Intersections (Dis)Ability and the Arts speaker series.

Sponsored by the Soyka Fund for the Humanities, the Department of Fine Arts, and the Medical and Health Humanities program, this speaker series examines the intersections between the arts and disability studies.

  • Intersection of Disciplines. By emphasizing an intersection of disciplines, this program examines different ways of knowing by exploring the shifting boundaries between ability and “disability.
  • Intersection of Communities. Because disability is a human condition—one largely shaped by societal forces—this program provides for a public forum of exchange between different perspectives, including but not limited to: health care practitioners, scholars in the humanities, musicians, writers, and visual artists. 
  • Intersection of Practices. By presenting different perspectives on mental and physical disabilities, this series encourages participants to compare and contrast different practices employed in art and medicine.
  • Intersection of Narratives. As the identification and medicalized approach to disability has changed and as our propensity to qualitatively label disability has largely depended on the stories we share, musicians, writers, and visual artists have played an important role in understanding human experience. This series sheds light on the factors that have contributed to these shifting views.

All events are free and open to the public.

MK Czerwiec, "Drawing on Disability: Graphic Medicine"

MK Czerwiec, RN, MAMonday, November 18, 2019
7:00pm in Sandy and Marlene Insalaco Hall Rooms 218 (Huntzinger) and 219 (Alden)


MK Czerwiec, RN, MA, also known as the Comic Nurse, is a co-founder of the field graphic medicine, which explores the intersection of comics and medicine as a means of engaging with visual-narrative representations of health and illness, including healthcare partners, long-term illness, and disability.  She is a Senior Fellow at George Washington School of Nursing Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement and is the Artist in Residence at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine. Drawing on book Taking Turns: Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371, and her other work on graphic medicine and disability, MK will explore the intersection of art, medicine, and disability by taking the audience through a visual journey of how health communities and society have viewed disability and ways in which comics allow for individualization, community building, and empathetic approaches to health care.

Click here for event flyer
MK's talk was supported in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. 

Kendra Preston Leonard, "Music and Mental Illness in Shakespeare"

Friday, February 21, 2020Kendra Preston Leonard, Ph.D.
12:00pm in the Mary Kintz Bevevino Library McGowan Room

Kendra Preston Leonard, Ph.D.  is a musicologist and music theorist whose work focuses on women and music in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries; and music and screen history, particularly music and adaptations of Shakespeare. She is the author of five scholarly books and numerous book chapters and articles on Shakespeare and music, including Shakespeare, Madness and Music: Scoring Insanity in Cinematic Adaptations (Scarecrow Press, 2009). She is the founder and Executive Director of the Silent Film Sound and Music Archive, the founder and manager of SHEAF: Shakespeare in Early Film Database, and the Head of Scholarship and Research at the Institute for Composer Diversity (SUNY-Fredonia). In her presentation, Dr. Leonard will discuss how music functions as a signifier of mental health in films and stage performances of Shakespeare’s plays.
Dr. Leonard was supported in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. 

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