MORGANTOWN , W.Va. ** Hollywood often depicts pitiful and sentimental portrayals of disability in mainstream film and literature, and West Virginia University is joining the worldwide disability movement thats challenging these representations to offer alternatives to current accounts of disabled bodies.


Students, faculty and scholars are invited to attendGlobal Bodies: Representing Disability and Genderas part of the 2009 Summer Seminar in Literary and Cultural Studies from May 21-24 at WVU . The seminar is presented by the Department of English in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences.


Like many activists and scholars who have critiqued the ways in which the disabled are represented across literary, cinematic and critical traditions, the summer seminar will discuss questions developed from disability studies, as well as gender and sexuality studies. The seminar will also examine how disability is represented in literature, films and the disability movement that is spanning the globe.


The Summer Seminar in Literary and Cultural Studies will kick off with a public lecture on Thursday, May 21 at 7:30 p.m. in room 130 of Colson Hall. Registration is required for all remaining events, which include five two-hour sessions on Friday and Saturday devoted to intensive discussion of readings assigned prior to the seminar. Participants will also take part in film screenings, an art exhibition and other cultural events.


Robert McRuer, associate professor of English at George Washington University, will lead the seminar and act as keynote speaker during the closing session on Sunday at noon.


McRuers work focuses on queer theory, cultural studies, disability studies and critical theory. His publications includeCrip Theory: Cultural Signs of Queerness and Disability(New York University Press, 2006), winner of the 2007 Alan Bray Memorial Book Award; andThe Queer Renaissance: Contemporary American Literature and the Reinvention of Lesbian and Gay Identities(New York University Press, 1997).


The cost for attending the event is $250 for students and $350 for faculty and scholars. Rooms are available for attendees at Lincoln Hall, WVU s newest dormitory housing complex. Participants may choose single or double occupancy, and fully accessible rooms are available. Local hotels are nearby for those who prefer non-dormitory housing. American Sign Language and Voice-to-Text interpretation will be provided.


For a complete schedule of the event and registration information, visit http://english.wvu.edu/about_the_department/summer_seminar .


For more information, contact Jay Dolmage, event organizer and assistant professor, at (304) 293-3107 or Jay.Dolmage@mail.wvu.edu .