Brilliant Imperfection: Grappling with Cure
Eli Clare is a poet, essayist, activist, and the author of Exile and Pride: Disability, Queerness, and Liberation, also published by Duke University Press, and The Marrow's Telling: Words in Motion. He speaks regularly at conferences, community events, and colleges across the United States and Canada about disability, queer and trans identities, and social justice, and his writing has appeared in numerous periodicals and anthologies. Clare lives in the Green Mountains of Vermont and can be found online at www.eliclare.com.
Violence of Cure
This section explores some of the ways in which cure is connected to violence. Because defectiveness justifies cure and makes it essential, this exploration starts with the word and concept defect and how its power relies on ableism. In turn, defectiveness is used to justify many forms of violence and oppression. The section then turns to cure’s relationship to eradication and the different kinds of comfort and violence that accompany it—the elimination of a virus, of future existence, of present-day embodiments, or in some cases of life itself. The last part of the section centers on Terri Schiavo and engages with personhood and how that concept is used to devalue a variety of marginalized peoples, including disabled people, as well as nonhuman animals.