Dance and Disability in Israel (Virtual Talk)
This talk will explore the Israeli aspects of integrated dance, an art form that brings together dancers with and without disabilities. Together, these dancers challenge the way disability is presented and perceived in public culture and in the arts. Yet, the dance projects also reveal a hierarchy between those veterans of the Israeli Defense Forces who are disabled and others with disabilities. Integrated dance embodies the possibility of challenging national, religious, and social boundaries while expanding public awareness of multiculturalism.
Gili Hammer is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the Program in Cultural Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In her doctoral research at The Hebrew University she focused on the social constructions of gender and femininity among blind women, and on the cultural construction of blindness and sight in the Israeli public sphere. Her current project examines sensory practices and embodied politics within the “disability culture” phenomenon, studying integrated dance projects bringing together dancers with and without disabilities in Israel and the US. The research focuses on the ways “corporeal otherness” is represented, negotiated, and regulated in the public sphere, and the meeting between varied body types. Her fields of research include disability studies, anthropology of the senses, gender studies, research of visual culture, anthropological and sociological theory, and performance studies. She is the author of Blindness through the Looking Glass: The Performance of Blindness, Gender, and the Sensory Body (University of Michigan Press, 2019), and her articles have appeared in Gender & Society, Signs, Disability Studies Quarterly, Medical Anthropology Quarterly, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, and forthcoming in American Anthropologist.