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Through the themes of disability, fear of contamination, displacement, and race, this article provokes a critical conversation on the political implications and mechanisms of socialization that form Blackness within the fields of cultural, Francophone, and postcolonial studies. An exploration of unchoreographed movements, dance, and textual representations of dance provides new forms of understanding and visibility to socially sanctioned Afro-Diasporic movements in contested urban spaces. Are also revealed the ways in which black bodies and their “alter kinetic aesthetics” are othered within racialized biologics and inscribed in politics of transfiguration. Are explored: 1) the racialized misappropriations and epidemiological implications that link black performances to disability in the jagged dances of the 1920s–1940s; 2) how disabled bodies move through complex and contested urban landscapes in New Orleans’ second line jazz parade tradition; 3) disability, race, and catastrophic landscapes (socio-ecological disparities) through the mediated images of disabled people in New Orleans after the ravages of hurricane Katrina; 4) the cinematic framework of Grigris (2013) in which filmmaker Mahamat-Saleh Haroun expounds the social and material relationships implicated in disability, poverty, and institutionalized systems that support corruption. This interdisciplinary study invites the readers to re-envision objectifying and pathologizing discourses about disability through a focus on the “strategic abilities” of the disabled body and its porous creative spaces, which are presented as embodied knowledge.


Author accepted manuscript version of an article published by Cambridge University Press in:

Francis, Gladys M. 2021. “Remapping Disability through Contested Urban Landscapes and Embodied Performances.” Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry 8 (2): 277–85.