The title above is a perfectly encapsulating phrase from Julia Miele Rodas’ beautifully written and illuminating Autistic Disturbances: Theorizing Autism Poetics from the DSM to Robinson Crusoe. The book is an engaging read for anyone who, like the author herself, finds words “delicious.” Rather than reinventing the wheel, I once again defer to our friends at CUNY SUM for their excellent SUMmary of Julia’s book. Michael Bérubé’s review also does a fine job of commending and contextualizing it. In our episode, Julia is interviewed by her fellow Victorianist and disability studies scholar, Olivia Moy, a pairing that makes for a rich and intimate – in fact, delicious – conversation.
Julia is Professor in the English Department at Bronx Community College and is co-chair of the Columbia University Seminar in Disability, Culture, and Society. She also co-edits the book series Literary Disability Studies and is a founding co-chair of the CUNY Disability Scholars group. You can learn more about Julia here and follow her on Twitter @JuliaMieleRodas and @LiteraryDisblty.
Olivia is Assistant Professor of English at Lehman College, where she specializes in Romantic and Victorian poetry. She also serves as faculty for the (Dis)abilities Studies minor, is faculty advisor for the Lehman LGBTQ+ Alliance, and is founding director of the student group The CUNY Rare Book Scholars. Last fall, she had her first disability studies-related article, “Simian, Amphibian, and Able: Reevaluating Browning’s Caliban,” published in Victorian Poetry. You can follow her on Twitter @profoliviamoy.
Bonus material courtesy of Julia:
- Melanie Yergeau’s Authoring Autism: On Rhetoric and Neurological Queerness (Duke University Press)
- The work of autistic scholar Rua M. Williams
- Autistic writer/scholar Dani Alexis Ryskamp on Twitter
- Autistic writer/scholar Steacy Easton (they/them—misnamed/misgendered in audio interview) on Twitter [@PinkMoose]
- Bev Harp’s somewhat dated, but still helpful blog
- ASAN, the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network
- The Kennedy Center (provides support and community for autistic people and their families)
Bonus bonus: Early in their conversation, Julia offers the idea of “silence as a form of articulation.” That stuck with me, and it so happens that as I was typing up this post, the CUNY SUM newsletter appeared in my inbox, and it features “The Art of ‘Silence’ in the Poetry of Northern Ireland’s Medbh McGuckian.”
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