Eastern Michigan University to host Disability Arts and Culture Symposium to raise awareness about disability culture

Disability Arts and Culture Symposium artYPSILANTI – The School of Communication, Media and Theatre Arts and the Critical Disability Studies Minor at Eastern Michigan University will host a free and open-to-the-public two-day Symposium on Disability Arts and Culture on December 2-3. The symposium is funded by a Women in Philanthropy Grant and the Michigan Alliance for Cultural Accessibility. Interpretation services are provided by the Disability Resource Center and the College of Arts and Sciences.

The Disability Arts and Culture Symposium will bring together the community to build an inclusive cultural sector where artists, faculty, students and community members and organizations will participate in a conversation to raise awareness about disability culture and to promote a future of cultural and artistic inclusiveness for everyone. 

The symposium will include remarks from three keynote speakers, including Petra Kuppers, disability culture activist, community performance artist and professor at the University of Michigan, Carrie Sandahl, associate professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Department of Disability and Human Development, and Darren Harbour, founder of Imagine Blind Players, Inc.

The goals of the symposium include:

  • Helping participants understand disability as social, political, and relational and therefore forming the grounds for a unique culture.
  • Acquiring an analytic framework to better understand disability culture and evaluate representations of disability culture.
  • Sharing state-of-the art research about disability art and culture.
  • Sharing strategies and promote accessibility to the arts
  • Promoting the relevance of disability studies in a university setting.
  • Facilitating greater conversation and collaboration within and beyond the university.

In addition to the keynote speakers, sessions and workshops will feature presenters from all over the U.S. and Canada. The full schedule of the symposium, can be found on the Symposium Schedule website.

You can register for the free symposium via the registration form, or by sending an email to disabilityartandculture19@gmail.com with the following information: first and last name, affiliation, position, email, if you are a presenter and if you require access services.  Those that want to request access services need to do so before Nov. 20 by emailing disabilityartandculture19@gmail.com.

The symposium serves as an example of the collaboration between departments and colleges at EMU, with the organizing committee representing the School of Music and Dance, Women’s and Gender Studies and Communication, Media & Theatre Arts within the College of Arts and Sciences, as well as the School of Health Sciences within EMU’s College of Health and Human Services.

Key sponsors of the event include the Women and Philanthropy Grant, and the Disability Resource Center. 

 About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves nearly 18,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

November 20, 2019

Written by:
Morgan Mark

Morgan Mark