talks

April 11, 2019, 1:00-4:30pm ≡  Lehman College, Library Conf Room 213

What is “Normal”?

Poster for Keep the Change film

Join us for a screening of Keep the Change, a charming romantic comedy and a refreshingly honest story about sex, love, disability, relationships, and personal values set right here in New York City. David meets Sarah attending a day program after getting in trouble with the law. It looks like the budding romance will be good for both of them, but David’s parents object. They call Sarah a gold-digger and look down on her because of her learning disability. Will David do the right thing and follow his heart? Does Sarah stay with David after he insults her?

Stay after the film for conversation with Julia Miele Rodas and Lehman College students about the film, including questions of sexual independence and consent for people with disabilities.

+ + + + + +

April 25, 2019, 6:00-8:00pm ≡  Binghamton University, FA 258

Autism Poetics & the Problem of Intentionality

miscellaneous contents of my son's pockets one random dayWhile research on autism has sometimes focused on special talents or abilities, autism is typically characterized as impoverished or defective when it comes to language. Autistic Disturbances reveals the ways interpreters have failed to register the real creative valence of autistic language and offers a theoretical framework for understanding the distinctive aesthetics of autistic rhetoric and semiotics. Reinterpreting characteristic autistic verbal practices such as repetition in the context of a more widely respected literary canon, the book argues that autistic language is actually an essential part of mainstream literary aesthetics. In addition to offering an overview of the central argument of the book, this talk will speak directly to the contested issue of autistic “intentionality,” arguing that the tensions around this question are part of what Melanie Yergeau sees as “a project of dehumanization.”

Sponsored by the Binghamton University Comparative Literature Department and the Graduate Student Organization.

+ + + + + +

October 4, 2019, Time TBA ≡  Berkeley

Autistic Disturbances

Detail from Autistic Disturbances book jacketStay tuned!

Sponsored by the University of California–Berkeley Department of English.