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This volume is about radicalisms and conservatisms in Africa. It examines broadly the way in which these two concepts should not be taken as mere binaries around which to organize knowledge. It contains essays that demonstrate that these concepts have multiple and diverse meanings as perceived and understood from different disciplinary vantage points, hence, the deliberate pluralization of the terms. As well, the essays show what happens when one juxtaposes the two concepts and how they are easily intertwined when different peoples’ lived experiences of poverty, political and social alienation, education, intolerance, youth activism, social (in)justice, violence, etc. across the length and breadth of Africa are brought to bear on our understandings of these two particularisms.

Contributors are: Adekunle Victor Owoyomi, Adeshina Francis Akindutire, Adewale O. Owoseni, Bright Nkrumah, Clement Chipenda, Ebenezer Babajide Ishola, Edwin Etieyibo, Israel Oberedjemurho Ugoma, Jonah Uyieh, Jonathan O. Chimakonam, Madina Tlostanova, Maduka Enyimba, Muchaparara Musemwa, Odirin Omiegbe, Obvious Katsaura, Olufunke Olufunsho Adegoke, Peter Kwaja, Philip Akporduado Edema, Tafadzwa Chevo, and Temitope Owolabi.
This book constitutes a sociological research on the current “narrations” of the economic and refugee crisis which has mobilized all the aspects of social storytelling during the last decade, most particularly in the European South. Because the different (mass and social) media reflect the dominant ideas and representations, the research on the meaning of different media narratives becomes a necessary report for the understanding of the relation (or “inexistent dialogue”?) between official political discourses and popular myths (based on everyday life values of prosperity, mostly promoted by the mass culture and the cultural industries’ products). Despite the ongoing inequalities and difficulties, the contemporary audiences seem to counterbalance misery by the dreams of happiness, provided by this kind of products.

Contributors include: Christiana Constantopoulou, Amalia Frangiskou, Evangelia Kalerante, Laurence Larochelle, Debora Marcucci, Valentina Marinescu, Albertina Pretto, Maria Thanopoulou, Joanna Tsiganou, Vasilis Vamvakas, and Eleni Zyga.
Disability and Dissensus is a comprehensive collection of essays that reflects the interdisciplinary nature of critical cultural disability studies. The volume offers a selection of texts by numerous specialists in different areas of the humanities, both well-established scholars and young academics, as well as practitioners and activists from the USA, the UK, Poland, Ireland, and Greece. Taking inspiration from Critical Disability Studies and Jacques Rancière’s philosophy, the book critically engages with the changing modes of disability representation in contemporary cultures. It sheds light both on inspirations and continuities as well as tensions and conflicts within contemporary disability studies, fostering new understandings of human diversity and contributing to a dissensual ferment of thought in the academia, arts, and activism.

Contributors are: Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, Dan Goodley, Marek Mackiewicz-Ziccardi, Małgorzata Sugiera, David T. Mitchell, Sharon L. Snyder, Maria Tsakiri, Murray K. Simpson, James Casey, Agnieszka Izdebska, Edyta Lorek-Jezińska, Dorota Krzemińska, Jolanta Rzeźnicka-Krupa, Wiktoria Siedlecka-Dorosz, Katarzyna Ojrzyńska, Christian O’Reilly, and Len Collin.

Abstract

The chapter presents the history of Theatre 21 (T21), the first professional Polish theatre company of actors with intellectual disability. It examines the way in which T21’s artistic director Justyna Sobczyk has been creating a truly dissensual, political theatre by empowering her actors to speak about their problems in their own voice. Wiktoria Siedlecka-Dorosz focuses in particular on Tisza be-Aw [Tisha B`Aw] (2015). Alluding to the extermination of patients of mental institutions, the performance highlights the remains of eugenic thinking and the mechanisms of social exclusion that are still operative in the contemporary societies. The chapter also discusses T21’s 2018 performance entitled Rewolucja, której nie było [Revolution that Never Took Place], which was devised as a response to the first major sit-in at the Polish parliament staged by people with disabilities, their parents, and carers.

In: Disability and Dissensus: Strategies of Disability Representation and Inclusion in Contemporary Culture
In: Disability and Dissensus: Strategies of Disability Representation and Inclusion in Contemporary Culture

Abstract

The chapter focuses on the artistic work of several Polish theatre companies which consist of adults who were clinically diagnosed with low-functioning intellectual disabilities and which created an informal association IM+. It examines selected fragments of interviews with the disabled actors as well as non-disabled therapists and theatre practitioners who collaborate with these ensembles. Placing their analyses in the context of Homi Bhabha’s third space and Mikhail Bakhtin’s borderline, the authors show how the members of the companies venture beyond the narrow medical context of occupational therapy, which is symptomatic of a slow but persistent change that has been taking place in Polish disability culture over the last few decades. The chapter discusses the work of IM+ as a way to establish a third, dissensual space, a borderline in which disability art and disability itself can be renegotiated, and new meanings, identities, and cultural narratives emerge, thus helping reconfigure the Rancierian inegalitarian distribution of the sensible. In this way, it helps destigmatize intellectual disability and conceptualize it as a productive source of creativity rather than a form of deficit.

In: Disability and Dissensus: Strategies of Disability Representation and Inclusion in Contemporary Culture
In: Disability and Dissensus: Strategies of Disability Representation and Inclusion in Contemporary Culture
In: Disability and Dissensus: Strategies of Disability Representation and Inclusion in Contemporary Culture

Abstract

The chapter is a transcription of a talk delivered by Irish award-winning playwright and screenwriter Christian O’Reilly at the University of Łódź on 26th September 2015. O’Reilly discusses his contribution to Damien O’Donnell’s film Inside I’m Dancing (2004) and the process of creating the play Sanctuary (2012) that he wrote for, and in close collaboration with, the actors of Blue Teapot, a professional Irish theatre company of people with intellectual disability. His unique testimony not only provides an invaluable insight into his artistic strategies, but also sheds light on the history of the independent living movement and disability activism in Ireland in the 1990s.

In: Disability and Dissensus: Strategies of Disability Representation and Inclusion in Contemporary Culture

Abstract

The chapter offers a comprehensive introduction to Critical Disability Studies in the humanities, a grass-roots scholarly movement that seeks to implement a new model of disability, which earlier gained recognition in social sciences, in academic fields such as: literary studies, performance studies, history, and philosophy. It delineates the major areas of interest explored by cds, which often overlap with gender, queer, posthuman, and postcolonial studies. It also explains how language and the new ways of speaking about disability may help question the naturalized concepts that have been shaping the various common, often ableist perceptions of disability. Furthermore, the chapter includes a thorough diachronic overview of the major models of disability. These are illustrated with a number of examples from various cultural and social contexts. The examples, however different, share a number of common premises upon which the models of disability have been founded and also show the ways in which contemporary artists and writers challenge and revise these models in their works.

In: Disability and Dissensus: Strategies of Disability Representation and Inclusion in Contemporary Culture