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Literary and disabilities scholar Tobin Siebers discusses “The Mad Women Project," October 7, 2010.

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY—Scholar Tobin Siebers will speak on “The Mad Women Project: Disability and the Aesthetics of Human Disqualification” on Thursday, October 7, at 5:30pm in the Vassar College Students’ Building, 2nd floor. Free and open to the public, the lecture will be followed by a book signing by Siebers.

From 1999 to 2005, Korean photographer Park Young-Sook investigated the representation of women with mental disabilities by photographing gestures and postures used to identify women as “crazy” in a series of photographs called The Mad Women Project. Using this project as a starting point, Siebers will examine the physical echoes of cognitive and intellectual disability, interrogating how aesthetics participates in the disqualification of disabled people as inferior and stigmatizes appearances associated with disabled minds. Siebers will also explore The Mad Women Project in the context of feminist theory and the work of Cindy Sherman.

Tobin Siebers is V. L. Parrington Collegiate Professor and Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan. He has been a fellow of the Michigan Society of Fellows and the John Simon Memorial Guggenheim Foundation and a visiting scholar at the École Polytechnique in Paris. His books include Disability Theory, Disability Aesthetics, Among Men, as well as The Subject and Other Subjects: On Ethical, Aesthetic, and Political Identity and The Body Aesthetic: From Fine Art to Body Modification. His recent work on disability studies has been published in American Literary History, Cultural Critique, Literature and Medicine, Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory, Michigan Quarterly Review, PMLA, and the MLA volume on disability studies.

The lecture is made possible through the Margaret Reese Langdon ’27 Fund for Students with Disabilities at Vassar College. The Margaret Reese Langdon Fund was established to encourage students both with and without disabilities to consider careers that further the potential of those confronting both structural and architectural barriers.

Program sponsors include the CCESS Student Group; Office of Disability and Support Services; Committee on Disability Issues (CODI); Learning, Teaching and Research Center; the Education, English, and Sociology departments; and American Culture, Media Studies, and Women's Studies.

Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations at Vassar should contact the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space and/or assistance may not be available. Directions to the Vassar campus are available at

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Friday, September 24, 2010