Literature Program

Friday, November 2, 2018 at 4:00 pm

Joseph Valente

Scholars @ Hallwalls

Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, a space for experimental art, music, and film located in the heart of downtown Buffalo at Delaware and Tupper, is the perfect setting for the eighth year of the Humanities Institute's Scholars@Hallwalls lecture series. These monthly presentations feature one fellow's research in an engaging lecture with lively follow-up conversation. This year's lineup highlights the interdisciplinary range of humanities research at UB.

Talks are on Friday afternoons at 4 pm and are free and open to the public. Complimentary wine and hors d'oeuvres are served. Please join us for any or all of the Scholars@Hallwalls talks!

"Better Now? Recovery Anxiety in the Writing of Autism"

Joseph Valente, English

Autistic narratives unfold under the dueling pressures of diagnostic and literary expectation. The diagnostic expectation holds autism to be a life-long proposition: either a permanent disorder that may be ameliorated but never dissipated or a distinctive mode of being that should never be dissipated but must be accommodated. The literary expectation—set by the mass audience for auto-biographies and the hortatory tradition of disability writing—is that autistic protagonists will conquer the adversity of their the condition and achieve something like a "recovery." This lecture explores how the tension between these disciplinary imperatives structures current autistic memoirs.