Thursday, November 26, 2015

MATCH: American Sign Language Workshop

“Thou shalt not curse the deaf, 
nor put a stumbling block before the blind"
Leviticus 19:14

On Wednesday, November 18th, 2:30 to 4:30 PM the MATCH Crip/Queer Working Group held a workshop on American Sign Language (ASL) as part of its initiative to increase familiarity with non-verbal forms of communication. The event was led by Samuel Yates and M.W. Bychowski.

The event began with a brief history of how ASL evolved from the French Sign Language system (which used two hands instead of the one handed English model) before it was brought to the United States as part of a new education initiative. The advantages of ASL included the ability to allow members of the Deaf community to communicate with one another while previous models focused on lip-reading, a process which privileges the hearing as the active user of language and the Deaf as the passive recipient. We discussed Deaf and signing culture, the development of local signs and the creation of artistic practices such as Yale's ASL Shakespeare Project.

Next we learned how to sign letters and some basic words. Each of us learned how to spell our names and introduce ourselves: hello, my name is ______. We learned about the role of facial expressions to punctuate and modify signs. Among the signing etiquette we discussed was the how simulcomming can put the emphasis on the language of the hearing, modifying ASL fit into spoken English and breaking the grammatical rules of signing. In the end, we looked through various options for learning more about ASL through college courses, summer intensive language programs, online tools, text-books, and even smart-phone apps. However each of us moved on from the workshop, however, we all gained a better appreciation of the valuable culture of ASL.



Saturday, November 14, 2015

Call for Papers: Composing Disability 2015-2016


Composing Disability 2015-2016
"Crip Ecologies"
Thursday, April 7 - Friday, April 8, 2016


The new abstract deadline for GW's Crip Ecologies conference is October 31.

George Washington University’s biennial Composing Disability Conference returns in Spring 2016 with the theme of "Crip Ecologies." The event will be held April 7-8, 2016; featured speakers include Sunaura Taylorand Riva Lehrer, with others to be announced soon. Crip Ecologies is sponsored by the Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Disability Support Services, the Department of English, the University Writing Program, the GW Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute (GWMEMSI) and the GW Digital Humanities Institute (GWDHI).

We invite proposals for papers and panels for this event. 250-word abstracts for papers and 500-word abstracts for complete panels should be sent by October 15, 2015 to

Deadline for Abstracts: October 31, 2015


Crip Ecologies: This symposium seeks to bring together scholars, artists, advocates, and activists working across the fields of ecocriticism, disability, and queer studies. Our goal is to think through the queer interchanges of environments and bodies in more radical ways. As vulnerable embodied beings that interact with our environments, we experience ourselves and others through a defining porosity: we are not only affected by the places we inhabit, but we also leave our imprint on these locations as well. Marginalized subjects, including disabled people, often experience their lives in greater proximity to environmental threats such as toxicity, climate change, generational exposures to unsafe living conditions due to poverty, militarization, body exhausting labors as in the case of migrant workers, etc. Further, we seek to investigate how non-normative bodies/minds can reframe what it has historically meant to be an environmentalist or "nature lover?” Crip Ecologies will draw out these wanted, unwanted, and even unknowable intimacies with our environments as materials for new trans-historical, cross-cultural, and crip/queer research about human, non-human, organic, and inorganic relationships that mark our experiences in the world.


Possible topics include:

Composing Crip Ecologies
Crip Ecologies and Militarization/War
Crip Ecologies and Art
Crip Ecologies and Localism
Crip Ecologies and Environmental Justice
Crip Ecologies and Food Justice
Crip Ecologies and Farming
Crip Ecologies and Racial Borderlands
Crip Ecologies, Time, and Places
Crip Ecologies and the University
Toxicity, Embodiment, and Uneven Development
Queercrip Bodies in the Global South
Disaster Capitalism, the Environment, Disability
Entanglement Theory
Media Studies and Digital Interfaces
Crosscultural and Transhistorical Worldings
Race, Class, and Environmental Justice
Accessibility and Ecological Backlash
Politics of Racial/Crip/Queer/Trans Spaces
Intersectional Bodies and Policing in Security States
Class and Toxic Exposures under Neoliberalism
Rhetorics of Inclusion/Biopolitics of Exclusion
Non-productive Bodies and Alternative Practices of Everyday Life
Expendable Bodies and Economies of Neglect (Necropolitics)
Crip Mental Health Ecologies

For more information about the Composing Disability series at GW, visit this page on the Disability Support Services website and explore the Composing Disability tumblr site. You can also follow Composing Disability on Twitter (@ComposingDis) or join the community on Facebook.