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In Brilliant Imperfection Eli Clare uses memoir, history, and critical analysis to explore cure—the deeply held belief that body-minds considered broken need to be fixed. Cure serves many purposes. It saves lives, manipulates lives, and prioritizes some lives over others. It provides comfort, makes profits, justifies violence, and promises resolution to body-mind loss. Clare grapples with this knot of contradictions, maintaining that neither an anti-cure politics nor a pro-cure worldview can account for the messy, complex relationships we have with our body-minds. The stories he tells range widely, stretching from disability stereotypes to weight loss surgery, gender transition to skin lightening creams. At each turn, Clare weaves race, disability, sexuality, class, and gender together, insisting on the nonnegotiable value of body-mind difference. Into this mix, he adds environmental politics, thinking about ecosystem loss and restoration as a way of delving more deeply into cure. Ultimately Brilliant Imperfection reveals cure to be an ideology grounded in the twin notions of normal and natural, slippery and powerful, necessary and damaging all at the same time.
Drawing on memoir, history, and theory, Eli Clare complicates the understanding of cure, seeing it as an ideology that serves contradictory purposes from saving lives to social control while critiquing cure rhetoric and the drive to cure disabled people through an insistence of the value of disability."
First published in 1999, the groundbreaking Exile and Pride is essential to the history and future of disability politics. Eli Clare's revelatory writing about his experiences as a white disabled genderqueer activist/writer established him as one of the leading writers on the intersections of queerness and disability and permanently changed the landscape of disability politics and queer liberation. With a poet's devotion to truth and an activist's demand for justice, Clare deftly unspools the multiple histories from which our ever-evolving sense of self unfolds. His essays weave together memoir, history, and political thinking to explore meanings and experiences of home: home as place, community, bodies, identity, and activism. Here readers will find an intersectional framework for understanding how we actually live with the daily hydraulics of oppression, power, and resistance. At the root of Clare's exploration of environmental destruction and capitalism, sexuality and institutional violence, gender and the body politic, is a call for social justice movements that are truly accessible to everyone. With heart and hammer, Exile and Pride pries open a window onto a world where our whole selves, in all their complexity, can be realized, loved, and embraced.
A collection of poetry and prose, The Marrow's Telling spans fifteen years, exploring how bodies carry history and identity over time. Embracing contradiction and repetition, this work maps itself around embodied experiences of disability, race, gender transgression and transition, family violence, and sexuality.
In Feminist, Queer, Crip Alison Kafer imagines a different future for disability and disabled bodies. Challenging the ways in which ideas about the future and time have been deployed in the service of compulsory able-bodiedness and able-mindedness, Kafer rejects the idea of disability as a pre-determined limit. She juxtaposes theories, movements, and identities such as environmental justice, reproductive justice, cyborg theory, transgender politics, and disability that are typically discussed in isolation and envisions new possibilities for crip futures and feminist/queer/crip alliances. This bold book goes against the grain of normalization and promotes a political framework for a more just world.
Rod Michalko launches into this book asking why disabled people are still feared, still regarded as useless or unfit to live, not yet welcome in society? Michalko challenges us to come to grips with the social meanings attached to disability and the body that is not "normal." Michalko's analysis draws from his own understanding of blindness and narratives by other disabled people. Connecting lived experience with social theory, he shows the consistent exclusion of disabled people from the common understandings of humanity and what constitutes the good life. He offers new insight into what suffering a disability means to individuals as well as to the polity as a whole. He shows how disability can teach society about itself, about its determination of what is normal and who belongs. Guiding us to a new understanding of how disability, difference, and suffering are related, this book enables us to choose disability as a social identity and a collective political issue. The difference that disability makes can be valuable and worthwhile, but only if we choose to make it so. Author note: Rod Michalko is Associate Professor of Sociology at St. Francis Xavier University. He is the author of The Mystery of the Eye and the Shadow of Blindness (1998) and The Two- in-One: Walking with Smokie, Walking with Blindness (Temple, 1999).
Contends that disability is a central but misunderstood element of global austerity politics. Broadly attentive to the political and economic shifts of the last several decades, Robert McRuer asks how disability activists, artists and social movements generate change and resist the dominant forms of globalization in an age of austerity, or “crip times.” Throughout Crip Times, McRuer considers how transnational queer disability theory and culture—activism, blogs, art, photography, literature, and performance—provide important and generative sites for both contesting austerity politics and imagining alternatives. The book engages various cultural flashpoints, including the spectacle surrounding the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games; the murder trial of South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius; the photography of Brazilian artist Livia Radwanski which documents the gentrification of Colonia Roma in Mexico City; the defiance of Chilean students demanding a free and accessible education for all; the sculpture and performance of UK artist Liz Crow; and the problematic rhetoric of “aspiration” dependent upon both able-bodied and disabled figurations that emerged in Thatcher’s England. Crip Times asserts that disabled people themselves are demanding that disability be central to our understanding of political economy and uneven development and suggests that, in some locations, their demand for disability justice is starting to register. Ultimately, McRuer argues that a politics of austerity will always generate the compulsion to fortify borders and to separate a narrowly defined “us” in need of protection from “them.”
In Curative Violence Eunjung Kim examines what the social and material investment in curing illnesses and disabilities tells us about the relationship between disability and Korean nationalism. Kim uses the concept of curative violence to question the representation of cure as a universal good and to understand how nonmedical and medical cures come with violent effects that are not only symbolic but also physical. Writing disability theory in a transnational context, Kim tracks the shifts from the 1930s to the present in the ways that disabled bodies and narratives of cure have been represented in Korean folktales, novels, visual culture, media accounts, policies, and activism. Whether analyzing eugenics, the management of Hansen's disease, discourses on disabled people's sexuality, violence against disabled women, or rethinking the use of disabled people as a metaphor for life under Japanese colonial rule or under the U.S. military occupation, Kim shows how the possibility of life with disability that is free from violence depends on the creation of a space and time where cure is seen as a negotiation rather than a necessity.
I Am Not Perfect is a simple statement of profound truth, the first step toward understanding the human condition, for to deny your essential imperfection is to deny yourself and your own humanity. The spirituality of imperfection, steeped in the rich traditions of the Hebrew prophets and Greek thinkers, Buddhist sages and Christian disciples, is a message as timeless as it is timely. This insightful work draws on the wisdom stories of the ages to provide an extraordinary wellspring of hope and inspiration to anyone thirsting for spiritual growth and guidance in these troubled times. Who are we? Why so we so often fall short of our goals for ourselves and others? By seeking to understand our limitations and accept the inevitably of failure and pain, we being to ease the hurt and move toward a greater sense of serenity and self-awareness. The Spirituality Of Imperfection brings together stories from many spiritual and philosophical paths, weaving past traditions into a spirituality and a new way of thinking and living that works today. It speaks so anyone who yearns to find meaning within suffering. Beyond theory and technique, inside this remarkable book you will find a new way of thinking, a way of living that enables a truly human existence.
One of the quintessential goals of the American Dream is to own land and a home, a place to raise one’s family and prove one’s prosperity. Particularly for immigrant families, home ownership is a way to assimilate into American culture and community. However, Latinos, who make up the country’s largest minority population, have largely been unable to gain this level of inclusion. Instead, they are forced to cling to the fringes of property rights and ownership through overcrowded rentals, transitory living arrangements, and, at best, home acquisitions through subprime lenders. In Tierra y Libertad, Steven W. Bender traces the history of Latinos’ struggle for adequate housing opportunities, from the nineteenth century to today’s anti-immigrant policies and national mortgage crisis. Spanning southwest to northeast, rural to urban, Bender analyzes the legal hurdles that prevent better housing opportunities and offers ways to approach sweeping legal reform. Tierra y Libertad combines historical, cultural, legal, and personal perspectives to document the Latino community’s ongoing struggle to make America home.
Keywords for Disability Studies aims to broaden and define the conceptual framework of disability studies for readers and practitioners in the field and beyond. The volume engages some of the most pressing debates of our time, such as prenatal testing, euthanasia, accessibility in public transportation and the workplace, post-traumatic stress, and questions about the beginning and end of life. Each of the 60 essays in Keywords for Disability Studies focuses on a distinct critical concept, including “ethics,” “medicalization,” “performance,” “reproduction,” “identity,” and “stigma,” among others. Although the essays recognize that “disability” is often used as an umbrella term, the contributors to the volume avoid treating individual disabilities as keywords, and instead interrogate concepts that encompass different components of the social and bodily experience of disability. The essays approach disability as an embodied condition, a mutable historical phenomenon, and a social, political, and cultural identity. An invaluable resource for students and scholars alike, Keywords for Disability Studies brings the debates that have often remained internal to disability studies into a wider field of critical discourse, providing opportunities for fresh theoretical considerations of the field’s core presuppositions through a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Visit keywords.nyupress.org for online essays, teaching resources, and more.
In a challenge to current thinking about cognitive impairment, this book explores what it means to treat people with intellectual disabilities in an ethical manner. Reassessing philosophical views of intellectual disability, Licia Carlson shows how we can affirm the dignity and worth of intellectually disabled people first by ending comparisons to nonhuman animals and then by confronting our fears and discomforts. Carlson presents the complex history of ideas about cognitive disability, the treatment of intellectually disabled people, and social and cultural reactions to them. Sensitive and clearly argued, this book offers new insights on recent trends in disability studies and philosophy.
Susan Cain, New York Times bestselling author of Quiet: "The world could surely use a little more love, a little more compassion, and a little more wisdom. In Love for Imperfect Things, Haemin Sunim shows us how to cultivate all three, and to find beauty in the most imperfect of things--including your very own self." A #1 internationally bestselling book of spiritual wisdom about learning to love ourselves, with all our imperfections, by the Buddhist author of The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down Hearing the words "be good to yourself first, then to others" was like being struck by lightning. Many of us respond to the pressures of life by turning inward and ignoring problems, sometimes resulting in anxiety or depression. Others react by working harder at the office, at school, or at home, hoping that this will make ourselves and the people we love happier. But what if being yourself is enough? Just as we are advised on airplanes to take our own oxygen first before helping others, we must first be at peace with ourselves before we can be at peace with the world around us. In this beautiful follow-up to his international bestseller The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down, Zen Buddhist monk Haemin Sunim turns his trademark wisdom to the art of self-care, arguing that only by accepting yourself--and the flaws that make you who you are--can you have compassionate and fulfilling relationships with your partner, your family, and your friends. With more than thirty-five full-color illustrations, Love for Imperfect Things will appeal to both your eyes and your heart, and help you learn to love yourself, your life, and everyone in it. When you care for yourself first, the world begins to find you worthy of care.
In Racialized Bodies, Disabling Worlds, Parin Dossa explores the lives of Canadian Muslim women who share their stories of social marginalization and disenfranchisement in a disabling world. She shows how these women, who are subjected to social erasure in policy and research, define their identities and claim their humanity using the language of everyday life. Based on narrative ethnography, Racialized Bodies, Disabling Worlds makes a case for positive acknowledgement of perceived differences of nationality, religion, multiple-abilities, and gendered and race-based identities. It offers a powerful argument for bridging two disparate bodies of work: disability studies and anti-racist feminism. Most significantly, it shows how racialized Muslim women with disabilities are redefining the parameters of their social worlds and developing a distinctively pluralistic understanding of abilities. This ground-breaking work gives presence to the lives of people who are otherwise rendered socially invisible.
Max is used to being called Stupid. And he is used to everyone being scared of him. On account of his size and looking like his dad. Kevin is used to being called Dwarf. On account of his size and being some cripple kid. But greatness comes in all sizes, and together Max and Kevin become Freak The Mighty and walk high above the world. An inspiring, heartbreaking, multi-award winning international bestseller.
Taking a wide-ranging approach rare in jazz criticism, Ted Gioia's brilliant volume draws upon fields as disparate as literary criticism, art history, sociology, and aesthetic philosophy in order to place jazz within the turbulent cultural environment of the twentieth century. He argues that because improvisation--the essence of jazz--must often fail under the pressure of on-the-spot creativity, we should view jazz as an "imperfect art" and base our judgments of it on an "aesthetics of imperfection." Incorporating the thought of such seminal thinkers as Walter Benjamin, José Ortega y Gasset, and Roland Barthes, The Imperfect Art offers vivid portraits of the giants of jazz and startling insights into this vital musical form and the interaction of society and art.
Emerging from the internationally recognised Theorising Normalcy and the Mundane conference series, the chapters in this book offer wide-ranging critiques of that most pervasive of ideas, 'normal'. In particular, they explore the precarious positions we are presented with and, more often than not, forced into by 'normal', and its operating system, 'normalcy' (Davis, 2010). They are written by activists, students, practitioners and academics and offer related but diverse approaches. Importantly, however, the chapters also ask, what if increasingly precarious encounters with, and positions of, marginality and non-normativity offers us a chance (perhaps the chance) to critically explore the possibilities of 'imagining otherwise'? The book questions the privileged position of 'non-normativity'; in youth and unpacks the expectation of the 'normal' student in both higher and primary education. It uses the position of transable people to push the boundaries of 'disability', interrogates the psycho-emotional disablism of box-ticking bureaucracy and spotlights the 'urge to know' impairment. It draws on cross-movement and cross-disciplinary work around disability to explore topics as diverse as drug use, The Bible and relational autonomy. Finally, and perhaps most controversially, it explores the benefits of (re)instating 'normal'. By paying attention to the opportunities presented amongst the fissures of critique and defiance, this book offers new applications and perspectives for thinking through the most ordinary of ideas, 'normal'.
In Imperfect Leadership: A book for leaders who know they don't know it all, Steve Munby eloquently reflects upon and describes a leadership approach that is strong on self-awareness and positive about the importance of asking for help. Foreword by Michael Fullan. When asked to describe his own leadership style, Steve uses the word 'imperfect'. This is not something he apologises for; he feels imperfect leadership should be celebrated. Too often we are given examples of leaders who are put on some kind of pedestal, lauded as superheroes who have it all worked out and are so good at what they do that nobody else can come close. This book is the antidote to that flawed perception. Imperfect Leadership is an honest reflection upon leadership. It is about Steve's journey, covering his highs and lows and, ultimately, how he learned to refine and improve his leadership. It is about messy, trial-and-error, butterflies-in-the-stomach leadership and about thoughtful and invitational leadership - and the positive impact it can have. At the heart of the book are edited highlights of the 12 keynote speeches delivered to increasingly large audiences of school leaders between 2005 and 2017. These speeches, delivered at the Seizing Success and Inspiring Leadership conferences, form the structure around which Steve's story and insights are wrapped. Steve's account covers some fundamental shifts in the English education system over this 12-year period and describes how school leaders altered their leadership as this context changed. Furthermore, it delves into how his own leadership developed as his personal context changed, and explores how the notion that a leader needs to be good at all aspects of leadership is not only unrealistic, but is also bad for the mental and physical health of leaders and will do nothing to attract new people into leadership positions. Ultimately, Steve hopes that as you read this book you will see the value of imperfect leadership and of the positive impact it can make. For those reading it who have yet to step up into leadership, his sincere wish is that it will encourage and empower aspirational leaders rather than discourage them. Suitable for all those in or aspiring to leadership positions in education.
In 1914 the British-built and Japanese-owned steamship Komagata Maru left Hong Kong for Vancouver carrying 376 Punjabi migrants. Chartered by railway contractor and purported rubber planter Gurdit Singh, the ship and its passengers were denied entry into Canada and two months later were deported to Calcutta. In Across Oceans of Law Renisa Mawani retells this well-known story of the Komagata Maru. Drawing on "oceans as method"—a mode of thinking and writing that repositions land and sea—Mawani examines the historical and conceptual stakes of situating histories of Indian migration within maritime worlds. Through close readings of the ship, the manifest, the trial, and the anticolonial writings of Singh and others, Mawani argues that the Komagata Maru's landing raised urgent questions regarding the jurisdictional tensions between the common law and admiralty law, and, ultimately, the legal status of the sea. By following the movements of a single ship and bringing oceans into sharper view, Mawani traces British imperial power through racial, temporal, and legal contests and offers a novel method of writing colonial legal history.
The world is in a terrible mess. It is toxic, irradiated, and full of injustice. Aiming to stand aside from the mess can produce a seemingly satisfying self-righteousness in the scant moments we achieve it, but since it is ultimately impossible, individual purity will always disappoint. Might it be better to understand complexity and, indeed, our own complicity in much of what we think of as bad, as fundamental to our lives? Against Purity argues that the only answer—if we are to have any hope of tackling the past, present, and future of colonialism, disease, pollution, and climate change—is a resounding yes. Proposing a powerful new conception of social movements as custodians for the past and incubators for liberated futures, Against Purity undertakes an analysis that draws on theories of race, disability, gender, and animal ethics as a foundation for an innovative approach to the politics and ethics of responding to systemic problems. Being against purity means that there is no primordial state we can recover, no Eden we have desecrated, no pretoxic body we might uncover through enough chia seeds and kombucha. There is no preracial state we could access, no erasing histories of slavery, forced labor, colonialism, genocide, and their concomitant responsibilities and requirements. There is no food we can eat, clothes we can buy, or energy we can use without deepening our ties to complex webbings of suffering. So, what happens if we start from there? Alexis Shotwell shows the importance of critical memory practices to addressing the full implications of living on colonized land; how activism led to the official reclassification of AIDS; why we might worry about studying amphibians when we try to fight industrial contamination; and that we are all affected by nuclear reactor meltdowns. The slate has never been clean, she reminds us, and we can’t wipe off the surface to start fresh—there’s no fresh to start. But, Shotwell argues, hope found in a kind of distributed ethics, in collective activist work, and in speculative fiction writing for gender and disability liberation that opens new futures.