistic Director, MOMENTA
Barbara Freeley, Assistant Principal, Christopher School
Larry Ippel, Co-founder and Artistic Director, MOMENTA
Jessica Martin, Integrated dance student and choreographer
Lucia Mauro, Arts writer and dance critic
Mary McAloon, Principal, Christopher School
Elizabeth Millman, Managing Director of the Joffrey Academy, Joffrey Ballet
Citlali López-Ortiz, PhD, MA, Research Scientist, Rehabilitation
Institute of Chicago
Alana Wallace, Founder and Artistic Director, Dance > Detour

Moderator: Carrie Sandahl
Bio: Carrie Sandahl is an Associate Professor in the Department of
Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at
Chicago. She completed a 3-year study, along with
Dr. Carol Gill, on the barriers and facilitators to careers in the
arts for people with disabilities for the National Endowment for the

In partnership with Bodies of Work and Access Living
Special thanks to Ginger Lane

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts
Council, a state agency.
This program is partially supported by a City Arts grant from the
Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

Saturday, November 19 at 7:30pm | Sunday, November at 2:00pm

"There is no more defiant a land that I can think of than AXIS. They
showed me what dance could be"--Bill T. Jones

Prepare to leave all your preconceptions at the door. AXIS Dance
Company, one of the world's most acclaimed and innovation ensembles of
performers with and without disabilities, will change the way you
think about dance and the possibilities of the human body forever.
Founded in 1987, AXIS has become a jewel of the contemporary dance
scene and the disability community. AXIS has paved the way for a
powerful contemporary dance form-physically integrated dance.

Auditorium Theatre,
50 East Congress Pkwy,
Chicago, IL 60605 (800) 982-2787

4 Easy ways to purchase tickets:
Phone: 800.982.ARTS (2787)
Box office: 50 E. Congress Pkwy
Groups 10+: 312-431-2357

Sandie Yi

Graduate Assistant
Bodies of Work: A Network of Disability Arts and Culture

Ph D Student, Disability Studies and Human Development
University of Illinois, Chicago

Personal Artist's Website:

Monday, October 24, 2011

The New Poetry of Disability Comes To New York City


701 Texas Ave.
El Paso, Texas 79901
Phone: (915) 838-1625
Fax: (915) 838-1635

Distributed to the trade by
Consortium Book Sales & Distribution, Inc.

The New Poetry of Disability Comes to New York City
Join us for a reading from the ground-breaking new poetry anthology, Beauty is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability.

Meet editors Michael Northen and Jennifer Bartlett, plus contributors Anne Kaier, Lenore Parker, Ona Gritz, Kathi Wolfe & Jim Ferris! They'll be on hand to read poems and essays from the book and to discuss this challenging and captivating collection.

Where: Bluestockings Bookstore
When: Thursday, November 3 at 7pm
Cost: Free!

Visit the Beauty is a Verb website for more events and info:
Praise for Beauty is a Verb
"This powerful anthology succeeds at intimately showing...disability through the lenses of poetry. What emerges from the book as a whole is a stunningly diverse array of conceptions of self and other.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Probably the most intelligent thematic anthology I’ve ever read."
—Ron Silliman, author of In The American Tree

"Revelatory, provocative, harrowing and bold."
—Molly Peacock, author of The Paper Garden

"This is a sensational, stunning book—one of the best literary collections in a very long time."
—Naomi Shihab Nye, author of Fuel

Beauty is a Verb is available from Cinco Puntos Press. Click here for more info.

Connect with readers of great poetry! Find Beauty is a Verb on Facebook here.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Event : The Future of Disability Studies (Columbia University)

> a project of the Center for the Critical Analysis of Social Difference
> at Columbia University
> presents
> “Disability Studies and Medical Humanities”
> Thursday, October 27, 6-8pm
> Jed D. Satow Conference Room (5th floor), Lerner Hall, Columbia University
> *If you are not a Columbia ID-holder, use campus entrance (see map below) and check in with security guard at desk*
> > Working group meeting and lunch with panelists Friday, October 28, 12-2pm
> 101 Barnard Hall, Barnard College
> > >
> This panel will explore the the conflicts and common ground between two fields that have often been in tension with one another.  Speakers with expertise in disability studies and medical humanities will be asked to share their insights, identifying spaces of possibility where the two might intersect, collaborate, and learn from one another.
> >
> Scheduled speakers include Rita Charon (Director of Narrative Medicine Program, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons), Sayantani DasGupta (Narrative Medicine Program, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons), Rebecca Garden (Bioethics and Humanities, Syracuse University), and G. Thomas Couser (English, Hofstra University)
> Sponsored by the Center for the Critical Analysis of Social Difference, the Office of Disability Services, the Center for American Studies, and the Barnard Center for Research on Women.
> ACCOMMODATIONS: Columbia University makes every effort to accommodate
> individuals with disabilities. If you require disability
> accommodations to attend an event at Columbia University, please
> contact Disability Services at 212-854-2388 at least 5 days in advance
> of the event. A sign language interpreter will be provided at this
> event, and a closed-captioned videorecording will be posted at:
> Campus access maps are available online at:
> If
> you have questions about campus accessibility, please contact
> Disability Services.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


ACCESS LIVING & BODIES OF WORK are pleased to present:

Battle of the Bands

WHEN?  Friday, November 11th, 2011, 6-8 pm
WHERE? Access Living, 115 W Chicago, Chicago, IL

DHF EXPRESS' signature blend of power pop covers and off-beat originals
will make you sweat...but also make you think. These talented musicians
have eclectic tastes and a unique sound and are members of Project
Onward, which supports the creative growth of artists with mental and
developmental disabilities.

The Arts of Life Band
makes danceable party music with a rock edge. It is an ongoing
collaborative project between disabled and non-disabled artists in the
Chicago area, based out of the Arts of Life community of artists.

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts
Council, a state agency; and by a CityArts grant from the City of
Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"...the authentic voices of disability leaders as they reframe the debate on the disability rights movement in America... LIVES WORTH LIVING Premieres on the PBS Thursday, October 27 at 10 PM

 For downloadable images, visit

       Premieres on the PBS Series INDEPENDENT LENS
       Thursday, October 27 at 10 PM During
       National Disability Employment Awareness Month

       Powerful Documentary Chronicles the History of America's
Disability Rights Movement

       While there are over 54 million Americans living with
disabilities, Lives Worth Living is the first television history of
their decades-long struggle for equal rights. Produced and directed by
Eric Neudel, Lives Worth Living is a window into a world inhabited by
people with an unwavering determination to live their lives like
everyone else, and a look back into a past when millions of Americans
lived without access to schools, employment, apartment buildings, and
public transportation - a way of life unimaginable today. Lives Worth
Living premieres on the Emmy(r) Award-winning PBS series Independent
Lens, on Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 10 PM (check local listings) to
coincide with National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

       Lives Worth Living traces the development of the disability
rights movement from its beginning following World War II, when
thousands of disabled veterans returned home, through its burgeoning in
the 1960s and 1970s, when it began to adopt the tactics of other social
movements. Told through interviews with the movement's pioneers,
legislators, and others, Lives Worth Living explores how Americans with
a wide variety of disabilities - including blind, deaf, physical,
intellectual and psychiatric - banded together to change public
perception and policy. Through demonstrations and legislative battles,
the disability rights community finally secured equal civil rights with
the 1990 passage and signing into law of the Americans with Disabilities
Act, one of the most transformative pieces of civil rights legislation
in American history.

       To learn more about the film, and the issues involved, visit the
film's companion website at Get detailed
information on the film, watch preview clips, read an interview with the
filmmaker, and explore the subject in depth with links and resources.
The site also features a Talkback section, where viewers can share their
ideas and opinions.

       About the Participants, in Order of Appearance
       Fred Fay, early leader in the disability rights movement
<>  (1944 - 2011)
       Ann Ford, director of the Illinois National Council on
Independent Living
       Judy Heumann, leading disability rights activist, Co-Founder of
World Institute on Disability
       Judi Chamberlin, Mental Patients Liberation Front, a movement
for the rights and dignity of people with mental illness (1944-2010)
       Dr. William Bronston, former staff physician at the notorious
Willowbrook State School who was dismissed after agitating for change
       Bob Kafka, established ADAPT of Texas, a disability rights
advocacy organization
       Zona Roberts, counselor, UC Berkeley's Physically Disabled
Students' Program and Center for Independent Living, Berkeley; mother of
disability rights pioneer Ed Roberts
       Pat Wright, Former Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund
       John Wodatch, Former Chief, Disability Rights Section, Civil
Rights Division, U. S. Department of Justice
       Jack Duncan, Former Counsel, U.S. House of Representatives
       Mary Jane Owen, disability rights activist, philosopher, policy
expert, and writer
       Marca Bristo, CEO, Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago, former
chair of the National Council on Disability, and leader in the
disability rights movement
       Michael Winter, Former director, Berkeley Center for Independent
       Lex Frieden, Former director, National Council on the
Handicapped (now National Council on Disability)
       Dr. I. King Jordan, President Emeritus, Gallaudet University
       Jeff Rosen, alumni leader, Gallaudet University
       Senator Tom Harkin, (D-Iowa), co-author of the ADA
       Bobby Silverstein, Former Chief Counsel, Senate Subcommittee on
Disability Policy
       Richard Thornburgh, U.S. Attorney General, 1988-1991
       Tony Coelho, Former Congressman (D-California), House Majority
Whip, 1986-1989, author of the ADA
       Justin Dart, leader in the disability rights movement (1930 -

       About the Filmmaker
       Eric Neudel (Producer/Director) has produced, directed, and
edited numerous award-winning films for public television. His many
credits include Eyes on the Prize, AIDS: Chapter One, LBJ Goes to War,
Tet 1968, Steps, After the Crash, The Philippines and The US: In Our
Image, Body and Soul, and more. He was a visiting senior critic and
lecturer in film at Yale University and served as producer, director,
and editor for Harvard University's Derek Bok Center for Teaching and
Learning, and Spectrum Media's program series on the art and craft of
teaching. Neudel was also a photographer and video production
consultant, teaching video production to a team working for the Compass
Project in Malawi. Photographs from his two years in Malawi were
exhibited in the Sandra and Phillip Gordon Gallery at The Boston Arts
Academy in October 2007.

       He also served as story consultant for Row Hard No Excuses, an
award-winning documentary about two middle aged American men who set out
to cross the Atlantic in a rowboat. Most recently he served as a
photographer in Rwanda for The Boston Globe, where he directed,
produced, and edited a companion documentary about the Maranyundo Middle
School, which was built on the site of one of the worst concentration
camps and killing fields in Rwanda.

       About Independent Lens
       Independent Lens is an Emmy(r) Award-winning weekly series
airing Thursday nights at 10 PM on PBS. The acclaimed anthology series
features documentaries and a limited number of fiction films united by
the creative freedom, artistic achievement, and unflinching visions of
their independent producers. Independent Lens features unforgettable
stories about a unique individual, community or moment in history.
Presented by the Independent Television Service (ITVS), the series is
supported by interactive companion websites and national publicity and
community engagement campaigns.  Further information about the series is
available at Independent Lens is jointly
curated by ITVS and PBS; it is funded by the Corporation for Public
Broadcasting (CPB), a private corporation funded by the American people,
with additional funding provided by PBS and the National Endowment for
the Arts.  The series producer is Lois Vossen.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Call for fellows: Disability/Culture practice-based research symposium, University of Michigan

Disability/Culture: UMInDS Spring Conference and Practice-Based Research Symposium
with Wobbly Dance Company (Yulia Arakelyan and Erik Ferguson), Aimee Meredith Cox, Sadashi Inuzuka, Petra Kuppers, Neil Marcus, Ariel Osterweis and Melanie Yergeau. January 31st to February 2nd, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Deadline for applications: Nov. 1st, notification: Nov. 15th.

For our fifth arts-based inquiry symposium we invite scholars and artists to explore together the realm of disability culture(s), the slashes between disability and culture, the connects and disconnects between embodiment, enmindment, aesthetic access, interdependence and community. Professional development, networking, and socialising are also part of this symposium. It is a forum for sharing work by doing work together: running workshops for one another, sharing our queries and insights through practice. Paper giving will not be our main mode of working.

We invite up to five fellows (graduate students, faculty, independent artists and activists) to come together with the organizing team for three days. Before the symposium, a small reading/viewing pack sourced from all participants will be mailed out, to prep us for our time together. During the symposium, each fellow will have one hour to present material and engage the others in practice. We will be in residence at the Duderstadt Video Performance Studio on UM?s North Campus, with multiple performance technologies and innovative tech wizards at the ready. Together, we will work toward a roundtable for the Thursday afternoon University of Michigan Initiative on Disability Studies Spring Conference. The symposium begins at 1pm on Tuesday the 31st, and ends at 4pm on Thursday the 3rd, although you are welcome to stay on for the UMInDS Spring Conference poster session and social, arranged by the UM Allies for Disability Awareness Community Organizing group.

Each invitee will have transport and accommodation costs reimbursed up to $300 dollars. The conference hotel offers rooms for about sixty dollars a night, and we will assist people who want to be hosted by graduate students.

Application Process: please send us a short CV, a sample of your experimental, performative or critical writing, movement practice or visual art, and a brief statement about why you would like to participate. Youtube links are fine. Alternatively, send a DVD or CD with performance or visual arts material, also accompanied by a statement, to the symposium director, Petra Kuppers, University of Michigan, 435 S. State Street, 3187 Angell Hall, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1003,

Deadline: November 1, 2011 Notification: November 15th, 2011

Special Guests:

Wobbly Dance Company (

Yulia Arakelyan is a Russian speaking Armenian born in Baku, Azerbaijan in 1982. She discovered dance in 2002 when she attended a performance by Light Motion Dance Company in Seattle, WA. Nine months later she was on stage, dancing with the company in her first performance. Yulia has been dancing and performing non-stop ever since. From 2004-2005 she trained with CandoCo Dance Company in London, England as part of their Foundation Course in Dance. In 2007, Yulia was the first wheelchair user to graduate from the University of Washington with a BA in Dance. Some of her most influential teachers not in any particular order are: Sheri Brown, Mizu Desierto, Jurg Koch, Miguel Gutierrez, Natsu Nakajima, and Katsura Kan. Yulia has performed with Performance Works NW, Lilian Baylis Studio Theatre (UK), Long Distance Project, Impetus Arts, VSA Vision Gallery, University of Washington, Polaris Dance Center, The Headwaters and Scratch PDX. For the past year, Yulia has been researching her family history and Armenian history. She?s putting all that research into a series of solo and the first solo, Boud-a-getchere (This, too, will pass) was performed at the 1 Festival this past July in Portland, OR.
Erik Ferguson is an anti-virtuoso movement artist living in Portland Oregon. He got his start studying improvisation with Alito Alessi in Trier Germany in 2003 and has performed and taught DanceAbility and contact improvisation throughout the Pacific Northwest, as well as the UK, Oaxaca, and British Columbia. He has most recently studied improvisation with Deborah Hay and Barbara Dilly. He is a perpetual student of Butoh who has studied with various teachers including Akira Kasai, Koichi and Hiroko Tamano, Mizu Desierto and many others. His performances range from storytelling to dance theatre exploring themes of embodiment, gender identity, and extremes of human emotion. Erik is also a practitioner of visual arts including drawing, painting, and printmaking as well as multi-disciplinary pursuits combining art, assistive technology and social networking.
 Based in Portland, OR, Wobbly Dance is a multimedia duo using performance, film, improvisation, digital interaction and visual art to create multi-sensory environments and explore themes on embodiment in the natural world. Currently they are working with choreographer Mizu Desierto on a full length show, Underneath, to be premiered in October 2012.

Sadashi Inuzuka:

Born in Kyoto, Japan, Sadashi Inuzuka has established his career as an installation artist who explores the innovative and poetic potential of clay. He has exhibited, lectured and worked as an artist-in-residence nationally and internationally. He is a professor of Art and Design at the University of Michigan.
?Since 1999, I have led ceramics classes and workshops for individuals who are blind, visually and/or cognitively impaired. My background as a ceramic artist and as a person who is visually impaired made me want to do something about bringing the low vision and sighted communities together through the medium of clay. So the programs began as a way to foster better understanding across physical, cultural, economic, and generational divides through art. For people with disabilities, I believe working collaboratively in ceramics helps independent thinking and working, self-pride and self-respect, social skills and communication.?
?For many years I focused on the physical part of art ? the long hours in the studio, the effort of making large ceramic sculptures. I was absorbed by the demands of the material and found inspiration within my own mental and emotional states while in the studio. Later in my career, as I began to look around me, my work shifted. Still physically involved in making hundreds of elements for large installations, I began to explore my relationship to the larger world and the fragile balance of society and the environment. These installations were intuitive interpretations of pressing issues ? water ecology, invasive species, gene modification. It was during this time that I began to mix traditional materials to new technologies.
In my new work, I have returned to an interest in the body - that my consciousness is connected to my experience of the world through the senses, of form, touch and reflection. My concern for the future of the natural world and society may not be as evident, but it is still there just deeper and less obvious. The inside and outside worlds still meet, and this time my work is that skin.?

Organising team:

Aimee Meredith Cox is a cultural anthropologist and assistant professor of performance and African and African American Studies at Fordham University. Dr. Cox?s research and teaching interests include expressive culture and performance; urban youth culture; public anthropology; Black girlhood and Black feminist theory. She is currently completing a book entitled, Shapeshifters: Black Girls and the Choreography of Citizenship in Post-Industrial Detroit. Shapeshifters is an ethnographic exploration of the performative strategies young black women in low-income urban communities use to access various forms of self-defined economic and social mobility.
Dr. Cox is also a choreographer and dancer. She trained on scholarship with the Dance Theatre of Harlem, toured extensively as a professional dancer with the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble/Ailey II, and is the founder and creative director of The BlackLight Project, a youth-led arts activist organization currently working in partnership with the Sadie Nash Leadership Project.
Aimee is a long-standing Olimpias collaborator, and was one of the co-leaders of the Anarcha Project, which investigated the connections between black culture(s) and disability culture(s) through a focus on slavery medicine and its reverberations in contemporary health care inequalities.

Petra Kuppers is a community artist and disability culture activist, Artistic Director of The Olimpias Performance Research Series, and Associate Professor of English at the University of Michigan. She also teaches on the low residency MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts at Goddard College.
Her academic book publications include Disability and Contemporary Performance: Bodies on Edge (2003), The Scar of Visibility: Medical Performances and Contemporary Art (2007), Community Performance: An Introduction (2007), and Disability Culture and Community Performance: Find a Strange and Twisted Shape (2011), a book that charts many Olimpias performance experiments. A poetry/cross-genre book, Cripple Poetics: A Love Story, with Neil Marcus and Lisa Steichmann, appeared with Homofactus Press in 2008. Her edited work includes, most recently, Somatic Engagement, an collection of artists on the poetics, politics and publics of embodiment (2011).
Currently, she is at work on a series of experiments in fictocritical poetry writing created in response to conversations about disability culture, Aboriginal survivance and art practice, experienced during a fellowship at the Australian National University in fall 2010. Material from this series has appeared in Performance Paradigm, and is forthcoming in Antipodes.
She?s also developing The Olimpias?s current performance series, WEFT, a social somatics/participatory performance action to honor international labor. The current focus is on the industrial production of clothing, and on how our bodyminds make sense of these materials that touch us all the time, and whose origins are often so mysterious or invisible to many of us.
Fragments of WEFT happened in 2011 with the MFA crowd at the American Dance Festival; with people from the AXIS summer intensive at People?s Park, Berkeley, sharing food and actions with homeless people; with community artists in Montreal, Canada; as part of the Dance and Disability roundtable at the University of Washington; and in Gotenburg, Sweden, where the action aimed to highlight affect and emigration, remembering the fact that a third of all Swedes emigrated over the course of 50 years.

Neil Marcus is a performance and visual artist, and poet. "Disability is an art ? an ingenious way to live." This award-winning playwright, actor, poet, and performance artist earned national acclaim when he crafted his experiences as a man living with dystonia, into a powerful staged work. Storm Reading, first produced in the late eighties, challenged audiences to reevaluate conventional ideas about disability and set a standard for performing artists with disabilities, and for performance access technologies. Voted one of Los Angeles? top ten plays of 1993, it enjoyed a nearly decade-long run. Since then, Marcus? passionate stance toward life has infused his artistic choices. Believing that "life is a performance," he has cast his creative net wide, participating in a range of diverse projects.
In 2008, he published Cripple Poetics: A Love Story, with Petra Kuppers and Lisa Steichmann, and circled the globe performing from this book, to audiences at disability arts festivals, poetry centers, universities, community centers and Centers for Independent Living. His current book, Special Effects: Advances in Neurology, appeared in 2011 with the Portland Publication Studio.  More than a document of the early days of the disability rights movement, the book is also a window into California zine culture of the 1980s. Art in revolution: social justice, the human growth movement, art in the everyday. From flourishing dystopia to speech storms, Neil documents living artfully in Berkeley, California, and in Disability Country.
In 2011, Neil choreographed a videodance on Richard Chen See, an ex-Paul Taylor dancer, and he's currently working on a piece on the relationships between jazz aesthetics and speech difference.

Ariel Osterweis is Assistant Professor of Dance at Wayne State University. This fall, Osterweis earns her Ph.D. in Performance Studies at the University of California, Berkeley (dissertation: ?Body Impossible: Dynamics of Race, Sexuality, and Virtuosity in the Dance of Desmond Richardson?). Osterweis? writing has been published in Dance Research Journal, Women and Performance: a journal of feminist theory, e-misférica, In Dance, Dancer Magazine,Studio: The Studio Museum in Harlem Magazine, and is forthcoming in TDR/The Drama Review and Mediated Moves: A Popular Screen Dance Anthology (published by Oxford University Press). In addition to writing at the intersection of race, gender, virtuosity, and performance in the U.S., Osterweis also researches contemporary geo-choreographic practices in West and Central Africa. She has also co-organized conferences at UC Berkeley on dance and disability and African and Caribbean performance.
Osterweis danced professionally in New York with Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Heidi Latsky Dance, Homer Avila, and Mia Michaels R.A.W., among others. She has also choreographed works based on pregnancy, doubling, and the experimental ?Drawing Poems? of Robert Grenier. Most recently, Osterweis has been theorist/dramaturge for performance artist Narcissister, working with issues of race, feminism, and the explicit dancing body.

Melanie Yergeau is an assistant professor of English at the University of Michigan. A recipient of the 2009 Kairos Best Webtext Award, she researches how disability studies and digital technologies complicate our understandings of writing and communication. She has published in College English, Disability Studies Quarterly, Computers and Composition Online, and Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy. Additionally, Melanie is an editor for Computers and Composition Digital Press, an imprint of Utah State University Press. Along with John Duffy, she served as a guest editor for the Summer 2011 special issue of DSQ on disability and rhetoric.
Melanie is also a disability rights activist. She is a member of the National Advisory Committee of the Autism NOW Center, a joint initiative of the Administration on Developmental Disabilities and The Arc. Additionally, she serves as the board chair of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), and formerly directed its Central Ohio chapter. During her time with ASAN, she has organized several protests against Autism Speaks and its lack of Autistic representation, its support for eugenics, and its ableist advertising practices.
Currently, Melanie is working on an academic book project that explores autism and its construction as an arhetorical condition. She blogs semi-regularly at


New books!
Disability Culture and Community Performance: Find a Strange and Twisted Shape, on Olimpias practices (Palgrave, August 2011)
Somatic Engagement, an edited collection of artists on the poetics, politics and publics of embodiment (Chain Links, October 2011)

Petra Kuppers
Associate Professor
English, Art and Design, Theatre, Women's Studies
Faculty Affiliate, Matthai Botanical Gardens
University of Michigan
435 S. State Street
3187 Angell Hall
Ann Arbor
MI 48109-1003
mobile: 734-239-2634
Artistic Director of The Olimpias

ASL/Deaf Studies position at University of Virginia

Hi everyone,

The following position just became open at the University of Virginia.  I would appreciate your help in spreading the word to anyone who might be qualified & interested in applying.

The University of Virginia is located about 2 1/2 hours southwest of Washington, DC.  More information about U.Va's ASL program can be found at <>.




The American Sign Language Program at the University of Virginia invites applications for a three-year (9 month, non-tenure-track) Lecturer position, with chance of renewal, in ASL and Deaf Studies. The appointment begins August 25, 2012. Applicants may work in Anthropology, Education, History, Linguistics, Psychology, Sociology, or a similar field. The teaching load is three courses per semester; candidates should be prepared to teach advanced ASL language and Deaf Studies courses, with the opportunity to design new courses related to their general fields. The successful candidate will be expected to enhance the University's rigorous ASL Program and perform appropriate university, professional, and community service.


An earned doctorate in hand by August 25, 2012 and native or near-native ASL skills. Demonstrated theoretical or interdisciplinary interests are desirable. Candidates should be familiar with current Deaf Studies scholarship and have extensive experience with the Deaf community. Experience teaching ASL on the college level, familiarity with VISTA Signing Naturally curriculum, and American Sign Language Teaching Association (ASLTA) certification preferred.

The University of Virginia provides reasonable accommodations under the ADA.

To apply, qualified candidates must submit a Candidate Profile through Jobs@UVa (; search on posting 0608694 and electronically attach the following: Cover letter of application, CV, and the names and contact information of three references.

Review of applications will begin December 1, 2011; however, the position will remain open until filled.

Questions regarding the position should be directed to:
Christopher Krentz, Director
American Sign Language Program

Questions regarding the application process in Jobs@UVa should be directed to:
Anne Zook

The University of Virginia is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Deaf people, women, minorities, veterans, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Christopher Krentz
Associate Professor of English and ASL
Director, American Sign Language Program
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 400808
219 Bryan Hall
Charlottesville, VA  22904-4808
(434) 924-6692 (voice: leave message)
(434) 566-0213 (VP)
(434) 924-1478 (fax)
ASL website:

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Disabled and interested in self-publishing a book? Then read this article by Terry Tracy


 The Media is paying attention to self-published authors

I came to self-publishing by accident.  I wrote a novel, A Great Place for a Seizure, with the plan  to  find a literary agent and a publisher.  Several rejection letters later I decided to be strategic and attempt to win an endorsement for my manuscript from organizations that could attest to the value of a novel that gives a well-rounded account of life with epilepsy.  I have epilepsy.  I wanted another portrayal of a life with epilepsy in the public, not the same old story focused on the difficulty of survival and tragedy, but an engaging story that captured readers' attention with a gripping plot and fascinating characters. 

I sent the manuscript to organizations that worked to improve the lives of people with epilepsy and  I received no response to my requests for an endorsement.  An optimist by nature, nurtured by two cock-eyed optimist parents, I decided that I would make the manuscript look like a real book, a “prototype” to prove to the epilepsy organizations that it was worthy of an endorsement. 

I took the process seriously.  In addition to the price of self-publishing, I spent a few thousand dollars on getting the opinion of professional readers  (authors who offer advice for a fee) whose sole job was to criticize my manuscript and rip it apart.   I went through more than 20 drafts.  I also had the manuscript copy-edited and proofed four times.  The self-publishing house that I used offered an immediate link to Amazon and put the book on sale.  As I began to see book sales and read my reviews I realized that I might have published a book, not just a “prototype.”  That was when I decided to get serious, to learn about marketing.  One day I realized that I needed to supplement my knowledge, learned from Internet and books, with real life experience.  I attended a book reading within a month of my book going on sale because  I wanted to see how they worked.  

I arrived early to get a chance to talk with the author and stayed a while afterward and asked her for advice.  Then she started asking me more questions about my novel. At the end of our conversation she asked me if I would be willing to be interviewed as part of a series that she is producing for BBC radio on 60 authors, established and new. Those 59 other authors include J.K. Rowling and Dan Brown.  I made it clear to her that I was self-published but she was still interested, which took me by surprise.  

LESSON LEARNED:   The stigma of self-publishing as a sign of a writer's failure is a view that is fading.  Self-published authors are being perceived as innovative pioneers willing to challenge the system. If a self-published author has a book with a worthwhile message, the big, traditional media is willing to listen because right now, being self-published IS the story.  
As self-published authors, we are an essential element of a revolution that is changing the publishing industry. The fellow revolutionaries include:  Amazon, e-books, print-on-demand self-publishing houses and book bloggers.  Self-published authors are reaping the benefits of increased market accessibility as a  result of Amazon, the easy availability and increased readership of e-books, the flexibility of print-on demand, and the influence of grassroots book-bloggers who hold as much, if not more, power over the market than traditional literary critics.  
      Not only am I excited to have accidentally found myself on the side of the revolutionaries, but I realize that big media is taking self-publishing seriously.  The revolution is being broadcast. We are not pariahs.  If you have a message worth listening to and if the quality of the book makes it worth reading, there will be journalists and editors in the established press who are willing to give you the attention.  Here are some recent examples of self-published authors celebrated by the media.

·        In June, Amazon released a press statement announcing that John Locke is the first self-published author to join the “Kindle Million Club” after his sale of 1.010,370 e-books.
·        A British newspaper, The Guardian (June 24)  reported how GP Taylor, sold his motorcycle to pay for self-publishing his children's novel Shadowmancer.  His success with that book led to a deal with a major publishing house.  Taylor is now a New York Times bestselling author, who has been making a living as a writer for 8 years. The story in The Guardian reported how he's turning back to self-publishing.
·        On June 29 the Huffington Post reported on Amanda Hocking, a young woman who began self-publishing in April 2010.   Her nine books have sold a combined total of one million copies.

The media is willing to look and report on what type of books are being published on the other side of the wall, the books that the traditional publishing houses decided were not worth the gamble.
Some self-publishing manuals will tell you to try to hide the fact that you are self-published when you are marketing. I think we should be honest and open about self-publishing.  Don't let the fact of being self-published hinder your pride in your book, nor your press strategy. 
I now see the earlier rejection of my manuscript as a blessing in disguise. I am earning more per book than authors who  have gone with traditional publishers.  I am reaching my audience because I am in charge of my own marketing strategy. Finally, I am exhilarated to be part of this revolution that is self-publishing. I think we are engineering a  massive shift in the publishing industry that will put the power of choice back in the hands of readers and writers.

Terry Tracy is the author of  A Great Place for a Seizure. Terry has worked as a human rights activist, journalist, and U.S. diplomat. In 2007 she wrote the charter for an association of employees with disabilities in the U.S. State Department. Tracy has lived with epilepsy for more than 25 years. Currently, she resides in London with her family.

A Great Place for a Seizure is available in paper-back and e-book on

Documentary filmmaker and Academy Award nominee Alice Elliott will visit the University of Northern Iowa Oct. 24-25 and screen her two acclaimed works

Documentary filmmaker and Academy Award nominee Alice Elliott will visit the
University of Northern Iowa Oct. 24-25 and screen her two acclaimed works.
The Academy Award-nominated film The Collector of Bedford Street will screen
 in the Lang Hall Auditorium (Lang 117, located on Wisconsin Street) on
Monday, Oct. 24 at 8 pm. On Tuesday, Oct. 25, Elliott will host a screening
of Body and Soul: Diana and Kathy at 8pm, in the Center for Multicultural
Education (CME 109, also on Wisconsin Street) in the upper level of the
Maucker Union.  A Q&A session will follow both events.

Elliott is the inaugural visiting filmmaker in the William and Stephanie
Clohesy Documentary Film Series.  The goal of the series is to bring
America's most distinguished documentary filmmakers to UNI.  The series is
sponsored by the UNI Department of Communication Studies, and directed by
David O'Shields, filmmaker-in-residence and adjunct instructor in the

The Collector of Bedford Street is a 34-minute documentary about Alice's
neighbor, Larry Selman, a community activist and a fundraiser who has an
intellectual disability. When Larry's primary caregiver becomes unable to
care for him, his New York City neighborhood community rallies together to
protect his independent lifestyle by establishing an adult trust fund in his
behalf.  The Collector of Bedford Street was nominated for an Academy Award
in 2002. It was screened over 70 film festivals, was shown on the cable
channel Cinemax, and won 18 awards.

Body & Soul: Diana & Kathy is a true story about two life-long friends who
have made their home in Springfield, Illinois. Diana drives, cooks, shops,
and has been Kathy's personal assistant and friend for the past 35 years.
Remarkably, Diana has Down Syndrome, a genetic condition that gives her one
extra chromosome and a lower IQ. Kathy on the other hand is 61, has a degree
in English, but is non-verbal, and has had cerebral palsy since her birth.
As part of their ongoing activist efforts to demystify disability, Diana and
Kathy invited Alice into their home over a period of five years to create
their film, Body & Soul: Diana & Kathy.  The documentary was screened in a
number of film festivals, and was shown on PBA in 2009.

These events are free and open to the public and we hope that you will join

With warm regards,


Rachel Gordon

Outreach Director

Welcome Change Productions

107 Bedford Street, upper one

New York, NY  10014

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

African American Men with Disabilities in Hollywood Movies: Controversial Clips from an Unexpected Trend

African American Men with Disabilities in Hollywood Movies:
Controversial Clips from an Unexpected Trend

October 20th, 4:30 to 6:00 pm
DHSP Building, Room 166
1640 W Roosevelt Road, Chicago

Hollywood has been using disabled characters in movies for over 100
years. Yet, it's only in the past 20 years that disability culture
activists have been thinking seriously about how these films are
shaping the way the public sees disability, as well as how disabled
people see themselves.

Join us for a free viewing and lively discussion of film clips that
portray African American men with disabilities such as Home of the
Brave, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Bone Collector, the Soloist, The
Green Mile and more.

This evening's discussion will ask:

How do disability, race and gender imagery work together toward
forwarding a white liberal political agenda during the civil rights
era and today?

What are the pitfalls of these representations?

Do they contribute to or detract form social change?

RSVP either online here or to Aly Patsavas at

This discussion will be filmed, but you do not need to appear on camera.

Sign Language Interpreter, Captioning and Narrative Description will
be provided.

This program is made possible in part by a grant from the Illinois
Humanities Council, The National Endowment for the Humanities and the
Illinois General Assembly.

Co-Sponsored by the Disability Resource Center

Facebook Event Page

Thursday, October 6, 2011

THE NOVELORY Q&A with Terry Tracy author of A Great Place for a Seizure

Q&A with Terry Tracy 
author of  A Great Place for a Seizure

On the cover of your book you have the title,  A Great Place for a Seizure and underneath it,  “a novelory.” What is a novelory? 

I fused the words  “novel” and “short story” to create the term “novelory.”  I define a novelory as a series of linked stories that may stand by themselves as individual tales and/or come together as a novel, when read in sequence.

That sounds like an “episodic novel.” What is the difference between an episodic novel and a  novelory?

I don't think there is a difference, for now.   The narrative novel is the traditional novel and accepted as the norm, not just a type.  There is the genre of the novella, which is distinguished from the novel only because it's shorter.  Why isn't there a unique term, not just an adjective, for a  piece of writing that has a fundamentally different structure than what the world has come to accept as a novel?   

Why do you create a term like novelory if the concept is already contained in the term 'episodic novel”

Honestly,  I don't think that the term “episodic novel” is well-known to most readers. As a consequence there is confusion and criticism about a jolted story-line that interrupts the readers' enjoyment and the authors' intent to tell a tale.  Most readers expect a narrative novel, because most novels are narrative and the narrative is seen as the norm. When those readers pick up an episodic novel it can be a frustrating experience.  Identifying a piece of writing as a “novelory” is an attempt to clearly define this way of writing as a particular genre.  The term 'novelory' is a road sign and readers, glancing at the cover, can immediately decide whether they want to go down that route. For some reason even though the term 'episodic novel ' exists it's treated as a sub-genre.  By denoting a book as a 'novelory'  the reader can spend time interpreting, understanding, and criticizing the book for what it is and not getting caught up in frustration over a structure that is actually intended. 

Why did you write an episodic novel or “novelory” as you call it  vs. a traditional narrative novel?

For me, an episodic form of story-telling is an ideal way to portray life with epilepsy.  The reason is summed up in the  prefix “epi” from  episodic and epilepsy. “Epi” is Greek and means “upon.” The notion behind the use of “epi” in the word epilepsy was to a explain the seizure.  Many ancient cultures, and some today, believed that a seizure occurred when an other worldly power fell upon and possessed the individual.  In the root epilepsia, “lepsis means to “to grasp or seize.”

An episode is an outstanding incident.   The occurrence suddenly falls “upon” the course of normal events and is contained (has a beginning, middle and end) inside a larger story.  Both terms, episode and epilepsy, presume an event taking place within a continuing story-line.  

As an epileptic I can tell you that seizures have that effect of suddenly falling “upon”  your life.  Not only does the episode of a seizure have a physiological beginning, middle and end (losing consciousness, convulsions, gaining consciousness)  it also has a setting.  There are physical surroundings to a seizure.  It happens at a particular time.  The witnesses have thoughts and feelings and they act upon them.  The epileptic is engaged in an activity before a seizure occurs (watching a movie, driving, or holding a baby).   All of these elements inform a potential story-line of that episode of an epileptic seizure.  In fact “episode” is also a medical term. Neurologists use it to refer to a specific seizure. 

So the subject of your novel, epilepsy,  is linked to the style in which you wrote it?

Yes, but the book is not just about epilepsy.  Fundamentally A Great Place for a Seizure,  a story about identity, seen through the lens of epilepsy and disability. For me, the episodic format is also a good way to treat the issue of disability in a novel.  So often the presumption is that a disability is the sum of a person's life. That is false. A person is so much more than the disability they have.  Life goes on.  There are mean bosses, foods that you don't like, friends that you love, movies you hate, friends you loose,  dogs that bite, inspiring teachers, baptisms, bar mitzvahs, high school musicals, Thanksgiving, road-trips, funerals, snow days, a first kiss and the list goes on.  There are so many more life experiences that are unrelated to the disability and a person with a disability lives them just as much as those without a disability.  That is why the episodic novel is also ideal for demonstrating this element of life with a disability and that is:  the parts of life without the disability.  There are parts of my book where, if you're looking for how the main character is relating to her disability in that particular incident, you won't find it.   Why?  Because it's not there. The disability is irrelevant. There is a minor character who is interacting with the main character in the novelory short story and it's not about the disability.  A narrative novel format would force me to weave the disability into the characters' relationships and circle around that theme.  In a  novelory I can have characters come in and out and she can relate to them in ways that are linked to her disability or not linked at all.   A disability is part of an individual, not all of the individual.   Undoubtedly, better writers could have made the same point in a narrative novel but the 'novelory' treatment served me best.

So if I take on this idea of a “novelory,” then what's the difference between a classic short story and a short story inside a novelory?

In some instances a short story inside a novelory may be very tight and perfectly contained. Those are written in the classic “short story” format.   In other instances, for the sake of the flow of the overarching tale, another short story in a novelory might not be as taut.  The purpose of those novelory short stories is to tie one story to the next.  One analogy would be a charm bracelet.  Some novelory short stories are like little gems and trinkets that can each dangle and dazzle on their own.  Other stories are like the links in the chain that hold the novelory together.

Can you point to some examples of novelories?

In my opinion anyone who identifies a book as an “episodic novel” has just called it a “novelory” by another name.  I do not have the right to label contemporary novelories. But, if I were to take license with works that are classics, to the point that they virtually exist in the public domain, then I would point to  The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, To Kill a Mockingbird and The Sound and the Fury. In fact these three raise more questions.  Are there different types of novelories? Is a novelory always a “bildungsroman,” that charts the characters' maturity and ethical development? Could another type be a story told from a variety of  perspectives.  The same events as seen through different facets, different character perspectives, like a gemstone.  So is The Sound and the Fury a  “gemstone novelory” and the other two are “bildungsroman novelories”?   This is what happens when you wall off a concept.  An isolated area can become fertile ground to identify, design, and create.  Separated from the prevailing majority it is not overwhelmed or seen as a mere alternative, but instead an entity that deserves variations.  The very existence of a term to denote a separate genre can be a catalyst for creativity.

What do you say to people who think the coining of the term “novelory”  is just a gimmick.

Maybe it is, but that doesn't mean it's not true. It's an honest proposition for people to consider and to disagree, refute, and ridicule or to acknowledge, agree, and refine. In short, I think the “episodic novel”  should not treated as a sub-species of the novel, but as a genre unto itself, a novelory.