Little House in the Hood: Save the Bees, call me Mel

Mel Maldonado-Salcedo // What’s in a Name? I was born in the 1980s, an era filled with excess. Perhaps this is the reason I have always struggled with moderation. My generation was defined by drugs, MTV, and Melissas. From grade school to high school, I was one of a few Melissas in each classroom. For this…

Collectively Holding Space: A Reflection

Amala Poli // I find, when I write, I don’t want to write well-made scenes, narratives that flow, structures that give a sense of wholeness and balance, plays that feel intact. Intact people should write intact plays with sound narratives built of sound scenes that unfold with a sense of dependable cause and effect; solid…

Testing for Normalcy: Amniocentesis and Disability in the 1970s

John A. Carranza // “2. Pregnancy is usually a happy time. Most newborn infants are normal and healthy. Even so, parents often wonder if their unborn child will be normal.”[1] By the late 1970s, reproductive decisions and the sense of normality were challenged and redefined by the women’s liberation and disability rights movement, among others….

Special Issue Review: Chemistry, Disability, and Frankenstein

Diana Rose Newby // Chemistry, Disability, and Frankenstein, theme issue of Literature and Medicine, vol. 36, no. 2, fall 2018. In her introduction to the 1831 edition of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley concludes with well wishes for her creation’s second life: “And now, once again, I bid my hideous progeny go forth and prosper” (25). Today,…

The Deaf Crusaders: A Risky Prophecy

Mia Florin-Sefton //      In March 2008, The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) hosted a talk titled “A Spotlight on Deafness” [1]. The talk was one in a long series dedicated to discussing various conditions thought to be potentially treatable with the development of new embryonic stem cell therapies (ESC). It is noteworthy, however, that…

Neurodiverse Reading

Ittai Orr // In See It Feelingly: Classic Novels, Autistic Readers, and the Schooling of a No-Good English Professor (Duke Univ. Press, 2018), Ralph Savarese writes that literature is a kind of social medicine, that it represents a “way of restoring relation” (193). There is no better illustration of this power of literature—or rather, of a…

Monstrous Myths of Disability in M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass

Diana Rose Newby // Warning: This piece contains mild spoilers for the film Glass. Difference is the bread and butter of the superhero genre. And to a degree, so is disability. Think X-Men’s paraplegic Professor X; the blindness and depression of Marvel’s Daredevil; the facial scarring that catalyzes Harvey Dent’s murderous mental illness; Iron Man’s super-powered…

Disability as Experience

In this post, I’d like to make things a bit more personal than I have so far. Last week I got into a debate with a professor. It’s not important what this debate was about. Instead, it’s important what this debate wasn’t about. This professor was asking my class—myself and six other graduate students/artists—to participate…