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About Faces and Disability

When Mar 24, 2013
from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
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JANET LYON

 

Associate Professor of English and Women's Studies, Penn State University

Janet Lyon is associate professor of English and Women's Studies. She is the author of numerous articles on modernism and feminism and a book on the history of the manifesto form. She is working on a book-length study of modernism and disability.

About Faces and Disability

The differential diagnosis for a number of genetic disorders includes the presence of certain facial traits; indeed, in a range of medical, anthropological, and sociological practices, facial features have long been read as symptoms or evidence of pathology. This paper considers a recent trend among Europeans and North Americans to surgically "repair" in their children the facial characteristics associated with Down syndrome. Working within the context of disability history, my discussion of the significant relation between the legible face and disability will be framed by larger questions related to stigma, identity, difference, and, especially, "passing."

March 24, 2003