Janet Jakobsen and Christina Crosby: A Body Undone: Living on After Great Pain, Brownlee Lecture

As one approach to the question, “What’s Left of Queer Studies Now," Christina Crosby and Janet Jakobsen explore the relation between queer studies and disability studies. In contrast to the liberal individual who is the bearer of rights, queer theory offers ways of conceptualizing the world as relationally complex, which, as Jakobsen has argued, demands a radical rethinking of ethical life. Christina Crosby's memoir of living with spinal cord injury, A Body Undone: Living on After Great Pain, brings to this understanding an embodied immediacy, and “asks readers to recognize how messy, precarious, and queer, in every sense of the word, life in a body can be” (TheNewYorker.com). In an open conversation, Crosby and Jakobsen will ask: How are lives sustained under conditions of fragility and dependency?  What type of labor, including caring labor, is required for living on and how is it shared or divided – whether within a household or across the global division of labor?  How are grief and loss entwined with possibility and desire?  In A Body, Undone, Crosby puts into words a broken body that seems beyond the reach of language and understanding. Starting from this place, Crosby and Jakobsen will address both loss and living on.


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