Author/activist to discuss ‘Grappling With Cure’

January 25, 2017 | Events, UToday, Arts and Letters
By Staff

Award-winning writer and activist Eli Clare will visit campus to give a talk Monday, Jan. 30, at 6 p.m. in Memorial Field House Room 1140.

“Eli Clare is unique in disability studies,” said Dr. Jim Ferris, Ability Center of Greater Toledo Endowed Chair in Disability Studies. “As an independent scholar and writer, he has been pushing the field’s thinking forward since the 1990s. His book, ‘Exile and Pride: Disability, Queerness and Liberation,’ marked a turning point in the field, and Eli continues to be a beacon for those explicating what it means to be ‘other’ in a world of norms.”



Clare, who on his website identifies as “white, disabled and genderqueer,” will present a talk titled “Grappling With Cure.” He will use memoir, history and critical analysis to explore the ideology of cure: the deeply held belief that bodies and minds considered broken need to be fixed.

According to Clare, “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,” Ferris said.

The stories he tells range widely, stretching from disability stereotypes to environmental activism, gender transition to skin lightening creams.

“Ultimately, he 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,” Ferris, professor and chair of disability studies, said.

In addition to “Exile and Pride,” Clare is author of “The Marrow’s Telling: Words in Motion and Brilliant Imperfection: Grappling With Cure,” which will be released in February.

The free, public event is present by the UT Disability Studies Program.

For accommodations and further information, call the Disability Studies Program at 419.530.7245.

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