Speakers

2018 Composing Disability: Crip Politics and the Crisis of Culture

Speakers for the 2018 installment of Composing Disability will be announced in the coming months, and they will be posted on this page.  

In the meantime, readers are encouraged to peruse the featured speakers from past events in the Composing Disability conference series.

LaDonna Redmond holding a basket of tomatoes
LaDonna Redmond
A long-time community activist, La Donna Redmond has successfully worked to get Chicago Public Schools to evaluate junk food, launched urban agriculture projects, started a community grocery store, and worked on federal farm policies to expand access to healthy food in low-income communities. Redmond is a 2003 WK Kellogg Food and Society Policy Fellow; in 2009, Redmond was one of 25 citizen and business leaders named a Responsibility Pioneer by Time Magazine.

In early April 2013, Redmond launched the Campaign for Food Justice Now (CFJN), a membership-based organization that uses a race, class, and gender analysis to promote food and agricultural system reforms, and advocate for the adoption of right-to-food policies in the U.S.

She is currently Diversity and Community Engagement manager for Seward Community Co-op. In that role, LaDonna led an effort to build a natural foods co-op in an historically African American community. Sewards Friendship store opened October 2015.

LaDonna hosts 2 weekly radio shows, “It's your health” on KMOJ- FM in Minneapolis, and the online radio show “Diary of an Urban Food Goddess” on blog talk radio.

Combining art with activism, Ladonna curates theatre performances called SOUL food monologue. SFM encourages people to write and perform food, land and justice stories with an emphasis on healing the relationship between land and people.


Susan Antebi Headshot
Susan Antebi
Susan Antebi is Associate Professor of Spanish at the University of Toronto, and Director of the Latin American Studies Program. Her research focuses on disability and corporeality in the contexts of Mexican cultural production. She has published on discourses of public health and architectural aesthetics in post-Revolutionary urban Mexico, on the roles of disability and racialization in genomic medicine, and on the production and circulation of disability in Mexican literature, film and public space. She is the author of Carnal Inscriptions: Spanish American Narratives of Corporeal Difference and Disability, (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2009), and co-editor,  with Beth J├Ârgensen, of Libre Acceso: Latin American Literature and Film through Disability Studies (SUNY Press, 2016). 

Her work in the area of disability studies stems from a long-standing interest in concepts and experiences of corporeal difference, particularly as tied to the history of ethnographic spectacle, and to the ethics of embodied identity in literature and performance. Her book in progress is titled Eugenics and Intercorporeality: Reading Disability in Twentieth Century Mexican Cultural Production. She serves on the editorial boards of Disability and the Global South: An International Journal, and Disability Studies Quarterly.


Sunaura Taylor Headshot
Sunaura Taylor
Sunaura Taylor is an artist, writer and activist. 

Her book Beasts of Burden: Animal and Disability Liberation, which explores the intersections of animal ethics and disability studies, is forthcoming from The New Press. 

She is currently a PhD student in American Studies in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at NYU.


2014 Composing Disability: Diagnosis, Interrupted

Ellen Forney Headshot
Ellen Forney
Ellen Forney is the author of New York Times bestselling  graphic novel Marbles: Mania Depression, Michelangelo, and Me; the Eisner-nominated I Love Led Zeppelin ; Monkey Food: The Complete “I Was Seven in ‘75” Collection; and Lust. She collaborated with celebrated writer Sherman Alexie on the National Book Award-winning novel The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian, contributing full-page comics and cartoon illustrations.

She has been honored with The Stranger Genius Award in Literature; as an Artist In Residence at Atlantic Center for the Arts, Town Hall Seattle, and Richard Hugo House; by being voted “Best Local Cartoonist” by Seattle Weekly; and by receiving three nominations for the prestigious Eisner Award.

Karen Nakamura is a cultural and visual anthropologist at Yale University whose research focuses on disability, sexuality, and other minority social movements. In 2006, she published Deaf in Japan: Signing and the Politics of Identity, an ethnography of sign language and deaf social movements in contemporary Japan. This book was awarded the John Whitney Hall Prize from the Association for Asian Studies.

She has recently published a book on psychiatric disabilities and community based recovery in contemporary Japan which has been published by Cornell University Press as A Disability of the Soul: An Ethnography of Schizophrenia and Mental Illness in Contemporary Japan. Currently she is working on the intersections of sexuality and disability in Okinawa.

Katie Rose Guest Pryal is Clinical Assistant Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina School of Law.  Prior to coming to UNC, Professor Pryal taught as full-time faculty in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at UNC-Chapel Hill, where she specialized in legal rhetoric and professional writing. She holds a J.D. and a Ph.D. in rhetoric and composition. Her main areas of research include legal rhetoric; genre theory; disability studies; and affirmative action.

She is the author of three books: A Short Guide to Writing About Law (Pearson 2010); Core Grammar for Lawyers (Carolina Academic Press 2011); and Core Grammar for College (Carolina Academic Press 2013). She has another book forthcoming from Oxford University Press in 2014.

She has published and presented papers on disability studies, specifically in the area of psychiatric disability, on such topics as the “mood memoir”; the relationship between creativity and mood disorders in scientific research; and the public responses to mental illness in the wake of spree killings.

Ann Cvetkovich is Ellen Clayton Garwood Centennial Professor of English and Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of Mixed Feelings: Feminism, Mass Culture, and Victorian Sensationalism (Rutgers, 1992); An Archive of Feelings: Trauma, Sexuality, and Lesbian Public Cultures (Duke, 2003); and Depression: A Public Feeling (Duke, 2012).

She co-edited (with Ann Pellegrini) “Public Sentiments,” a special issue of The Scholar and Feminist Online, and (with Janet Staiger and Ann Reynolds) Political Emotions (Routledge, 2010). She has been coeditor, with Annamarie Jagose, of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies.

Her current writing projects focus on the current state of LGBTQ archives and the creative use of them by artists to create counterarchives and interventions in public history.

2011 Composing Disability: Writing, Communication, Culture

Michael Davidson, author of Concerto for the Left Hand: Disability and the Defamiliar Body. Davidson is a Distinguished Professor of Literature at the University of California, San Diego.

Terry Galloway, a deaf and queer writer, performer, and author of Mean Little deaf Queer. Galloway is also the co-founder of Actual Lives, a writing and performance workshop for adults with and without disabilities, and Mickee Faust Club, a performance group responsible for award-winning video parodies.

Merri Lisa Johnson, author of Girl in Need of a Tourniquet: Memoir of a Borderline Personality and the editor of Jane Sexes It Up: True Confessions of Feminist Desire. Johnson is the director of the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of South Carolina Upstate.