Photos of honeycomb and bees have been layered into a rectangular repeating background.

HIVES Thematic Arrangement for Academic year 2021-2

At HIVES’ emergence, we never intended to linger in a singular set of themes or conversations. We meant for HIVES to spread out and form sprawling interdependencies: vibrant combs and entangled communities. Due to the constrictions of grant funding and the disruptions of COVID-19, HIVES lingered in the space of disability studies, animal studies, and popular culture for two years. This year, however, we are expanding the “we” of HIVES and welcoming co-coordinator and collaborator Naajidah Correll. Together, we are glad to be embarking on the first of HIVES’ many mutations as we turn to conversations on disability, race, and performance.

Do you have HIVES yet? As the result of a compelling performance? Due to an allergic reaction? Or after joining the buzzing communal space of the hive? HIVES is capitalized not because it’s an acronym, but rather to gesture toward the material reaction of bumps on skin and the physical space of a beehive. This research workshop seeks to reimagine a community space, a hive, for conversations on disability, race, and performance. In Bodyminds Reimagined, Black feminist disability studies scholar Sami Schalk exhorts “disability studies scholars to not merely include race, but to allow black feminist and critical race theory to transform the field.” In her piece, “Toward A Crip of Color Critique,” woman of color scholar Jina B Kim seeks to move away from a disability studies centered on a disabled subject and instead to consider disability as verb: “to take seriously disability as methodology is to take seriously this politics of refusal, to recognize disablement and racism as inextricably entangled, and to enact intellectual practices—like resistance to hyper-productivity—that honor disabled embodiment and history.” In seeking practices of resistance and disruption, we turn to the work of performers, writers, and artists drawing on disability and race, as well as their entanglements, to transform fields and imagine otherwise.

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