Tag Archives: disability

Cripping/Disabling Ethnography: A discussion with Cassandra Hartblay

CrippingEthnographyTHURSDAY, March 12th
2:30 – 4:30 PM

Join SED for a discussion on ethnography and disability co-hosted with the Center for Humanities Research Group Translat(e)ability: Borders, Disability, and Crip Collaboratives. Cassandra Hartblay – a PhD Candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – will present work on the tensions and possibilities of producing ethnographic work in relation to critical disability studies.

Cassandra Hartblay is an award-winning scholar of disability and postsoviet Russia. An ethnographer and cultural anthropologist by training, her work contributes to interdisciplinary conversations in queer/feminist disability studies, global studies, and infrastructure studies. Cassandra’s work on comparative regimes of productivity and dependency, as related to gender, disability, and the welfare state between the United States and Soviet Union in the 20th century, received the competitive Irving K. Zola Award for Emerging Scholars in Disability Studies in 2013. She has also worked as an applied qualitative researcher with the Soros Foundation, contributing to a collected volume on inclusive education in Central Asia. She is a dedicated ethnographer devoted to community engagement, critical praxis, social change, and fostering cross-cultural understanding.

Suggested Reading:
Hartblay, C. (2015). “It’s just for the check mark”: Minimum Requirements, Global Friction, and Inaccessible Accessibility Ramps in Russia. Work in Progress.

Thursday May 1st: Petra Kuppers “Decolonizing Disability, Indigeneity and Poetic Methods”


4:00 PM

Petra Kuppers will discuss her and Neil Marcus’s work in Australia that forms the basis of her article, “Decolonizing Disability, Indigeneity, and Poetic Methods: Hanging Out in Australia.” The essay considers what arts-based research methods can offer to intercultural contact. It offers a meditation on decolonizing methodologies and the use of literary forms by a white Western subject in disability culture. The argument focuses on productive unknowability, on finding machines that respectfully align research methods and cultural production at the site of encounter. It is suggested that participant read the essay in advance of our discussion: Kuppers_Decolonizing Disability, Indigeneity, and Poetic Methods- Hanging Out in Australia

Petra Kuppers is a professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she teaches performance studies and disability studies, and she is on the faculty of Vermont’s Goddard College MFA program in Interdisciplinary Arts. Kuppers is a performance maker and community artist, a witnessing critic and theorist, as well as an educator and a disability culture activist. She is the Artistic Director of The Olimpias, an artists’ collective that creates collaborative, research-focused environments open to people with physical, emotional, sensory and cognitive differences and their allies. Her book about The Olimpias arts-based research practices, Disability Culture and Community Performance: Find a Strange and Twisted Shape, won the biennial Sally Banes Award from the American Association for Theatre Research.  http://www.goddard.edu/people/petra-kuppers

Neil Marcus writes, “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, a severe neurological disorder, 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. 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.