Composing Disability Conference

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

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.

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).


Composing Disability 2013-2014
"Diagnosis, Interrupted"
Thursday, April 3 - Friday, April 4, 2014

The second installment of this event series, Composing Disability: Diagnosis, Interrupted, is scheduled for April 3-4 2014 in the Jack Morton Auditorium of GW’s School of Media and Public Affairs. This event will offer a series of panel presentations, keynote speeches and performances that take as their focus the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (published May 2013), examining the fraught relationship between the diagnostic work of the medical industry and the embodied lives of disabled people.

Featured Presentations by

Ellen Forney, author of Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me
Ann Cvetkovich, author of Depression: A Public Feeling
Karen Nakamura, author of A Disability of the Soul
Katie Rose Guest Pryal, author of A Short Guide to Writing about Law


Composing Disability 2011-2012
"Writing. Communication. Culture"
Thursday, November 3 - Friday, November 4, 2011

This two-day symposium works to consider some of the ways that disability studies and disability culture are transforming higher education and to assess how academic spaces and programs might be generated to respond to that transformation. “Composing Disability” brings together Disability and Deaf Studies, Writing Studies, Education, and Global Cultural Studies for spirited, collegial dialogue, about the production of disability culture, disability writing and disability representation in and beyond academia today.

Featured Presentations by

Michael Davidson Author of Concerto for the Left Hand: Disability and the Defamiliar Body. Davidson is a Distinguished Professor of Literature at the University of California, San Diego.

Terry Galloway A deaf and queer, writer, performer, and author of Mean Little deaf Queer. Galloway is also the co-founder of Actual Lives, a writing and performance workshop for adults with and without disabilities, and Mickee Faust Club, a performance group responsible for award-winning video parodies.

Merri Lisa Johnson Author of Girl in Need of a Tourniquet: Memoir of Borderline Personality and the editor of Jane Sexes It Up: True Confessions of Feminist Desire. Johnson is the director of the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of South Carolina Upstate.

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