Mobilizing Metaphor

Art, Culture, and Disability Activism in Canada

Edited by Christine Kelly and Michael Orsini

  • Published: 2016. Paperback June 2017
  • Subject Listing: Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Art
  • Bibliographic information: 360 pp., 33 illus., 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: US rights only
  • Distributed for: UBC Press
  • Contents

Mobilizing Metaphor illustrates how radical and unconventional forms of activism, including art, are reshaping the rich and vibrant tradition of disability mobilization in Canada. The artists, activists, and scholars in Mobilizing Metaphor reveal how their work is distinctive as both art and social action, and how disability activism is as varied as the population it represents. Sketching the shifting contours of Canadian disability politics, the authors challenge perceptions of disability and the politics that surround it, leading us to re-examine how we define oppression and how we enact change.
Christine Kelly is an assistant professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba. Michael Orsini is the director of the Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies and a full professor in the School of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa. Contributors: Paula Bath, Drew Danielle Belsky, Eliza Chandler, Nadine Changfoot, Kathryn Church, Diane Driedger, Lindsay Eales, Catherine Frazee, Gabriel Blouin Genest, Melissa Graham, nancy viva davis halifax, Kevin Jackson, Véro Leduc, Alex McClelland, Pamela Moss, Kristin Nelson, Melanie Panitch, Jeffrey Preston, Carla Rice, Jen Rinaldi, jes sachse, Tanya Titchkosky, and Jessica Whitbread

"Mobilizing Metaphor is the essential disabled handbook for living with, through, against, across, and alongside metaphor. Canadian spaces, in this collection, open onto a world of possibility - a necessarily and desirably disabled world where metaphors take surprising and unexpected new forms. For anyone thinking about the cultural work generated by the vibrant languages of disability art and activism, Mobilizing Metaphor is required reading."
-Robert McRuer, author of Crip Theory: Cultural Signs of Queerness and Disability and coeditor of Sex and Disability

"I can't imagine a collection doing a better job of representing the liveliness, complexity, and spread of disability art, culture, and activism in Canada."
- Jay Timothy Dolmage, author of Disability Rhetoric

"This book will change how people think about art, about disability, and about Canadian social movements."
-" - Sally Chivers, s, author of The Silvering Screen: Old Age and Disability in Cinema"

"Mobilizing Metaphor is a testament to the thriving of critical disability studies in Canada, and to arts-based activisms' coalitional potential to move toward more just futures. The collection brings together multiple perspectives on what contemporary radical acts of knowledge creation and creative protest can do in the world."
-Petra Kuppers, author of Disability Culture and Community Performance and Studying Disability Arts and Culture

"A comprehensive look at disability activism and art in Canada and beyond . . . showing the interconnected nature of creativity and politics."
-Lennard J. Davis, author of The End of Normal: Identity in a Biocultural Era

Introduction: Mobilizing Metaphor / Christine Kelly and Michael Orsini

Part 1: Assemblages of Disability Research, Art, and Social Transformation
1. Fixing: The Claiming and Reclaiming of Disability History / Catherine Frazee, Kathryn Church, and Melanie Panitch
2. Imagining Otherwise: The Ephemeral Spaces of Envisioning New Meanings / Carla Rice, Eliza Chandler, and Nadine Changfoot
3. PosterVirus: Claiming Sexual Autonomy for People with HIV through Collective Action / Alexander McClelland and Jessica Whitbread
4. Deaf and Disability Arts: Insiders, Outsiders, and the Potential of Progressive Studios / Kristin Nelson
5. "It Fell on Deaf Ears": Deafhood through the Graphic Signed Novel as a Form of Artivism / Véro Leduc

Part 2: Artistic Paths to Disability Activism
6. (Dis)quiet in the Peanut Gallery: Performing Social Justice through Integrated Dance / Lindsay Eales
7. Battle Lines Drawn: Creative Resistance to Ableism through Online Media / Jeffrey Preston
8. Deconstructing Phonocentrism: A New Genre in Deaf Arts / Paula Bath
9. Crip the Light Fantastic: Art as Liminal Emancipatory Practice in the Twenty-First Century / jes sachse
10. Claiming "the Masters" for Disability Rights: An Artist's Journey / Diane Driedger

Part 3: Rethinking Agency in Canadian Disability Movements
11. Perching as a Strategy for Seeking Legitimacy for Broken Embodiments: Embracing Biomedical Claims for ME / Pamela Moss
12. Challenging Rhetorical Indifference with a Cripped Poetry of Witness / Jen Rinaldi and nancy viva davis halifax
13. The Body as Resistance Art/ifact: Disability Activism during the 2012 Quebec Student Movement / Gabriel Blouin Genest
14. Divided No More: The Toronto Disability Pride March and the Challenges of Inclusive Organizing / Melissa Graham and Kevin Jackson
15. Accountability, Agency, and Absence: Embodying Radical Disability Values in Artistic Production / Drew Danielle Belsky

Conclusion: The Politics of Embracing Disability Metaphor / Tanya Titchkosky