Archive of Events

Spring 2012

The Holocaust and the ‘Subject’ of Fiction, Tue Apr 24, 2012, 5 p.m., Hesburgh Center Auditorium, Emily Budick, Ann and Joseph Edelman Professor of American Studies, Director of the Center for Literary Studies, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem

How Kant, Following Milton, Achieved Actual Experience, Wed Apr 25, 2012, 5 p.m., 100-104 McKenna Hall, Sanford Budick, Professor of English, Emeritus, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem

Lectures co-sponsored by: Henkels Lecture Fund, Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, College of Arts and Letters, Rev. John J. Cavanaugh, C.S.C., Chair in the Humanities, Program of Liberal Studies, Department of Philosophy, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, Ph.D. in Literature Program, Department of English, Disability Studies Forum.

Fall 2011

Major Theater Project: Crip Slam ND at DeBartolo Performing Arts Center 17 November and at The Biograph, Victory Gardens Theater, Chicago 20 November

Spring 2011

Friday May 6th 3-4.30pm, 119 O’Shaughnessy: Professor Tobin Siebers (V.L. Parrington Collegiate Professor and Professor of English Language and Literature, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor): “The Mad Women Project: Disability and the Aesthetics of Human Disqualification”

From 1999 to 2005, Korean photographer Park Young-Sook investigated the representation of women with mental disabilities by photographing gestures and postures used to identify women as “crazy.” She called the series of photographs The Mad Women Project. Using this project as a starting point, Siebers will examine the physical echoes of cognitive and intellectual disability, interrogating how aesthetics participates in the disqualification of disabled people as inferior and stigmatizes appearances associated with disabled minds. Siebers will also explore The Mad Women Project in the context of feminist theory and the work of Cindy Sherman. Tobin Siebers’s work focuses on ethics, literary criticism of the cold-war era, aesthetics and the politics of identity, and disability studies. His major publications include The Mirror of Medusa (1983), The Romantic Fantastic (1984), The Ethics of Criticism (1988), Cold War Criticism and the Politics of Skepticism (1993), The Subject and Other Subjects: On Ethical, Aesthetic, and Political Identity (1998), Among Men (1999), Disability Theory (2008), and Disability Aesthetics (forthcoming 2010). Siebers is also the editor of Religion and the Authority of the Past (1993), Heterotopia: Postmodern Utopia and the Body Politic (1994), and The Body Aesthetic: From Fine Art to Body Modification (2000).

Friday April 1st, 1.30-2.45, 119 O’Shaughnessy: Sabrina Starnaman, “Only a judge has the power to decide who shall die” Jane Addams Disrupts Narratives of Charity and Disability, 1900-1920.

In 1915, a five-day old baby died after a Chicago surgeon withheld life-saving surgery in the name of protecting America’s health. Baby Bollinger’s death renewed debate about disability and the treatment of disabled people. During the Progressive Era (1880-1920) many eugenicists and charitable or medical institutions regarded disabled individuals as menacing or wretched beings that should be incarcerated or eradicated. This talk explores how Jane Addams spoke out against the death of baby Bollinger and how she disrupted accepted narratives of disability in her texts, including her well-known memoir Twenty Years at Hull-House. At twenty-nine, Jane Addams abandoned her upper-middle class life, rented rooms in a neglected mansion in an impoverished, squalid Chicago neighborhood and established Hull House, America’s first social settlement. For the next forty years she worked with immigrant laborers and captains of industry alike, becoming one of the nation’s most influential progressive activists and writers. Addams was America’s first female Nobel Peace Prize winner; she was one of the most dangerous women in America according to the FBI. Her legacy spans from philosophy to sociology, from labor reform to literature. This presentation investigates Addams’s place in the contentious national dialogue about disability. Sabrina Starnaman’s research explores representations of disability and discourses of motherhood in American literature about social settlements in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. She is a research fellow at the Center for Values in Medicine, Science, and Technology in the School of Arts and Humanities at The University of Texas at Dallas. She is also a PhD candidate in the Department of Literature at the University of California, San Diego.

Friday March 11th Jennifer Syverson (PhD Candidate, English Department, University of Oregon) 3 pm-4.30pm: 119 O’Shaughnessy: “More-than-Normalcy: The Primacy of Deaf Perception in Eudora Welty’s Short Fiction”

Born with cerebral palsy, Jennifer Syverson has had a lifetime of experience of being a person with disability in a world dominated by normate perspectives, but became aware of Disability Studies scholars and their respective challenges to the assumed superiority of the non-disabled body only ten years ago when she read The Body and Physical Difference: Discourses of Disability by David T. Mitchell and Sharon L. Snyder (1997). Drawing from both her own life and her experience as Homes Coordinator for the L’arche Community of developmentally disabled adults in Spokane, Washington, Jennifer has devoted her graduate studies to bringing together disability studies and diverse areas of critical literary theory while pursuing her PhD in Literature at the University of Oregon. Her paper examines Welty’s deaf characters through the lenses of both Disability Studies and Ecocritical Theory to demonstrate how Welty liberates silence from its stereotypical association with terror and presents deafness as a unique and valuable sensory experience—sometimes isolating but always full and rounded with awareness.

Friday 11 February 2011 Professor Robert McRuer, Professor of English, George Washington University. 1.30pm-2.30pm 119 O’Shaughnessy “Crip Out: Freakish Performance and the New Rogue Disability History”

Robert McRuer’s work focuses on queer and crip cultural studies and critical theory. He is currently completing a book tentatively titled Crip Time: Essays on Disability, Sexuality, and Neoliberalism, considering locations of disability within contemporary political economies and the roles that disabled movements and representations play in countering hegemonic forms of globalization. His first book, The Queer Renaissance: Contemporary American Literature and the Reinvention of Lesbian and Gay Identities (1997), centered on contemporaryLGBT writers, particularly LGBT writers of color, and his most recent book, Crip Theory: Cultural Signs of Queerness and Disability. Cultural Front Series (2006), attends to cultural sites where critical queerness and disability contest heteronormativity and compulsory able-bodiedness. He has published in the following collections: Critical Intersex (2009), Gay Shame (2009), The Cambridge Companion to Modern American Culture (2006), Disability Studies: Enabling the Humanities (2002) and in the following journals: Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies (2007), Radical History Review (2006), PMLA(2005), A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies (2003). His forthcoming work includes Sex and Disability (co-edited with Anna Mollow), as special issue of Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies on the Geopolitics of Disability, and an essay on disability and sexuality in Shakesqueer: Queer Theorists Read Shakespeare, edited by Madhavi Menon.

Fall 2010

30 August 5pm 2010: Professor Dale Bauer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Venue: 119 O’Shaughnessy Hall. “Brain Surgery and Teaching English”. Sponsored by The Henkels Fund, the Disability Studies Forum, CSEM, English, the program in the History and Philosophy of Science. Invited by and hosted by Prof. Sandra Gustafson, English.

5 November 2010 3pm: Laurence Ralph, Du Bois-Mandela-Rodney Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Michigan Center for Afro-American and African Studies at Ann Arbor and Doctoral Candidate in Anthropology at the University of Chicago. Title: “He Owes Me…and Now I’m Cashin’ In”: Violence and Disability in a Westside Chicago Gang” Venue 119 O’Shaughnessy Hall.

3 December 2010 3pm-4.30pm Carrie Sandahl. Title: “‘Take Two!’ An Irreverent Critique of Hollywood’s Disability Fetish.” Associate Professor in the Department of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Venue 119 O’Shaughnessy Hall.

Spring 2010

Wednesday 3 February, 3pm, Gold Room, La Fortune: Professor Edward Wheatley: "Commodifications of the Flesh: Disabling Miracles of Chastisement and Penitential Practice in Medieval French and Anglo-Norman Culture.”

Professor Wheatley is Edward L. Surtz Professor of Medieval Literature Loyola University, Chicago and the author of Stumbling Blocks Before the Blind: Medieval Constructions of a Disability (forthcoming) and Mastering Aesop: Medieval Education, Chaucer, and His Followers (2000). Sponsorship: ISLA; Institute for Medieval Studies

Wednesday 10 February, 4 pm, DeBartolo 136: Professor Leon Dash, “My Destiny and Yours.”

Professor Dash Swanlund Professor of Journalism and Director and Professor of the Center for Advanced Study, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He is the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism, the Robert F. Kennedy Book and Journalism Awards, and received an Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He is currently working on a PBSdocumentary about the establishment of support services for students with disabilities at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1949. Sponsorship: Henkels Fund, Africana Studies, Journalism, Education, Schooling, Society, the Multicultural and Student Programs and Services Intercultural Center, and the Mendoza Business Diversity Program.

Wednesday 3 March, 3pm, 119 O’Shaughnessy: Professor David T. Mitchell and Professor Sharon Snyder, “Permutations of the Species: Towards an Anthropology of Independent Disability Film Festivals.”

Professor Mitchell is Executive Director of the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University and Professor Sharon Snyder is Assistant Professor of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois, Chicago. They are the co-editors of the University of Michigan Press series Corporealities: Discourses of Disability, and of The Body and Physical Difference (1997). They also co-authored Narrative Prosthesis: Disability and the Dependence of Discourse (2000); Cultural Locations of Disability (2006).Their paper looks at the various ways that independent disability film festivals provide a unique lens from which to assess the political project of disabled peoples’ integration (or lack thereof) on a global scale. The authors assess the sustainability of such cultural efforts at ideological and aesthetic re-programming with particular attention paid to disabled people as a critical reference point for measuring the efficacy of social justice initiatives. Sponsorship: ISLA

Friday 19 March, 12pm, 339 O’Shaughnessy: Professor Encarnación Juárez-Almendros: “Syphilis and Prostitution in Early Modern Spanish Literature.”

Professor Juárez-Almendros is Associate Professor in Golden Age Spanish Literature, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, a Fellow of the Medieval Institute, and a Fellow of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies. Sponsored by the Gender Studies Program

Wednesday 7 April, 3pm, 119 O’Shaughnessy: Professor Jeremy Schipper, “How Scholars Healed the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53.”

Professor Schipper is Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible in the Department of Religion at Temple University and an affiliated faculty member of Temple’s Institute on Disabilities. His books include Disability Studies and the Hebrew Bible (T & T Clark, 2006), This Abled Body: Rethinking Disabilities in Biblical Studies (co edited with Hector Avalos and Sarah Melcher; Society of Biblical Literature, 2007), and Parables and Conflict in the Hebrew Bible (Cambridge UP, 2009). Currently he is working on a book titled Disability and Isaiah’s Suffering Servant (Oxford UP, forthcoming). Sponsorship: ISLA

Wednesday 5th May, 3pm, 119 O’Shaughnessy, Professor Tobin Siebers, “The Aesthetics of Human Disqualification.”

Professor Siebers is the V. L. Parrington Collegiate Professor, Professor of English Language and Literature, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Sponsorship: ISLA


January 16th 12-1.30pm Reading group and Luncheon

February 6th 12-1.30pm 30 minute paper followed by luncheon: Professor Encarnación Juárez-Almendros (Department of Romance Languages): “Aging Women and Disability in Pre-Modern Spanish Literature” Lunch is sponsored by the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, the Department of Romance Languages and the Medieval Institute. Notre Dame Room, La Fortune.

March 6th 9am-5.45pm Blindness:A Symposium, McKenna Hall: Dr Marc Maurer (President of the National Federation of the Blind and ND alum)Keynote SpeakerProfessor Edward Wheatley, (Surtz Professor of Medieval Literature, Loyola University, Chicago) Stumbling Blocks Before the Blind: Constructions of a Disability in Medieval England and France; * Dr Essaka Joshua (SPF, College Seminar and Department of English) Blind vacancy: Sighted Culture and Voyeuristic Historiography in Mary Shelley’s _Frankenstein

Wednesday 2 September, 3.00-4.30, 107 Malloy Hall Sami Schalk, “Villainous Victims and Victimized Villains: Disability in Wuthering Heights” Notre DameMFA Candidate in Creative Writing and Gender Studies

Wednesday 14 October, 3.00-4.30, Notre Dame Room, LaFortune: Margrit Shildrick, “Critical Disability Studies: challenging the conventions” The Henkels Distinguished Visiting Speaker, Reader in Gender Studies at Queens University, Belfast and Adjunct Professor of Critical Disability Studies at York University, Toronto and author of Leaky Bodies and Boundaries: Feminism, (bio)ethics and Postmodernism; Feminist Theory and the Body: A Reader; Vital Signs: Feminist Reconfigurations of The Bio/Logical Body; and Ethics of the Body.

Wednesday 4 November, 3.00-4.30, Gold Room (306), LaFortune Mike Clemente “The Impairments of the Social Model of Disability” Winner of the 2009 Disability Studies Senior Thesis Prize, Notre Dame

Wednesday 2 December, 3.00-4.30, Gold Room (306), LaFortune Professor Michael Rembis, “Athlete First: A Note on Passing, Disability, and Sport” Visiting Scholar in the History Department and the American Studies Department, Notre Dame


  • Friday September 5th 12-1.30pm Henkels Interdisciplinary Visiting Speaker and Luncheon
    • Professor Lennard Davis, Disability and Obsession: Can a Psychiatric Impairment Have a History? Professor of English, Professor of Disability and Human Development in the School of Applied Health Sciences, and Professor of Medical Education in the College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago. Professor Davis is also the director of Project Biocultures. All are welcome. Abstract of Paper
  • Thursday October 2nd (12-1.30, 119 O’Shaughnessy): Visiting Speaker Paper
  • Professor Michael A. Rembis, “Doing Disability History: Gender, Power, and the Social Construction of Impairment”. Director, Disability Studies Initiative, Adjunct Faculty, Department of History, University of Arizona, winner of the Society for Disability Studies’ Irving K. Zola Award for Emerging Scholars (2008). Co-sponsored by the Department of History and the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts.
  • Professor Michael A. Rembis, “Accessing the Academy: Developing Disability Studies in a University Context” Director, Disability Studies Initiative, Adjunct Faculty, Department of History, University of Arizona, winner of the Society for Disability Studies’ Irving K. Zola Award for Emerging Scholars (2008). Lunch is sponsored by Disability Services
  • Dinner with Professor Michael Rembis 6 for 6.30, Oak Room, South Dining Hall. Please RSVP to Essaka Joshua faculty, administrators and postgraduates)
  • Friday October 3rd 12-1.30pm Visiting Speaker Paper and Luncheon
  • November 7th 12-1.30pm Faculty Paper and Luncheon: Professor Candida Moss (Program of Liberal Studies) “Christ (and) the Disabled: Embodiment in the Gospel of Mark” Lunch is sponsored by the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts.