Garland-Thomson to Speak on “Building a World With Disability”

Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, Professor of Women’s Studies at Emory University, presents a lecture titled “Building a World With Disability” on Wednesday, November 14, at 7 p.m. in Pfahler auditorium. The event is free and open to the public. Garland-Thomson is the author of Staring: How We Look and co-editor of a 2010 volume of essays, Re-Presenting Disability: Activism and Agency in the Museum. The event is co-sponsored by the Greater Philadelphia Consortium of Women’s Studies and the Berman Museum.

The lecture runs in conjunction with “Access-Ability,” an exhibition at Berman Museum that implements best practices for providing arts access to a range of differently-abled visitors. The number of area residents who experience some form of disability – dementia, visual impairments, learning disabilities, traumatic brain injury, and others – is growing. The Berman now joins other museums throughout the United States which serve such diverse and significant constituencies. Additionally, the Berman has joined the museum network of the organization ARTZ: Artists for Alzheimer’s, the first museum in Pennsylvania to do so. This affiliation will make available an in-house accessibility and arts-based support program designed specifically for visitors with dementia.

The Greater Philadelphia Women’s Studies Consortium, of which Ursinus College is a member, is co-sponsoring this fall a regional series of special events focused on disability and the arts, with Garland-Thomson as its resident scholar.

Her fields of study are feminist theory, American literature, and disability studies. Her work develops the field of disability studies in the humanities and women’s and gender studies and seeks to bring an understanding of disability issues and identities to communities within and outside of the academy.

She is also the author of Extraordinary Bodies: Figuring Physical Disability in American Literature and Culture; co-editor of Re-Presenting Disability: Museums and the Politics of Display and Disability Studies: Enabling the Humanities; and editor of Freakery: Cultural Spectacles of the Extraordinary Body. Her current book project, Habitable Worlds: Eugenic Space and Inclusive Space, places materialist analysis of the built environment in conversation with eugenic practices and thought.

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