Disability and Contemporary Performance presents a remarkable challenge to existing assumptions about disability and artistic practice. In particular, it explores where cultural knowledge about disability leaves off, and the lived experience of difference begins. Petra Kuppers, herself an award-winning artist and theorist, investigates the ways in which disabled performers challenge, change and work with current stereotypes through their work. She explores freak show fantasies and 'medical theatre' as well as live art, webwork, theatre, dance, photography and installations, to cast an entirely new light on contemporary identity politics and aesthetics.
This is an outstanding exploration of some of the most pressing issues in performance, cultural and disability studies today, written by a leading practitioner and critic.
Table of Contents
List of figures, Acknowledgements, Figure acknowledgements, Performance and disability: An introduction, 1. Practices of reading difference, 2. Freaks, stages, and medical theaters, 3. Deconstructing images: Performing disability, 4. Outsider energies, 5. Encountering paralysis: Disability, trauma, and narrative, 6. New technologies of embodiment: Cyborgs and websurfers, Epilog: Toward the unknown body: Stillness, silence, and space in mental health settings, Notes, Bibliography, Index
Petra Kuppers is Assistant Professor of Performance Studies at Bryant College. She is Artistic Director of the Olimpias Performance Research Project and she has written extensively in the fields of cultural, performance and disability studies.