Saturday, September 09, 2006
Report from the third DS,TU Meetup
The weather outside may have been dark, but the discussion in the TECH Center at the Disability Studies Meetup was enlightening, and anything but forbidding. We had a group of 8 attend, and engage in a spontaneous and informative discussion of the various genres of literature, and how throughout history impairment and disability has been used in representing cultural values. A particular interest was the interchange between Ann Keefer (Ph.D., SUNY-Buffalo) and Lydia Fecteau (instructure of English at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey). Authors from the 18th century to the present would have been flattered to hear their names dropped with such candor.
Viewing Josh Blue's performance on the NBC reality show Last Comic Standing offered a more populist alternative and more than a few belly laughs. Attendees felt that Blue was well on his way to becoming a recognized comic in maintream American society. Could Blue hold one of the keys to making people in general society more comfortable with the disability experience? Who would have thought laughing about/with impairment would become so hip! What is our world coming to?
Our gastronomic desires were also sated with cheesy pizza from Fame's. After all we recognize that women cannot subsist on art alone.
To further indulge the visual and auditory senses, the evening closed with the recently completed documentary "The Art of Riva Lehrer." The director, Sharon Snyder (a faculty member at the only University to offer a Ph.D. in Disability Studies) draw on a wide range of scholars and artists to comment on this woman's unique vision. Lehrer shares with my other favorite disabled artist Melina Fatsiou-Cowan a magnificent style, capturing impairment in a truthful yet etherial way. Together they are crafting a new mode of framing disability art for the twenty-first century.
Whew, what an exhilarating evening! Carol