Public Intimacies: Water Work in Play

  • Petra Kuppers Professor, University of Michigan
  • VK Preston Assistant Professor, University of Toronto
  • Pamela Block Professor, Stony Brook University
  • Kirsty Johnston Associate Professor, University of British Columbia

Abstract

This essay emerges out of water. It follows the thoughts of four disability culture scholars and artists who went swimming together and reflected on artful methods of public somatic presence. The writing developed from Petra Kuppers’ initial queercrip aqua-fitness research, and from a series of communal post-swim free-writes in which the group meditated on boundaries and contiguity, on contagious laughter and demonstrative peace. The team conceptualized their self-care in a range of different ways: as political, as queered women’s labour, as deeply personal, and as forcefully communal. Through shared swimming, conversation, and writing, they became conscious of the flows and undertows of somatic practice.

Author Biographies

Petra Kuppers, Professor, University of Michigan

Professor, University of Michigan

VK Preston, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto

Assistant Professor, University of Toronto

Pamela Block, Professor, Stony Brook University

Professor, Stony Brook University

Kirsty Johnston, Associate Professor, University of British Columbia

Associate Professor, University of British Columbia

Published
2019-02-21