Just got back from „Present Difference – The Cultural Production of Disability“, a Conference at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), that brought together academics, writers, artists, performers, broadcasters, film-makers and one design-researcher (;-)) to explore the cultural production of disability.
A good opportunity to see the Keynotes of Lennard J. Davis, David T. Mitchell and Scharon L. Snyder of whom I had read various papers and books already. Unfortunately I could not stay until the end, that why I missed crip theorist Robert McRuer’s closing Keynote on “Enfreakment;or, Aliens of Extraordinary Disability”.
[Lennard J. Davis giving his keynote on „Producing Discorders of Difference: Transforming Obsessives into Cultural Icons“]
Furthermore Davis talked about embodied Difference and distinguished between identities one can choose, and such one can not choose. He linked that aspect to the general discussion about a general concept of “normality”. (“What is normal? The most important things, people want to know from their medical doctor are: Your blood pressure is normal; the baby is normal…etc”).
[Roundtable Discussion: (f.l.t.r.:) David T. Mitchel, Stuart Murray, Robert McRuer. Not in the picture: David Bolt]
Finally I would like to state, that I enjoyed the roundtable discussion at the end of Day 2, a general discussion about the future of cultureal disability studies and its struggle with internal definition and external acceptance. An important topic and obviously one hour was not enough for satisfying solutions, since this topic contains so many different aspects, including a culture of Funding, Publishing, Interdisciplinary collaborations, as well as standpoints to different research paradigms, like for example the bio-cultural concept.
I apologize for the poor quality of the picture snapshots. I forgot my camera