An Introduction from Eliza Chandler

Eliza, wrapped in a large scarf,  is pictured against the backdrop of trees changing to fall colours

My name is Eliza Chandler and I am the new Ethel Louise Armstrong Post-Doctoral Fellow in the School of Disability Studies. A post-doctoral fellowship (post-doc) can mean many things, but at the School it is this wonderful position created for a disabled woman who has recently completed her PhD to research an area related to disability studies and mad studies that is of interest to her.  Dr. Kirsty Lidddiard, who many of you know, was the previous post-doc (and she has very large shoes to fill!). I am occupying her old office, the office beside Kathryn’s. Feel free to drop in to introduce yourself or have a chat at anytime.

I wanted to introduce myself to you, as well as the topic I have chosen to study over the next two years. I will be researching disability and mad art in Canada. And I will be doing this in a number of ways, outlined in this letter.

Disability and Mad Arts Seminar Series

This year we will have monthly seminars with disability and mad artists and curators that are targeted at you, DST students. This schedule currently has a few holes in it, so if you would like to hear about a topic related to disability and mad art, please let me know and I will see what I can do! Here is the schedule and I will send out reminder emails as we go. Some of the dates are set and others are flexible.

Amanda Cachia, Curating Disability and Access: Ethics, Pragmatics, Effects

October 23, 7:00-8:30PM

Ryerson University, room TBA

This talk will explore the challenges of curating exhibitions that explore disability as its central theme by focusing on a number of recent exhibits curated by Cachia.

For more on Cachia, please visit: http://www.amandacachia.com and for details of a recent exhibit she curated: http://exhibits.haverford.edu/whatcanabodydo/

Curating Huronia: Members from the upcoming Surviving Huronia exhibit talk about the practices and politics of curating disability and mad art.

December 2, 7:00-8:30PM

401 Richmond Arts Centre, Urban Space Gallery

 This event will feature members of the Surviving Huronia curatorial committee discussing experiences of growing up in the Huronia Regional Centre, the Huronia class action suit, survivors art practices and their upcoming exhibitions, and how the collectivity of the curatorial committee seeks to disrupt the ‘top down’ approach through which disability and mad art has historically been curated.  This talk is a ‘teaser’ for upcoming art exhibitions.

For more on the Huronia Regional Centre and activism around it, please visit:

Huronia Institutional Survivors Website

Information about the successful class action suit brought to the government by survivors of Huronia

Premier Wynne’s apology (part of the class action settlement)

CBC Radio Documentary on Huronia and the Rideau Regional Centre, The Gristle in the Stew (one of the only bits of national coverage)

The “Remember Every Name” Huronia cemetery restoration project

Project Creative Users: Accessing the City through Arts Inquiry with Lindsay Fisher and Eliza Chandler

February (date to be confirmed)

Ryerson University (room number to be confirmed)

Project Creative Users is a community disability arts initiative. This group of 6 artists and non-artists are spending the fall together in workshops dedicated to creating artwork which address the theme, ‘accessibility in the city.’ We hope that the art we produce serves as an ‘open letter’ to the government addressing the AODA. This artwork will be displayed on our Project Creative Users website, coming soon.

This event will feature a presentation the Project Creative Users collective discussing our experience making art collective and our thoughts on arts inquiry as a tool for disability justice based political action. We will also display and discuss our art!

Fixed: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement screening and discussion with filmmaker Regan Brashear

Mid-March (date to be confirmed)

Ryerson University (room number to be confirmed)

 Fixed: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement is a documentary film that interrogates the drive to be ‘better than human’ and the radical technological innovations that may take us there. This event will feature a screening of the film with and introduction with the filmmaker Regan Brashear. There will be a panel discussion following the screening. Please look for the Call for Participation or talk to me if you’d like to participate in this panel discussion! 

Fixed website, including the trailer: http://www.fixedthemovie.com

These are a few of the events on the horizon for the 2014-15 school year. I will circulate updates when details get filled in and new events are planned. Stay tuned!

Other things that I am involved with that may be of interest:

Canadian Disability Studies Association Conference

June 4, 5, and 6 2015

University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON

As the president-elect of the Canadian Disability Studies Association (CDSA-ACEI), I am working to create a Call for Presentations for our upcoming conference that is open to undergraduate students and welcoming of mad studies and Deaf studies as well as disability studies. This call for participations will be circulated in October and the conference will take place at the University of Ottawa June 4, 5, and 6 2015.

If you are at all interested in participating in this conference and would like to talk to someone about this, please get in touch with me. I would be more than happy to talk you through the application process and review your abstract. It would be great to have a critical mass of DST students at this conference! Also please note that there is a Student Paper Award that you can, and should, submit to.

For more information on CDSA-ACEI, please visit: http://www.cdsa-acei.ca/home.html

Tangled Arts + Disability

401 Richmond Building, Suite S-30

401 Richmond Ave., Toronto ON

Along with this post-doc position, I am the Artistic Director of Tangled Arts + Disability. Tangled is a disability arts organization located in the 401 Richmond Arts Building dedicated to supporting and cultivating disability arts. We have an annual festival and Kids Fest in March and April as well as additional programming throughout the year. Our Tangled on Tour programs disability and mad art throughout the province. This year we will be in London, Windsor, Ottawa, and Thunder Bay; if you live in one of these cities, please get in touch! We also have an artist-in-residency program for disability and/or mad-identified artists. If you want to be support by, or volunteer for Tangled, please get in touch. I will pass on lots of Tangled events throughout the year.

For more on Tangled, please visit: http://abilitiesartsfestival.org/whats-new/

Please drop in for a chat or email me at anytime (eliza.chandler@ryerson.ca). I’d love to hear from you.

Have a wonderful school year and I will be sure to keep you up-to-date on all things disability and mad arts on my end of things.

All the very best,

Eliza Chandler

eliza.chandler@ryerson.ca

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