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Monday, January 23, 2012

Disability/Culture symposium, University of Michigan, January 31st to February 2nd 2012

Join us in our fifth annual arts-based research symposium at the University of Michigan:
Disability/Culture, January 31st to February 2nd 2012

Symposium Program (all events in the Duderstadt Video Performance Studio on North Campus, unless otherwise stated. Events marked ?open? are open to the public, just walk in. If you want to participate in other workshops, please email the symposium director,, so she can send you relevant information or readings)

Tuesday, January 31st

11-12: Slow Start/Hang Out: Lisa Steichmann/Petra Kuppers (both UofM): Under the Echo/Spherical, artist's books and sound art. Informal artist talk and poetry reading, Slusser Gallery, Art and Design Building, North Campus (open)

ON MAIN CAMPUS, not part of the symposium, but very conveniently aligned: 12.30-2: Tobin Siebers (UofM):  The Mad Women Project: Disability and the Aesthetics of Human Disqualification, Institute for the Humanities.

2.30 Symposium Opening and Welcome

3-4 Sue Cheesman (Dance Education, University of Waikato, Aotearoa/New Zealand): movement workshop (open)

4-5: Disability Culture video interviews (in studio, one-on-one)

6-6.30 Studio visit with Sadashi Inuzuka (Art and Design ceramics studio, across the street from the Duderstadt, open)

6.40-8.15: Roundtable: what is/are disability culture(s)?
Presentations by Jennifer Eisenhauer (Art Education, The Ohio State University), Yulia Arakelyan and Erik Ferguson (Independent Artists, Portland, OR), discussion with Melanie Yergeau (UofM) and symposium fellows, open

Wednesday, February 1st

10-11.30 Margaret Ames (Theatre, Aberystwyth University, Wales, and Cyrff Ystwyth dance company): performance workshop

11.45-12.45 Neil Marcus (independent artist, Berkeley, CA): Special Effects, followed by Olimpias Somatics/Expression taster workshop (Petra Kuppers, UofM) open

1.00-2.00 lunch

2-3 Ariel Osterweis (Dance Department, Wayne State University) and Aimee Meredith Cox (African and African American Studies, Fordham University): Embodied Translations: A Movement Workshop

3.30-4.30 Pam Block (Cultural Anthropology, Occupational Therapy, SUNY Stonybrook): accessible self-defense workshop, open

4.45-5.45: Cheryl Kaplan Zachariah (independent theatre artist, Chicago): performative debriefing

Thursday, February 2nd:

10-1: time to devise a short performance piece for the afternoon. We?ll make it work together, no leader: the process is the product. We will break every 45 mins or so to check in about physical/emotional/cognitive/o
ther access: what are our boundary spaces, where are balances of pressure and creativity?

2.30:  UM Initiative on Disability Studies Spring Conference (open)
- Performance by the whole group
- Solo performance by Yulia Arakelyan
- Presentation by Sadashi Inuzuka (UofM), on his work in disability settings in Japan, and on his professional journey as a blind sculptor
- Video Screenings: introduced segments from work by Touch Compass Dance Company, Aotearoa/New Zealand; by Cyrff Ystwyth, theatre work with developmentally disabled artists; by The Olimpias: The Journey to the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, a video shot during the 2011 arts-based research symposium)
Q+A with audience

4.30-5.30: Poster Session, Central Collaboration Area (open)
Poster presentations by members of the university and the wider local community

Supported by UMInDS, Art and Design, English, Social Work, and the Global Scholars Program; Spherical supported by Institute for Research on Women and Gender


Petra Kuppers
Associate Professor
English, Art and Design, Theatre, Women's Studies
University of Michigan
435 S. State Street, 3187 Angell Hall, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1003
mobile: 734-239-2634
Artistic Director of The Olimpias,

New books!
Disability Culture and Community Performance: Find a Strange and Twisted Shape, on Olimpias practices (Palgrave, August 2011,
Somatic Engagement, an edited collection of artists on the poetics, politics and publics of embodiment (Chain Links, October 2011,

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