One of the highlight speaking events of the fall semester will take place Monday, Oct. 1 when the University welcomes Danielle Peers to campus for her talk entitled Interrogating Disability: The De-Composition of a Recovering Paralympian.
Co-sponsored by the Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs, the University of Lethbridge Office of the President and numerous departments and organizations on campus, this event promises to have wide appeal, as Peers's work is provocative, interdisciplinary and creative.
Peers is a Trudeau and Vanier scholar who studies the relationship between disability, sport and social justice movements in Canada. The timing of her talk could not be better, coming on the heels of the Paralympic Games in London, Eng.
Bringing Peers to the U of L is a coup for organizers. An activist filmmaker, performance artist, former Paralympic athlete, wheelchair basketball coach and community organizer, Peers is a sought-after speaker. She is currently pursuing a PhD in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta, and has been involved in research projects funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Sport Science Association of Alberta. Her academic writings have appeared in such scholarly venues as Disability and Society, Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, and Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise. Several U of L faculty members teach Peers's work in their classes on campus.
In her talk, Peers will weave personal stories, creative writing and critical disability theory to explore how the daily questioning and storytelling about disability serve to create certain kinds of disabled (and able-bodied) subjects. She will revisit her own experiences of diagnosis, Paralympic classification, basketball games, media interviews, conversations and internal struggles to consider how she has been composed, and has decomposed herself as a disabled Paralympian.
The event provides a valuable forum for intellectual discussion and it is an important opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty and staff, to hear a provocative and engaging speaker who will challenge us all to think about the ways in which particular bodies are constructed as the "Other."
Organizers of the event include Drs. Carly Adams (kinesiology and physical education), Jason Laurendeau (sociology) and Suzanne Lenon (women and gender studies).
The event is scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. in the SU Ballroom and is free and open to the public. Following Peers's talk, there will be a reception with light refreshments. Peers will also meet with interested graduate students at a luncheon earlier on Oct. 1 as well as speak to undergraduate classes on Tuesday, Oct. 2.
This story first appeared in the September 2012 issue of the Legend. For a look at the full issue in a flipbook format, follow this link.