INDIGO Home University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign logo uic building uic pavilion uic student center

Re-imagining Disability: Performance Art and the Artists' Perspectives

Show full item record

Bookmark or cite this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10027/19559

Files in this item

File Description Format
PDF Thrower_Terri.pdf (973KB) (no description provided) PDF
Title: Re-imagining Disability: Performance Art and the Artists' Perspectives
Author(s): Thrower, Terri L.
Advisor(s): GILL, CAROL J.
Contributor(s): SANDAHL, CARRIE; HAMMEL, JOY; DAVIS, LENNARD J.; FERRIS, JAMES
Department / Program: Disability and Human Development
Graduate Major: Disability Studies
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Chicago
Degree: PhD, Doctor of Philosophy
Genre: Doctoral
Subject(s): disability performance disability culture representation perspectives identity disability arts
Abstract: This research investigated the relationship between personal experiences and artistic representations using qualitative methods. Interviews were conducted with 2 disabled women performers, and discussions focused on a solo autobiographical performance work selected by each artist. Because mainstream depictions of disabled people fail to accurately portray disabled lives, relying more on stereotypes, metaphors, and tired narratives than on lived experiences or self-representations of disabled people, a gap exists between representation and reality. In other words, the more disabled characters are typically represented in dominant culture, the less that actual people with disabilities are visible, included, understood, or relevant in society. By examining disabled artists’ self-representations, this research revealed specific experiences, identities, and political and cultural expression that mainstream representations often preclude. Three in-depth interviews were conducted with each artist, as well as thematic analyses of performance texts. The participants were given opportunities to interact with analyzed data—a combination of thematic analyses of the performance text with previous interview data—and provide feedback, clarification, and additional analysis. This process created interplay and interaction between artist and work, experiences and artistic depictions, and researcher, participant, and data. Results offered information on several categories: interrogating cultural designations and assumptions, re-articulating disability experience into art, self-representation and identity, creating disability culture, and the visibly disabled body in performance. Additional themes emerged, including performance strategies and each artist’s underlying disability perspective. The strategies and perspectives revealed powerful models for alternative disability representations that may narrow the “representational gap” between dominant depictions of disability and disabled people’s lived “reality.” The findings suggest that new, alternative ways of representing disability exist and must be studied further, particularly through similar studies on films, television episodes, and plays written, produced, and/or directed by disabled people. Research on audience perception changes following alternative disability media should also be done to investigate the effectiveness of these models.
Issue Date: 2015-07-21
Genre: thesis
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10027/19559
Date Available in INDIGO: 2015-07-21
2017-07-22
Date Deposited: 2015-05
 

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show full item record

Statistics

Country Code Views
United States of America 246
China 65
Russian Federation 30
Germany 10
Ukraine 7

Browse

My Account

Information

Access Key