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Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013 11:00 AM


As part of its series Representing Disability: Disability Studies and the Humanities, the Portland Center for Public Humanities presents a seminar with Susan Schweik:

Twice-Described Description: Notes Toward an Ekphrastic Culture

Friday, May 3rd, 10 a.m.
Neuberger Hall 407 | 724 SW Harrison

Free and open to the public.

This workshop will explore relations between literary ekphrasis (traditionally understood as the textual description of a visual work of art) and the kinds of description that disability is thought to occasion. To think of ekphrasis as visual description is to trouble the difference between art and assistance. To think of visual description as ekphrasis is to encourage a visual description that is aware of its ethical responsibilities and its imaginative and persuasive force. The workshop will be both critical and creative: we will look at some classic and contemporary examples of poetic ekphrasis through a disability studies lens, and we will try our own hands at a critical ekphrastic practice.

Susan Schweik is Associate Dean of Arts and Humanities and a recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence. A former Presidential Chair in Undergraduate Education for Disability Studies at U.C. Berkeley, she has been involved with the development of disability studies at Berkeley for fifteen years. She was co-coordinator of the Ed Roberts Fellowships in Disability Studies post-doctoral program at Berkeley (coordinated by the Institute for Urban and Regional Development). She has taught and co-taught undergraduate courses in Disability and Literature, Discourses of Disability, The Disability Rights Movement, Disability and Digital Storytelling, Psychiatric Disability, Literature and Medicine, and Race, Ethnicity and Disability, among others, and graduate courses in Body Theory and Disability Studies and Advanced Disability Studies. Her other teaching and research interests include twentieth century poetry, late nineteenth century American literature, women's studies and gender theory, urban studies, war literature and children's literature. She is a recipient of Berkeley's Distinguished Teaching Award. Her proudest honor is the name sign given to her by students at Gallaudet.

You might also be interested in the lecture Ugly Laws Then and Now by Susan Schweik on 5/2/2013, 7pm.

Free and open to the public. Co-sponsored by the English Department and the Disability Resource Center.

Requests for reasonable accommodations may be made to Conference & Events Office, (503) 725-CONF, or the Disability Resource Center, (503) 725-4150, e-mail: In order to ensure that reasonable accommodations can be provided in time for this event, please make your requests as soon as possible.

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• Location: Portland, PSU, Neuberger Hall 407

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