The Head of a Dog or Horn of a Rhino: Meaning, Milton, and Me

[H]e reproaches me with want of beauty and loss of sight: “A monster huge and hideous, void of sight.” … [B]ut he immediately corrects himself, and says, “though not indeed huge, for there cannot be a more spare, shrivelled and bloodless form.” It is of no moment to say any thing of personal appearance, yet…

Aversion to Aging: Futuristic Science Fiction and Ageism

Science fiction, a genre known for its extrapolations into the future, seem Science fiction. For a genre that is known for its seemingly equitable futures, it sure seems to take issue with age and aging. Indeed, disability studies scholar Alison Kafer notes that “Whenever I tell people I have been working on a book about…

My Anxious Brain Inspires Me

Melissa Maldonado-Salcedo // “A writer….must believe that whatever happens to him is an instrument…This is even stronger in the case of the artist that happens, including humiliations. embarrassments, misfortunes, all has been given like clay, like material for one’s art.” -Jorge Luis Borges This story offers a snapshot into my head to provide a humanistic…

Notes on Spinal Catastrophism

Travis Chi Wing Lau // “It is the duty of a spine to destroy the universe; or, a spine is the universe’s method of acknowledging this duty to self-destruct.”[1] To my scoliosis, reads the dedication to Thomas Moynihan’s Spinal Catastrophism: A Secret History (Urbanomic 2019). This line alone was more than enough for me to…

Austen, Expectations, and Crips in the World

Pasquale S. Toscano // I’ve been reading a great deal of Jane Austen lately, which is odd, because I’ve never considered myself a fan of the grande dame of English letters. All of her plots are so damn predictable, and well—how shall we put this—quaint. And then there are those maddeningly handsome gentlemen and far-too-fetching…