An Evening with Eli ClareFriday Oct 13 2017 7:30 pm, Winnipeg, Grant Park in the Travel Alcove
Discussing & Signing Brilliant Imperfection: Grappling with Cure (Duke University Press). Co-presented by the Margaret Laurence Endowment Fund (Women’s and Gender Studies, University of Manitoba) and the Alan Klass Memorial Program for Health Equity (Max Rady College of Medicine, University of Manitoba).
In Brilliant Imperfection Eli Clare uses memoir, history, and critical analysis to explore the idea of “cure”—the deeply held belief that people considered disabled, sick or broken need to be fixed. Cure serves many purposes: it saves lives, manipulates lives, and prioritizes some lives over others; it provides comfort, makes profits, and justifies violence. Clare grapples with the contradictions of cure, showing that neither a pro-cure worldview nor an anti-cure politics is enough to allow us to understand the complex relationships we have with our bodies and minds. In challenging the commonsense notion that some people need to be cured, Clare simultaneously encourages readers to question the ideas of “normal” and “natural,” concepts that reinforce systems of oppression such as racism and ableism. Ultimately, Brilliant Imperfection insists on the value of difference, providing new ways of thinking about the nature of humanity and its relationship with the rest of the world.
Eli Clare is a poet, essayist, activist, and the author of Exile and Pride: Disability, Queerness, and Liberation, also published by Duke University Press, and The Marrow’s Telling: Words in Motion. He speaks regularly at conferences, community events, and colleges across the United States and Canada about disability, queer and trans identities, and social justice, and his writing has appeared in numerous periodicals and anthologies. Clare lives in the Green Mountains of Vermont and can be found online.