Friday’s Disability Research Forum session

This Friday, 9 March 2018,  we will have our next Disability Reading Group and Disability Research Forum session. The location for both is Arundel 10212B.

At 10:30-11:30am, we will discuss the following article:

Pritchard, E. (2017). Cultural Representations of dwarfs and the disabling affects on dwarfs in society. Considering Disability1, 1-31.

The DRF session will take place at 12-2pm. We will have two speakers.

Our first speaker is Dr Erin Pritchard from Liverpool Hope University

“He’s Adorable”: Representations of People with Dwarfism in Family Guy

This presentation examines how people with dwarfism are represented in the American animated sitcom Family Guy. Whilst the show has been criticised for its controversial humour, in this presentation I argue that the show actually exposes negative social attitudes that people with dwarfism encounter from other members of the public, whilst refraining from encouraging stereotypes of dwarfism. It builds upon Fink’s (2013) suggestion that animated comedies are a source of both humour and social commentary. It is suggested that Family Guy has the potential to challenge social attitudes towards people with dwarfism, and the way they are perceived in society, through directing the humour towards those who mock them as opposed to those with dwarfism.

Our second speaker is Dr Maria Tsakiri from Frederick University – University of Nicosia

Emotion Pictures – Documentary & Disability International Festival and crip activism

My paper will attempt to examine disability film festivals as the spaces where the representations of disability in films, and more specifically in documentary films, work towards a change that is required for understanding disability. I find that the representations that lead to this change are representations of “crip killjoys” (Johnson and McRuer). I also argue that disability film festivals combine arts and activism,bringing together crip killjoys, giving them the space to take action, and challenging notions of normative aesthetics and compulsory able-bodiedness. This paper will suggest that disability film festivals can be the spaces where crip activism works towards inclusion and social justice in austerity times. I mainly focus on the Emotion Pictures – Documentary & Disability International Festival where I undertook my fieldwork at the beginning of my research.

Maria Tsakiri is an independent researcher. She teaches at Frederick University (Cyprus) and the University of Nicosia (UNICAF). Her research interests lie in critical disability studies and film festival studies, focusing on representations of disability in documentary films and crip activism.


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