1st Edition

Performing Resilience for Systemic Pain

By Meghan Moe Beitiks Copyright 2022
    176 Pages 55 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    How might performance serve as a means for facing ubiquitous trauma and pain, in humans and ecologies?

    While reflecting on her multidisciplinary work Systems of Pain/Networks of Resilience, artist Meghan Moe Beitiks considers bodies of knowledge in Trauma Theory, Intersectional Feminist Philosophy, Ecology, Disability Studies, New Materialism, Object-Oriented Ontology, Gender Studies, Artistic Research, Psychology, Performance Studies, Social Justice, Performance Philosophy, Performance Art, and a series of first-person interviews in an attempt to answer that question. Beitiks brings us through the first-person process of making the work and the real-life, embodied encounters with the theories explored within it as an expansion of the work itself. Facing down difficult issues like trauma, discrimination, and the vulnerability of the body, Beitiks looks to commonalities across species and disciplines as means of developing resilience and cultivating communities. Rather than paint a picture of glorious potential utopias, Beitiks takes a hard look at herself as an embodiment of the values explored in the work, and stays with the difficult, sucky, troubling, work to be done.

    Performing Resilience for Systemic Pain is a vulnerable book about the quiet presence and hard looking needed to shift systems away from their oppressive, destructive realities.



    Chapter 1: The Necessity and Danger of Empathy (Moment 1), with Audio Description by Katie Murphy

    Chapter 2: Trauma & Theory: (Nebraska), with Audio Description by Emily Smith Beitiks

    Chapter 3: Human/Non-human/More-than-human Relationships (New York), with Audio Description by Katie Murphy

    Chapter 4: Categories, Stigma and Listening (Installation One), with Audio Description by Emily Smith Beitiks

    Chapter 5: Failure that Lives in the Body (Portrait) (aka: "Androgynous [Gender] Queer White Wom@x#y!n Looks at Her Actions, Things, Feelings." This chapter is intended for privileged identities.)

    Chapter 6: What I Can’t See (New York 2), with Audio Description by Katie Murphy

    Chapter 7: Surrender (Moment 2), created with Katie Murphy

    Chapter 8: Water and Other Obvious Connective Forces (Santa Fe), with Audio Description by Adam Harvey and photos by Jane Phillips

    Chapter 9: Systems of Pain/Networks of Resilience (Exhibition)

    List of contributors



    Emily Beitiks, San Francisco State University, Menlo College, USA. Beitiks received a Ph.D. in American Studies with a focus in Disability Studies at the University of Minnesota. She has taught at the University of Minnesota, UC Santa Cruz, UC Davis, and is currently adjunct faculty at Menlo College. She is the Associate Director of the Longmore Institute on Disability at San Francisco State University, where she continues her work as a scholar and advocate of disability to showcase how disabled people bring unique value that can benefit us all. There, she is co-director for Superfest Disability Film Festival, the longest running film festival of its kind in the world.

    Adam Harvey, actor and James Joyce scholar, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. Harvey is currently working on content for his continuing web series, "DON’T PANIC: it’s only Finnegans Wake" — interpretive animations of, and tutorials on, Joyce's great cryptic masterwork.

    Katie Murphy, freelance audio describer, autistic self-advocate, and higher education professional based in the San Francisco Bay Area, USA. Accountable to her vibrant, local disability community, her audio description explores the social context and power dynamics underlying visual representations. At the same time, her work emphasizes the aesthetic possibilities of audio description through lush detail, clever wordplay, and—pause for effect—timing.

    Jane Phillips, photographer, New Mexico, USA.


    Meghan Moe Beitiks is an artist working with associations and dissociations of culture/nature/structure. Her work has been published in Performance Philosophy, Performance Research, Journal for Artistic Research, Unlikely Journal for Creative Arts, and World Futures. The last chapter of her project A Lab for Apologies and Forgiveness is a book with Candor Arts. She is currently an Interdisciplinary Studio Art Lecturer at the University of Florida.