Spring 202170 / 326

The coronavirus pandemic inaugurated a global shift to online learning, working, and socializing. This event considers the immediate and longterm effects such a move has on parents and on forms of mothering in particular. Our panelists will discuss the history, theory, and data of mother's health decision making and pandemic-related disruptions to the family, as well as of familial navigation of disability, education, and adaptive digital devices.

Based on interviews with parents of children with Down syndrome, as well as women who terminated their pregnancies because their fetus was identified as having the condition, Unexpected paints an intimate, nuanced picture of reproductive choice in today’s world. Piepmeier takes us inside her own daughter’s life, showing how Down syndrome is misunderstood, stigmatized, and condemned, particularly in the context of prenatal testing.

Dramatists, scholars, and disability activists have started taking an interest in a deaf Irishwoman who was once considered the premiere national playwright of her day: Teresa Deevy. Interest in her life and works has taken different shapes, from those drawn to her representations of women living circumscribed lives in 1930s Ireland to those who want to recover a neglected history of deaf artistry. In a series of panels, we ask what it means to look in the archives for a writer as elusive as Deevy. Where do we find information about Deevy and her work, and how is this quest inflected by the needs of the present moment? This symposium will include discussions between archivists, scholars, theatre historians, disability activists, performance artists, and directors to examine the various ways of finding Deevy in a historical record that has too often blotted her out. 

View the full history of lectures for Explorations in the Medical Humanities.


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