Cripples, Idiots, Lepers, and Freaks:
Extraordinary Bodies / Extraordinary Minds
Thursday, March 22 – Friday, March 23, 2012
The Graduate Center of the City University of New York
Could disability be, as Susan Wendell writes, “valued for itself, or for the different knowledge, perspective, and experience of life” it gives rise to? This conference seeks to continue—and to expand—conversations about the cultural meanings and possibilities of impairment, as well as the ways that the disabled body becomes a locus for uneasy collaborations and tensions between the social and the scientific.
What critical and theoretical perspectives can be brought to bear on human variations that are, or have been, subject to medical authority or understood as requiring intervention? Emphasizing an interdisciplinary approach to “disability,” we seek papers from graduate students across the humanities (English, art history, music, etc.), social sciences (history, sociology, political science, etc.), and applied fields (law, education, medicine, etc.). We welcome papers on topics ranging from the aesthetics of illness in medieval literature to the politics of disability in South Park, from the cultural fascination with autistic savants to race, impairment, and spectatorship in freak shows.
Please submit 250- to 500-word abstracts to ESAConference2012@gmail.com by December 5, 2011.
ESA Conference 2012
Continue reading »