Lawrence — A virtual visit by disability rights activist and editor Alice Wong explores some of the remaining activities surrounding the 10th Common Book of the University of Kansas, Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories for the 21st Century will be the forerunner of
Wong will answer questions submitted during the online presentation on February 22nd and participate in informal conversations with students on February 23rd. The university community has a year-long research anthology that provides diverse perspectives on the lived experience of both visible and invisible disabilities. Questions can be submitted through the online form by February 2nd.
Delivered in partnership by KU Libraries, Hall Center for the Humanities, and KU Academic Success, the Common Book program aims to build community among students, faculty and staff. Encourage intellectual engagement through reading and discussion. Create conversations to share about important topics and issues in today’s world.
This talk is just one of many Disability Visualization events taking place this spring in and around KU’s Lawrence campus. Here is an overview of the rest of the activities:
- KU’s New Music Guild will present an interactive concert exploring how disability is treated in the medium of sound. The concert will take place on February 10th at 7:00 PM at the Reed Center in Kansas, followed by an informal reception. At the reception, the audience will have the opportunity to interact with the performers, ask questions, and discuss the concert’s themes with them.
- On February 12, Kaye McIntire of Kansas Public Radio and her KPR Presents Book Club spoke with Rebekah Taussig, author of “Sitting Pretty: The View from my Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body,” and Megan Kaminski, Associate Professor of KU. welcome. Taussig graduated from her KU and earned her doctorate in creative non-fiction and disability studies. The group will discuss Tausig’s memoirs and share a collection of commissioned essays, poems, and short stories about the personal experiences of listeners living with disabilities.
- Alice Wong, editor of this year’s Common Book, will be speaking at a virtual event on February 22nd at 7:30 PM. Register for the event and submit your questions to the presenters using this form by February 2nd. Students can also register here to join the conversation with students on February 23 at 3:00 PM and submit questions using this form.
- KU’s Educate & Act series focuses on “Disability Justice and Public Policy” with its March 2 panel discussion on Civic Engagement and Participation. Sessions starting at noon will include speakers from across the campus, along with experts from outside the university. Access the event via this link to the Zoom meeting.
- On April 13th at 6:00 pm, the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity and Campus Partners will release “Disability Justice is a Feminist Issue.” This is a collaborative ZINE project that complements Disability Visibility. After selected contributors review their posts, there will be an opportunity for Q&A. Submit her 8.5 x 11 inch pages on the themes of disability justice, disability discrimination, gender and feminism by April 1st.
- The Dancing Wheels Company and School, a professional dance organization for dancers with and without disabilities, will perform at the Lied Center on April 14 at 7:30 PM. Dancing Wheels has been performing since 1980, providing performers with disabilities full and equal access to the world of dance. This performance is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a grant aimed at “leveraging the performing arts to strengthen Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives.” KU’s team worked with dance companies and schools to integrate the curriculum into her KU classes.
- Chloe Cooper-Jones, KU alumnus, philosophy professor and freelance journalist, will release her memoir, Easy Beauty, about disability, motherhood, and the search for new ways of seeing and being seen, on April 25 at 7:30 p.m. Talk about… Hall Center Conference Hall and online via Hall Center Cloudcast, a video platform for online meetings and webinars. Cooper Jones, a native of Tonganoxy, became a Pulitzer Prize finalist for his feature article “Fearing for His Life,” a profile of Ramsey Orta who filmed the murder of Eric Garner.
For updates and details on these events, please visit the Common Book website.
— Story by Abdullah Al-Awhad