Burton Blatt Institute's Multimedia (Dis)courses Series Launches March 7, 2019

February 21, 2019

Sources: Syracuse University News | College of Law News

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On March 7, 2019, the Burton Blatt Institute’s (BBI) Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach, in collaboration with the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA), will present the first event in a new series that showcases disability literature, media, and the arts, focusing on contemporary critical reflection, teaching, and research. The series is called (Dis)courses: Interdisciplinary Disability Dialogues.


The March 7 event will feature Professor Taylor Brorby, of Hobart and William Smith Colleges in a prose reading, discussion, and book signing at 7:45 p.m. in Watson Theater, Watson Hall, Syracuse University. Brorby is an award-winning essayist and a poet whose work has been featured in North American Review, Orion, and The Huffington Post. He is the author of Crude: Poems, Coming Alive: Action and Civil Disobedience, and co-editor of Fracture: Essays, Poems, and Stories on Fracking in America

“Disability is at the heart of human experience," says University Professor Stephen Kuusisto, Director of BBI’s Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach initiative. "We’re seeking a broad understanding of embodiments and imagination across academic disciplines. Syracuse University, with its history of disability research, scholarship, and activism, is the perfect place for these vital conversations.”

The series continues on March 27, 2019, at 7 p.m. in Watson Theater, with the Syracuse premiere of You Were an Amazement on the Day You Were Born, an experimental film that tells the story of a woman with mental and emotional disabilities. The screening will be followed by a discussion and reception. 


Filmmakers Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby are both faculty members in the Transmedia Department of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. They have collaborated since 1994 in print, installation, new media, curation and criticism, and art video. Their work has been shown at the Whitney Museum, The New York Film Festival, the International Film Festival of Rotterdam, and elsewhere. In 2011, they were Featured Filmmakers at the Rotterdam International Film Festival and the Ann Arbor Film Festival, and in 2016 they were Spotlight Artists at the Images Festival in Toronto. 

On April 15, 2019, at 7:30 p.m., Professor Jillian Weise of Clemson University will give a poetry reading in Room 001 of the Life Sciences Building, Syracuse University, followed by a discussion and book signing. Jillian_Wiese.jpg

Weise is a poet, performance artist, and disability rights activist. The Book of Goodbyes won the 2013 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets. Her speculative novel, The Colony, features the characters of Charles Darwin, Peter Singer, and James Watson. Her first book, The Amputee’s Guide to Sex, was re-issued in 2017 with a new preface. Weise has written about being a cyborg for Granta and The New York Times, and her next book, Cyborg Detective, is forthcoming. Tips for Writers by Tipsy Tullivan, Weise's web series, "parrots and deranges literary ableism." Playing the character of Tipsy across social media, this performance has been cited by Inside Higher Ed, Electric Literature, and BOMB. 

Events in the Spring 2019 (Dis)courses series are free and open to the public. American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART) will be provided during the readings and discussions. The March 27 film screening will be captioned and presented with descriptive audio. ASL interpretation will be provided during the reception following the film screening. For other accommodations requests, or if you have any questions, please contact BBI at least one week before a scheduled event.   

More information about Events available on Syracuse University's calendar of Events

March 27: (Dis)courses: Interdisciplinary Disability Dialogues  
April 15: (Dis)courses: Interdisciplinary Disability Dialogues 

Parking is complimentary, on a first-come, first-served basis. On March 7 and 27, the Marion Lot will be available, with the Q5 lot designated for accessible parking. On April 15, the Q4 lot will be available, with the Q2 lot designated for accessible parking. Parking locations can be found on the campus parking map. Questions about parking can be directed to Dee Bailey at debailey@syr.edu or 315.443.5319.


About the Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach
The Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach will create and advance interdisciplinary, intersectional educational programs, research and pedagogy focused on disability justice, identities, cultures and studies. The office will also engage with a wide array of University constituents to interface, network and collaborate with local, regional, national and global partners, and pursue development and advancement opportunities that underscore, celebrate and enhance the rich and nuanced experiences of disabled people. Disabled students, faculty, staff and alumni—including the significant experience and contributions of veterans—will be at the heart of this initiative.

About the Burton Blatt Institute
BBI reaches around the globe in its efforts to advance the civic, economic, and social participation of people with disabilities, with offices in Syracuse, NY, New York City, Washington, D.C., Lexington, KY, and Atlanta, GA. BBI builds on the legacy of Burton Blatt, a pioneering disability rights scholar, to better the lives of people with disabilities. For more information about BBI, visit: http://bbi.syr.edu.