Unspeakable: Films and Lectures on Disability History, Identity, and Rights
“Unspeakable: Disability History, Identity, and Rights” is a Winter 2011 series of lectures and films at the University of Washington in Odegaard Library, Room 220. “Unspeakable” is presented in conjunction with the traveling version of the Willard suitcase exhibit, “The Lives They Left Behind: Suitcases from a State Hospital Attic,” which has been brought to the University of Washington by Live Inclusive. The exhibit focuses on the lives of several women and men who were committed to the Willard Psychiatric Center in upstate New York, starting in 1918. Willard operated for more than 125 years as a state mental hospital, finally closing in 1995. It was then, and quite by accident, that nearly 400 suitcases were discovered in the attic of an abandoned building. The goal of the exhibit is to bring the stories of the suitcase owners and a patient-centered view of the history of psychiatry to a wide audience. It will be hosted on the second floor of Odegaard Library from January 17 to March 18, 2011. The supporting programming for the exhibit includes the “Unspeakable” series of film screenings (Tuesdays 5:30p.m. from January 25 to February 22, refreshments provided) and lectures by visiting and local scholars in disability studies, as well as weekly panel presentations (Thursdays 6:00p.m.) on personal stories and policy issues. All of these events will provide forums for conversations about perspectives on past and present disability issues.
All events are free and open to the public
Location: University of Washington Odegaard Library, Room 220 (Google map) (Campus map)
Lecture series overview:
“Unspeakable” features lectures by invited scholarly experts who work on topics in disability studies that complement the subject matter of the Willard Suitcases Exhibit. Each presentation will be followed by ample time for audience discussion. Geoffrey Reaume of York University will talk about his research and activism around the history of mental institutions and patient labor in Canada. Philip Ferguson of the School of Educational Studies at Chapman University will discuss his research on historical examples of family-professional interactions in institutions for people with intellectual disabilities. Jeffrey Brune, a UW History graduate who now teaches at Gallaudet University, will speak about the significance of John Howard Griffin’s intersecting racial, sexual and disability identities in his book Black Like Me. Licia Carlson will speak about work she has done on philosophy, gender, and intellectual disability. Several of these scholars will also lead discussions after the Tuesday night film screenings.
UW co-sponsors of “Unspeakable”:
Disability Studies Program; Norris & Dorothy Haring Center for Applied Research & Training in Education; Program on Values in Society; Department of History; Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity; Law, Societies, & Justice Program; Department of Political Science; Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies; Comparative History of Ideas Program; Women Studies Department; Bothell Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences; Canadian Studies Center of the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies; DO-IT; Disability Advocacy Student Alliance; ASUW Student Disability Commission; ASUW Women’s Action Commission; ASUW Gay Bisexual Lesbian Transgender Commission.
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