Rosemarie Garland-Thomson (Emory), Unusual Faces

Professor Rosemarie Garland-Thomson of Emory University will provide the third keynote lecture of Effaced from History, on April 2. To register and view the full program, visit the conference website.


Portraits provide cultural literacy by rendering subjects into public figures and teaching us how to value them. This lecture presents some recent portraits of people with disabilities, asserting that the visual genre of portraiture offers an opportunity to re-narrate disability and make it legible in new ways. Portraits, I will demonstrate, offer what bell hooks calls “the look of recognition that affirms subjectivity.” These portraits of unusual faces ask viewers to recognize the distinctiveness of disability not as diminishment, but rather as testimonies to our shared humanness.

This is a written talk with PowerPoint. To provide access, I will include detailed visual description of all images presented, which will be an organic part of the analytical reading of these images that the presentation undertakes.

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