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Pleasure and Disability Justice: Genre, Form, and Praxis

Date and Time: 
Thursday, April 14, 2022. 04:30 PM
Meeting Location: 
Zoom
Workshop: 
Arts + Justice
Meeting Description: 

With Dr. Petra Kuppers (University of Michigan) and Dr. Ellen Samuels (University of Wisconsin-Madison), as moderated by Dr. Roanne Kantor (Stanford University), we ask: how do racialized, gendered, and/or queer bodyminds enable us to reconceptualize pleasure? Attending to the transformative diversity of disability justice work across a variety of genres, disciplines, and forms, we ground our conversation within and hope to collectively explore the notion of pleasure as praxis, disability studies as disability justice. Of course, the two terms are not inherently equivalent: what tensions, affordances, and potential alliances might underlie the relationship between the two terms? Furthermore, in undertaking pleasure as praxis, how might disability justice relate to, challenge, and transform other movements for justice, including but of course not limited to environmental justice, racial justice, and queer liberation? 

This event will be held via Zoom. RSVP to receive Zoom link. >>

The first ten to RSVP will receive a complimentary book by one of the speakers.


Petra Kuppers (she/her) is a disability culture activist and a community performance artist. She is the Anita Gonzalez Collegiate Professor in Performance Studies and Disability Culture at the University of Michigan. She uses ecosomatics, performance, and speculative writing to engage audiences toward more socially just and enjoyable futures. She has been engaged in community dance and disability culture production since the late 80s, and has written on disability arts and culture, medical performances, community performances, somatics and more. Her most recent book is Eco Soma: Pain and Joy in Speculative Performance Encounters (UoMinnesota Press, February 2022, open access), which explores disability culture perspectives on moving in diverse worlds.

Ellen Samuels is professor of gender and women’s studies and English, and founding member of the Disability Studies Initiative at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Her books include Fantasies of Identification: Disability, Gender, Race (NYU Press, 2014) and a crip memoir in verse, Hypermobilities (Operating System, 2021). With Elizabeth Freeman, she co-edited a 2021 issue of South Atlantic Quarterly on “Crip Temporalities.” Her critical and creative writing on disability can be found in academic journals like Disability Studies QuarterlySigns, and GLQ, and literary journals like Copper NickelBrevity, and Colorado Review.  She has received the Catherine Stimpson Prize for Outstanding Feminist Scholarship and two Lambda Literary Awards and is currently working on two new books: Double Meanings: Conjoined Twins and Cultural Resignification and Sick Time: What Chronic Life Tells Us. Find her on twitter @ehlastigirl.

Roanne Kantor’s primary field is global anglophone literature and its relationship to other literary traditions of the Global South. As an assistant professor of English at Stanford University, she also works on the conditions for interdisciplinary research in the humanities, especially literature's interface with medicine and the humanistic social sciences. Kantor is also a translator and the winner of the Susan Sontag Prize for Translation. Before coming to Stanford, Kantor taught at Harvard, Boston University, Brandeis, and The University of Texas at Austin, where she earned her Masters and PhD.

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