Zachary Welsh’s thoughts on some of the readings for 03/18/2021

While I found all of the readings for this week to be engaging, two of them particularly caught my interest. One of which being Clare Baker and Stuart Murray’s Postcolonialism: Global Disability Cultures and Democratic Cultures, and John Lee Clark’s Deaf Blind: Three Squared Cinquain.

What specifically caught my attention in the Baker and Stuart reading, was their. discussion about the negative connotations that come with the term “disabled,” and how they can affect the individuals in which we as a society label with this term. The authors state not only state that the term “disability” is used “problematically, as a metaphor for the ‘damaged’ or abject postcolonial body politic,” but also that labels. such as these act as “oppressive representational practices.” With this, Baker and Stuart bring to light the negative implications associated with the labels our society uses for individuals with a disability. This reading also hearkens back to some discussions earlier in our course about the term and I feel as though this reading reinforces some of those ideas. To reiterate, we discussed how the term “disabled” can place the designated individual in which we are associating the word with in a very negative light and almost paint them as a. helpless, weak victim to. their disability and i feel that ideas such as these were very evident in this portion of the text.

The next reading. that really. stood out to me was John Lee Clark’s Deaf Blind: Three Squared Cinquain. With this poem, Clark is providing commentary on the idea that we as a society view a disabled person being able to do an every day task as a huge accomplishment or miracle. Clark further argues that by doing this, we are creating an even greater divide between abled individuals and people with disabilities, as by not normalizing these people being able to do everyday tasks, we are further giving into the idea that their disabilities limit them. Clark specifically uses an example of “a deaf-blind man / who cooks without burning himself!” Clark also provided the example of a disabled individual being able to pick his nose, to which. he states “can”t I pick my nose / without it being a miracle?” By presenting this idea, Clark is not only critiquing certain aspects of our society, but providing specific examples as to how we are contributing even further to those issues.

I would love to hear some other people’s thoughts on the readings, whether they be the two I mentioned or even the others that I did not discuss 🙂

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