Full Schedule

Monday, Dec. 2, 2019

10 a.m.–noon. Informational Poster Session from Local Organizations

Grab a bite at the student center and join our local organizations to learn more about their accessible and inclusive programs and services and network. The poster session is sponsored by MACA (Michigan Alliance for Cultural Accessibility).

12:15–12:30 p.m. Welcome

12:30–1:45 p.m. Keynote #1

Petra Kuppers is a disability culture activist, a community performance artist, and a Professor at the University of Michigan. She leads The Olimpias, an international performance research collective. Her most recent monograph is Theatre & Disability (2017). Her previous books engaged disability performance, medicine and contemporary arts, disability culture, and community performance. Her current research focuses on eco-somatics. She lives in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where she co-creates Turtle Disco, a somatic writing studio.

1:45–2 p.m. Break

2–3 p.m. Concurrent Sessions #1

  • Room A. Exploring Disability Aesthetics and Inclusion at UCLA's Dancing Disability Lab. 

Panel Discussion

Presenters: Victoria Marks, an Alpert Award winner, Guggenheim and Rauschenberg Fellow, and Fulbright Distinguished Scholar, has been making dances for stage and film for the past 38-ish years. Victoria is a professor at UCLA and serves as Associate Dean in the School of Arts and Architecture, and as the Chair of UCLA’s Disability Studies minor.  Most recently she led the Dancing Disability Lab at UCLA, a gathering of dance artists who worked together to challenge “ability paradigms.”

Bailey Anderson studied disability at the intersection of dance pedagogy, performance, and feminist theory at CU Boulder. Bailey’s work has been presented at the Minnesota and Philadelphia Fringe Festivals, the Canadian Society of Dance Studies, and the Age of Forgetfulness Symposium in London, England. As a fellow at the New York Public Library, Bailey developed a project on Disability Aesthetics in Early American Modern Dance. Bailey is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Ursinus College.

Maggie Bridger is a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Department of Disability and Human Development. Her research interests center around disabled bodies in dance, with a focus on chronic illness, pain and the ways in which disabled bodyminds are reimagining the creative process. Maggie was recently awarded a Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellowship to lead a series of community-based inclusive movement workshops with a project partner. 

Mel Chua is a dancer, electrical/computer engineer, open source geek, auditory low-pass filter, and multimodal polyglot. She is currently working on an NSF RED (Revolutionizing Engineering Departments) grant with Georgia Tech's Biomedical Engineering department while completing her Ph.D. in Purdue University’s School of Engineering Education. Her research interests include engineering faculty development and engineering education ontologies, but she keeps finding herself hanging out all these disability dance artists. 

Sydney Erlikh (MSEd) is a PhD student in Disability Studies at the University of Illinois Chicago. There she is studying dance and disability to create multi-sited ethnography on inclusive dance groups that include individuals with intellectual disabilities. Along with a partner, Sydney has received a Schweitzer fellowship to teach community inclusive dance classes at Access Living. She received the Leandra Smith Award upon graduation from UCSD for her revival in the Arts Bridge Program.

Abstract: Disabled people often do not have access to training as dancers/dancemakers, and disabled dancers that do gain access to training are expected to conform to standards set for non-disabled dancers. UCLA’s recent Dancing Disability Lab serves as both a model for disability inclusion in dance and a platform for thinking through disability dance aesthetics. The organizer of the lab, three participants and a volunteer will share insights from organizing and participating in the week-long lab.

  • Room B. An Introduction to Playback Theatre as an Inclusive Technique and Experience for People with Disabilities.

Workshop

Presenter: Joan Lipkin, playwright, director, producer, educator and social activist, is Artistic Director of That Uppity Theatre Company in St. Louis, with a secondary base in NYC.  She specializes in devising work with under-served populations, helping people to tell their stories that have both individual and collective relevance, including co-founding The DisAbility Project (one of the first and longest running theatre projects for adults with disabilities in the US), working in rapid response theatre and producing large-scale public events. 

Abstract: Learn some of the fundamentals of Playback Theatre, a highly specialized form of improvisation created by Jonathan Fox and Jo Salas including pairs, fluids and three-part story and explore the possibilities of how to apply it in the disability community. Workshop leader Joan Lipkin, Producing Artistic Director of That Uppity Theatre Company and Playback Now! St. Louis, is a New York School of Playback certified practitioner of Playback Theatre. 

  • Room C. Mental Health Difference and Trauma: Art as Activism

Workshop

Presenters: Chanika Svetvilas is an artist whose current work focuses on mental health difference, the diversity of its lived experiences and the stigma encountered utilizing narrative as a way to share experiences to disrupt stereotypes and to reflect on contemporary issues and intersectionality. Her work is published in the Nuyorasian Anthology of Literature and Art and Studying Disability Arts and Culture, An Introduction by Petra Kuppers. Svetvilas received her MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts at Goddard College. 

Meagan Corrado is a Doctor of Social Work and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.  She is the creator of the Storiez Trauma Narrative intervention and has authored eight books. She is a faculty member at Bryn Mawr College and provides therapy to youth. She earned her DSW from the University of Pennsylvania and her MSS from Bryn Mawr College. She is a mixed media mosaic artist.  Her work is inspired by her experiences with trauma.

Abstract: This participatory presentation focuses on the use of arts as a method for advocacy, social activism and creating community for those impacted by mental health difference and trauma. Social practice and the community events as a vehicle for raising awareness, interdisciplinary collaboration, resource sharing and creating safe spaces for collective narratives are illustrated.  Participants create together to share a common experience that breaks down the “otherness” of disability.

3-3:30 p.m. Break

3:30-4:45 p.m. Keynote 2

Darren Harbour is the founder of Imagine Blind Players, Inc. The company's shows are produced, directed, and performed by the blind. Their goal is to make outstanding theatre, to provide blind artists an avenue for expression, and to raise awareness about the rich abilities and differences present in the blind community–and in all disabled and differently-abled communities. Founder, Darren Harbour, has performed in theater, dance, modeling, and more, all while welcoming the many challenges that come with blindness.

4:45–5 p.m. Break

5-6 p.m. Concurrent Session #2

  • Room A. Dancing Disability Justice

Workshop

Presenter: Alison Kopit (she/her) is a queer, femme, white, and disabled idea builder, mover, and access strategist. She studies Disability Studies at the University of Illinois--Chicago and teaches Disability Studies and Disability Culture at the University of Toledo. She believes that the principles of Disability Justice have the potential to transform arts communities, social movements, and our relationships to our bodies. Her research is about building Disability Justice-based curricula to activate this transformation.

Abstract: If we embrace Disability Justice principles such as sustainability, recognizing wholeness, collective access, intersectionality, and coalition (Berne), can we rewire our orientations to our bodies and dance practices to maximize accessibility, expand our commitment to solidarity, and move toward more loving relationships with our communities? The ideas in this movement workshop provide fodder for imagining a culture that is fully embodied, that embraces Disability Justice, and thrives with difference. Open to all experience levels!

  • Room B. Curating Medieval Mental Disabilities.

Workshop

Presenter: Kisha G. Tracy is an Associate Professor of English Studies at Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts, specializing in early British and world literatures. She received her Ph.D. in Medieval Studies from the University of Connecticut. In addition to several articles, her first book, Memory and Confession in Middle English Literature, was published by Palgrave in 2017. Her main research interests include medieval disability, particularly mental disability, and the scholarship of teaching and learning. 

Abstract: This session introduces the study of medieval mental disabilities and the significance of (mis)representation as well as the possibilities for inclusion in museum spaces. It is a combination of background on the study of global medieval mental disabilities with emphasis on language and representation through literature, art, law and of interactivity in which attendees will attempt to curate a hypothetical exhibition and offer insights into how mental disabilities can be represented in heritage spaces.

  • Room C. Community Inclusion for Accessibility at the Detroit Institute of Arts

Roundtable

Presenters:  

Megan DiRienzo, Interpretive Planner, Detroit Institute of Arts: Megan works with evaluation, curators, and designers to create learning tools in the DIA’s galleries and exhibitions. She the DIA’s primary contact for the Accessibility partners.

Jenny Angell, Associate Educator, Education Programs, Detroit Institute of Arts: Jenny manages professional development programs for K-12 teachers at the DIA and also serves as Vice Chair of the Michigan Alliance for Cultural Accessibility (MACA).

Mary Beth Kullen, Community Outreach Coordinator, Greater Detroit Agency for the Blind: Mary Beth creates programs that support the rehabilitation and quality of living for people who are blind or losing their vision. She has been the main liaison between the DIA and the blind and visually impaired people in the region, and played a key advisory role in hosting focus groups for these audiences.

Ken Morris, Director of Evaluation, Detroit Institute of Arts: Ken developed and co-facilitated all focus groups with the DIA’s community partner organizations—connecting their needs with the museum’s evaluation visitor research processes.

Dylan Secord, MSW, LLMSW - Clinical Social Worker, DEAF C.A.N.!: Dylan provides behavioral health services and advocacy services to Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing clients in medical and legal settings. He has been the main liaison between the DIA and the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing communities in the region, and played advisory role in hosting focus groups for these audiences.  

Abstract: Join the Detroit Institute of Arts, Deaf C.A.N.!, and the Greater Detroit Agency for the Blind and Visually Impaired to learn about how these organizations partnered to develop focus groups with people who are deaf, deafblind, hard of hearing and blind and discovered ways to remove barriers in a large, encyclopedic art museum. The discussion will focus on the process of partnership building and implementing community input sessions and conclude with lessons learned in the process. 

6-7:30 p.m. Break

7:30-9:30 p.m. Riverside Arts Center Performance Night

  • Poetry from an adult-diagnosed, autistic woman

Presenter: Vee Kennedy (they/them) is a poet and scholar pursuing concurrent master's in written communications - the art of teaching writing and creative writing at EMU, with plans to pursue a Ph.D. in the intersection of composition studies and disability studies. They are an autistic adult and a proud cat parent with interests in educational equity, accommodation and digital accessibility.

 Abstract: What are autistic poetics, the poetics of the spectrum? 

  • Helen Keller and Me

Presenter: Sarah Bowden is a teaching artist, whose plays have been performed in Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Toronto, and Stockholm. Her full-length LIVELY STONES was produced as part of 20% Theatre Chicago’s ReFocus 20/20 season. Her full-length TIN NOSES was a finalist in the Route 66 Theatre Test Drive Workshop, a semi-finalist for the Stage Left Theatre Playwright Residency, and was featured as part of the 2017 and 2018 Chicago Theatre Marathon

Abstract: Helen Keller performed on vaudeville for five years after surviving a plagiarism scandal, grinding through a flopped biopic, and losing cash on the lecture circuit. While her cheery attitude and clever mind charmed audiences, how real was her invitation into a deafblind woman's world? Why do we think of her as an inspiration, instead of a flesh and blood woman? Join struggling academic Sarah Bowden as she unpack how we all understand Helen Keller in a forty-five minute theatrical class lecture that also forces Sarah to confront her own biases and fears.

  • Bulga non intellectum: a budget without understanding, lacking perception

Presenter: Elizabeth McFayden is a PhD candidate in the History department at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She often feels she is in a strange reality show to see how many invisible disabilities she can accumulate. Her dissertation focuses on disability history and Vietnam War veterans. In one of her previous lives before grad school, Beth worked in theatre and draws on that experience for her presentation and performance here at EMU.

Abstract: A spoken word performance arguing that the budget as we know it is an able-bodied document. Based on this scholar's experience at the 4-week 2018 NEH Summer Institute, Global Histories of Disability. 

  • grief rips out our lungs and churns them into diamonds

Presenters: Julia Havard is a PhD candidate at UC Berkeley in Performance Studies, where she writes about queer burlesque. Their scholarly, activist, and performance work deals with sexual culture as a site of world-making and breaking, embedded in intersections of race, gender, queerness, and disability. She is available for burlesque performance bookings as Juju Sparkle and is a founding member of the all-disabled dance collective, Bay Area Disabled Dance (BADD). 

Rafi Ruffino Darrow is a dance artist and activist working in Oakland, California. Born and raised in Buffalo, NY their work is rooted in the toxic injury that has shaped their hometown, and the ways in which this troubles the boundaries of the human body and the unsure contours of our global futures. Their work lives in the liminality this precarity creates, and the inter-marginalized care and intimacy it necessitates. They have a BA in American Studies, with a focus on marginalized identities and performance, have studied with integrated dance company Stopgap on a Fulbright scholarship and AXIS Dance. They currently intern with Sins Invalid and are a founding member of a Disabled Dance Collective. Go to this site to check out more of their work. 

Abstract: Juju and Rafi dance a piece of eroto-mourning that combines ritual, burlesque, and puppetry. They locate strategies for myofascial-pleasure in traumatic memory, for layers of our abandoned organ-selves to be caressed, to feel sun, to be sung. Their queer crip glitter gestures will sugar the tears in our connective tissue, the folds between body and mobility device. They dig up pleasurable sparkle in what medicine leaves broken, gently consensually stirring what is chronically pleasurable in chronic illness.

  • Refusing Oedipus's Fate

Presenter: Heather May is Associate Professor of Theatre at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and Artistic Director of Mosaic NY, HWS's social justice theatre company modeled on the company May founded at Auburn University. A full member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and stage management member of Actors' Equity, May was inspired by a diagnosis of retinitis pigmentosa to explore performance as a means of pushing personal and professional boundaries in theatre.

Abstract: Incited by a round of visits to doctors that left me feeling unmoored, this piece is a diagnosis of a disease plaguing the theatre and the performer: lack of vision. A reflection on Tiresias, disability, and the disorientation of the early days of the Trump administration, "Rearranging the Furniture" challenges audiences to create space for difference, hold ground that feels increasingly unstable, and to learn to love or cut the ties that bind.

  • Playback Theatre

PresenterJoan Lipkin, playwright, director, producer, educator and social activist, is Artistic Director of That Uppity Theatre Company in St. Louis, with a secondary base in NYC.  She specializes in devising work with under-served populations, helping people to tell their stories that have both individual and collective relevance, including co-founding The DisAbility Project (one of the first and longest running theatre projects for adults with disabilities in the US), working in rapid response theatre and producing large-scale public events.

Abstract: Performance based on workshop done at the symposium.

  • Curving the Line: An exploration of Ballet and Disability

Presenter: Dawn States started dancing at age five and fell in love with ballet. At age eighteen, Dawn experienced two severe spinal surgeries and stopped dancing. Through the tutelage of Axis Dance Company they returned to their passion of dance. Dawn is now invested in finding ways to make ballet more accessible and is attending Temple University for their MFA in Dance. 

Abstract: The classical interpretations and variations of ballet are reimagined through a slow and stately ballet performance using the curated movement vocabulary of a disabled ballerina.

  • Postcards from Hell

Presenter: Laura Yakas. Laura finished her PhD in anthropology and social work at the University of Michigan in 2018, and is affiliated with the communities of Mad and Disability Studies. Her research (or, unabashed "mesearch") combines traditional ethnography with creative autoethnography in the form of monologue and song. Currently, she is a nomadic social justice educator (or, swim coach at the sea of misanthropy), and a ‘scholartist’ who sing-thinks her way through the pain. For her recent writing go to this article and youtube channel 

Abstract:"Postcards from Hell" is Madwoman Laura Yakas' first concept album. There are 12 "postcards" (videos), which invite viewers to witness her most recent journey to the metaphorical hell of grieving madness. The album combines raw emotion with heady musing about the state of the world, and touches upon themes such as trauma, internalized ableism, cognitive liberty, suicide, and the “access intimacy” (in the words of Mia Mingus) it takes for her to heal from and harness such madness. 

Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019

9:45-10:45 a.m Concurrent Session #3

  • Room A. Queer crip ballet workshop

Workshop

Presenter: Julia Havard is a Ph.D. candidate at UC Berkeley in Performance Studies, where she writes about queer burlesque. Their scholarly, activist, and performance work deals with sexual culture as a site of world-making and breaking, embedded in intersections of race, gender, queerness, and disability. She is available for burlesque performance bookings as Juju Sparkle and is a founding member of the all-disabled dance collective, Bay Area Disabled Dance (BADD).

Abstract: This is a deconstructed ballet class for every body and a disabled and non-disabled space unpack ballet’s ableist, racist, and heterosexist hierarchies and histories. We will take ballet’s juiciest most joyful tools and use them to queer and contest oppressive dance practices, to practice dance with intention that honors our bodies needs and desires, and build queer crip spaces of movement and kinship. Come in your sparkliest ballerina drag or your best postmodern drab, ready to move. 

  • Room B. Erasing Stigma & Empowering Madness

Workshop

Presenter: Jasmine E Maddox identifies as a black queer womyn with PTSD, manic depression and anxiety. Maddox is a senior at Albion College dual majoring in Education Policy & Ethnic Studies with a public service concentration. Her interest in intersectionality pushes her to challenge spaces to provide accessibility and equity for people of color, for people with disabilities, and for womyn.

Abstract: Facilitator will give a presentation on the framework and history of the Mad Pride movement and how poetry can be used to interpret their experiences and trauma. In this session, participants will learn about the blackout poetry form and how to make it an accessible tool when struggling with trauma or mad experiences. 

  • Room C. Sensory Friendly Concerts:  Promoting disability culture through aesthetic accessibility with community partnerships and student learning

Panel Discussion

Presenters: Laura Pawuk, MM, MT-BC, is an Assistant Professor of Music Therapy at Eastern Michigan University.  Prior to joining EMU, for nearly twenty years she served the mental health needs of individuals with psychiatric diagnoses, cancer, stroke, memory loss, cystic fibrosis, cochlear implants, and those in hospice care and grieving the loss of a loved one.  Her research interests include: Welcoming Concerts, Interdisciplinary Collaboration, and Music Activities for Improving Mental Health of Individuals with Chronic Pain.
Kira Woodfield Leeper is responsible for the implementation of the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra's educational and community engagement programs. Kira is a Metro-Detroit musician, educator, and arts administrator. Kira has previously served as an appointed City Arts Commissioner for the City of Livonia, and volunteer with the New Leaders Arts Council of Michigan & MCACA in support of youth-led arts and cultural programs through the review and distribution of grants in Michigan.

Abstract: Sensory Friendly Concerts promote access to the arts using best practices for aesthetic inclusion while engaging participants in social and relational experiences.  A new partnership between the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra (A2SO), EMU’s Music Therapy Department and the disabilities community ignites new potentials for community building and arts enrichment.  Team members from all aspects of our project will present a panel discussion to discuss our collaboration and vision for the community.

10:45-11 a.m. Break

11 a.m.-noon Concurrent Session #4

  • Room A. Dance Related Individual Paper Session

Curving the Line: An exploration of Ballet and Disability

Individual Paper

Presenter: Dawn States started dancing at age five and fell in love with ballet. At age eighteen, Dawn experienced two severe spinal surgeries and stopped dancing. Through the tutelage of Axis Dance Company they returned to their passion of dance. Dawn is now invested in finding ways to make ballet more accessible and is attending Temple University for their MFA in Dance.

Abstract: An exploration of the linear form of ballet through a curved and disabled body and how the form can take shape differently both in a theoretical sense and a physical practice. Examination of ballet terms and movement vocabulary is considered as well as aesthetics. This is the ongoing research of a classically trained ballerina dancing with spinal fusion and contains both lived experience and outward observations. 

Moving Stories/Collaborative Dance Experience for Seniors with Parkinson's

Individual Paper

Presenter: Sarah Jane Burton received degrees in Movement and Dance from Butler University and Wesleyan University. After a professional dance career she became a professor in the Faculty of Music at University of Toronto and later in the Theatre/Drama joint program with Sheridan College/University of Toronto Mississauga. A Laban Movement Analyst, SJ also researched affective movement generation for robots. Trained at Dance for PD, she founded Park’n Dance in Guelph, Ontario, teaching dance to people with Parkinson’s. 

Abstract: This session illustrates the development of intergenerational dance duets between seniors with Parkinson’s and professional dancers. Each partnership created a meaningful dance piece based on the senior’s memories that was then shared with families and the public. This unique collaborative experience provided an opportunity for self-expression in an art form that would normally exclude seniors with mobility challenges. Video clips illustrate several of the methods and personal responses to the collaboration.

  • Room B. Chronicity Workshop 

Dance Workshop

Presenter: Marc Arthur is an artist and scholar. He holds a PhD in Performance Studies from New York University (2019) and is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in Arts-based Social Justice Research and Practice at the University of Michigan. Arthur is also Contributing Editor of the Performa Magazine.

Abstract: If a chronic illness is a disease or condition that is ongoing rather than a singular event, how might such a temporality be embodied and conceived of within the time of live performance? This workshop will explore temporalities of slowness and ongoing-ness with costumes and objects that will help us discover new relations to ability and time. No experience necessary, open to all bodyminds and gender expressions.

  • Room C. Multiple-Media Individual Paper Session

Presenters/Abstracts:

(dis)ABLED BEAUTY: an experience for social change.

Paper

 Presenter: Stacey R. Lim, Au.D., Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Audiology at Central Michigan University. Dr. Lim’s past honors include receiving a Fulbright grant to study the support systems available to adults with hearing loss in Germany. She has presented nationally and internationally on topics related to cochlear implants. She was co-curator of the museum exhibition, (dis)ABLED BEAUTY: the evolution of beauty, disability, and ability. She was born with bilateral, profound, sensorineural hearing loss. 

Dr. Tameka N. Ellington is an Associate Professor at the Kent State University (KSU) Fashion School and Associate Dean for the College of the Arts. She served as the co-curator for the (dis)ABLED BEAUTY exhibition shown at KSU and Central Michigan University. Her African inspired creative scholarship has been shown globally, and her publications on the social-psychological aspects of dress for African Americans and people with disability have also reached international recognition.

Abstract: Throughout history, innovative designs  have been created to equip those with physical disabilities the wherewithal to express their personalities and style, while changing societal perceptions of disability. This presentation focuses on (dis)ABLED BEAUTY: the evolution of beauty, disability, and ability, a museum exhibition featuring over 40 creatively designed items for those with different physical disabilities. Data from visitor surveys, image content analysis, and the importance of fashion design in disability will be discussed.

Strategies for accessibility and accommodation; A Look Back at Five Years with Camp Ramblewood

Paper

Presenter: Ben Fisler is the Arts Coordinator and Professor of Theatre for Harford Community College, as well as the entertainment coordinator for the Maryland Faerie Festival.  Ben is a freelance "whatever-people-ask-him-to-do-for-the-arts" whose credits include murder mystery dinner theatre, new play events, Shakespeare companies, arts festivals, and concerts.  His work with accessibility includes efforts with Harford Community College, the Maryland Faerie Festival, the Philadelphia Experiment, and the Baltimore Science Fiction Society

Jamie Schoonover is a professional costume and clothing designer, as well the Unseelie Queen of the Maryland Faerie Festival, whose work in accessibility includes various faerie and science fiction festivals in the mid-Atlantic, and various events at Ramblewood Campground, where she lives and works.  She is developing a proactive business model for artists with disabilities related to chronic health impairments.

Abstract: This presentation addresses accommodation efforts at Camp Ramblewood (Darlington Maryland).  Ramblewood hosts cultural arts events, music festivals, and spiritual programs. The presenters, local professor, Ben Fisler, and ADA advocate, artist, and camp resident, Jamie Schoonover, review their work coordinating accessibility, including efforts to introduce such mainstays as viewing platforms and tracks, to expand available transportation and listening technology, and develop creative adaptations of assistive devices (transport chairs, utility belts, etc.) for artists, performers, and patrons.

Representations of Disability in Popular Children’s Television. 

Individual Paper

Presenter: Jillian Johnson is currently seeking her MFA in Theatre for Youth at Arizona State University. Originally from the Seattle area, she has worked as a youth theatre director and teaching artist for Bellevue Youth Theatre, Book-It Repertory Theatre, and schools across the Puget Sound. Jillian is passionate about inclusion and accessibility in the arts and has worked as a theatre facilitator for people on the autism spectrum and others who are neurodiverse.

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to explore what representations of disability today’s children are exposed to by creating a comprehensive list of representations of characters with disabilities from popular “youth-marketed” television shows from 2008 to 2018. This list concluded that 22 out of 100 television shows included at least one character with an acknowledged disability. The creation of this list was followed by a close read of representations from a selected television show (Netflix’s The Dragon Prince) to discuss the nature of those representations. 

Noon-1 p.m. Lunch Break

1-2 p.m Concurrent Session #5

  • Room A. Disability Poetics & Crip Webs

Panel Discussion

Presenters: Jessica Suzanne Stokes is a disabled poet/performer/educator/scholar currently pursuing her PhD in English at Michigan State University. She reads contemporary poetry (particularly poetry deemed “experimental”) to analyze and develop crip methodological writing and reading practices. She considers embodiment in the construction of contemporary poetic texts and why embodiment is necessary to reading such texts. She works towards reading methods that allow for coalitional access (i.e. access attentive to disability, neurodiversity, class, gender, sexuality, and race). 

Gaia Celeste Thomas is a poet living in Oakland, CA. She holds an MFA from Mills College, and is a 2019 Zoeglossia Fellow. She delights in exploring collaborative methods of poetics and redefining the boundaries of poem. Her work appears in the disability poetics anthology We Are Not Your Metaphor from Squares & Rebels Press. 

Stephanie Heit is a poet, dancer, and teacher of somatic writing, Contemplative Dance Practice, and Kundalini Yoga. She is bipolar, a Zoeglossia Fellow, and a member of Olimpias, an international disability performance collective. Her poetry collection, The Color She Gave Gravity (The Operating System 2017), explores the seams of language, movement and mental health difference. She lives in Ypsilanti, Michigan and creates Turtle Disco, a somatic writing space, with her wife and collaborator, Petra Kuppers. Go to her website

Abstract: Join us, three disabled poets/artists who are inaugural Zoeglossia Fellows, a new literary organization for disabled poets, in a discussion of how our unique ways of being in our bodyminds, in our worlds and in our cultural webs act to shape, inform and enhance our creative practice. We will look at how disabilities embody themselves on the page. We’ll also explore how disability culture can create a climate of collaboration, improvisational play and exchange.

  • Room B. Theatre Related Individual Paper Session

3 Individual Papers 

Presenters/Abstracts

  • Placing the Neurotypical Spectator in Ability-Inclusive Sensory Theatre
Individual Paper

Presenter: Molly Mattaini is a PhD student at the University of Wisconsin - Madison in Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies with a Specialization in Theatre for Youth and a doctoral minor in Special Education. She studies Ability-Inclusive Sensory Theatre, a genre within TYA which creates theatrical experiences for neurodiverse young people, particularly children on the autism spectrum. Molly is also a working teaching artist and is dedicated to creating ability-inclusive drama education spaces along with inclusive aesthetic spaces.

Abstract: Since the explosion of popularity of Ability-Inclusive Sensory Theatre in the United States, theatre makers have been wrestling with how to “place” the neurotypical caretakers that accompany their primary audience. This paper looks at some contrasting examples of productions and calls on the field to create a more consistent ethics around neurotypical belonging and conduct within the theatrical space.

  • Refusing Oedipus's Fate: Denying (Literal) Loss of Vision as Guiding Metaphor
Individual Paper

Presenter: Heather May is Associate Professor of Theatre at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and Artistic Director of Mosaic NY, HWS's social justice theatre company modeled on the company May founded at Auburn University. A full member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and stage management member of Actors' Equity, May was inspired by a diagnosis of retinitis pigmentosa to explore performance as a means of pushing personal and professional boundaries in theatre.

Abstract: Shortly after receiving tenure for the second time, I received a very different diagnosis: retinitis pigmentosa (a genetic disorder that progressively limits vision and often leads to blindness). Unwilling to accept Oedipus’s fate of exile from the space he loves once he is blind, this paper examines my attempts to use solo performance as a means of creating a new relationship with the theatre, its audiences, and my fellow artists.  

  • Aesthetics in Accessible Theatre: Universal Design.
Paper

Presenters: Elena SV Flys is an Assistant Professor at Eastern Michigan University in Arts Administration. Her dissertation focused in Theatre Accessibility. Her most recent accessibility designs were for Much Ado About Nothing at EMU, Alabama Love Stories at Auburn University and Lo Fingido Verdadero for the International Festival of Golden Age Period Theatre of Almagro. Recent publications are “ADA and Communication Accessibility in Theatre” was published in CultureWork in May of 2018

Heather Utsler-Smith is an MFA Candidate in the program Theatre for The Young at Eastern Michigan University.

Abstract: This paper examines the design and implementation of a variety of accessibility tools (conventional and not conventional) toward creating a theatre that is inclusive for all audience members in three different EMU productions. The goal of this design was to be inclusive from the very early stages of production, rather than offering accessibility as an afterthought. For this purpose, the accessibility team followed universal design principles where both creative and community members (with and without disabilities) were part of the design and application of access tools. 

2-2:15 p.m. Break

2:15-3:15 p.m. Keynote #3

Carrie Sandahl is Associate Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Department of Disability and Human Development. She directs Chicago’s Bodies of Work, an organization that supports the development of disability arts and culture. Her research and creative activity focus on disability identity in live performance and film. She is currently collaborating on the documentary, Code of the Freaks, a critique of disability in mainstream film.

3:15-3:30 p.m. Break

3:30-4:30 p.m. Closing Round Table

Join the final conversation and wrapping up for the symposium with EMU Symposium’s Organizing Committee and Riverside Arts Center team and advisory committees