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Variabilities 2022

In Person

Due to covid control regulations Variabilities 5 in 2021

was partially held as Virtual sessions.

This year we are planning to have an onsite conference at the

John and Mabel Ringling Museum of Art and Circus Archive,

Sarasota, FL, USA, 2-5 June 2022.


Email any of the following for more details


Miriam Wallace - mwallace@ncf.edu

Chris Mounsey -  chris.mounsey@winchester.ac.uk

Stan Booth - stan.booth@winchester.ac.uk






Vari(A)bilities 5:

Exhibiting Humanity; Inhabiting the Body


Thursday 2th- Sunday 5th June, 2022

Ground Rules:

  1. Please plan to share an accessibility copy of your presentation. You can drop a PDF into the chat or post a link to a google.doc or similar. We all understand that work is not to be cited without contacting the author.
  2. Please plan to describe any images you show.
  3. Best practices for powerpoints: San serif font, 36 pt, not more than 6 lines of text per slide. Use basic high-contrast colors: Black on white or white on black. Consider sharing your powerpoint again through dropping into the chat or linking.
  4. Timing: We want to build in enough time for everyone to participate comfortably.
  5. We may be able to stream for a select audience



Thursday 2nd June


Morning Coffee/Tea

Session 1                                 10:00am-12:50 am                 Extraordinary Bodies Across Time


·       Sara Melcher, “Inhabiting Bodies with Disabilities in the Book of Deuteronomy”

·      Madeleine Sutherland-Meier, “Extraordinary Bodies in Medieval Miracles”

·       John Gulledge, “Laughing at/with Posture-Masters: Reflections on Eighteenth-Century Contortionism”


Lunch on your own


4:20 -5:30 – optional tour of Circus Museum




Friday 3rd June


Morning Coffee/Tea


Session 2                                 10:00am-12:50 am                 Gendered and Queer Spectacles


·       Edmond Chang, “Stinky, Scaly, Freaky Bodies: Queer Haptic Textuality in Larissa Lai’s Salt Fish Girl and The Tiger Flu

·       Delia SteversonFreakish Black Masculinity: Locating the Suspended Marginal in Native Son and A Lesson before Dying.

·       Krystal Cleary, “Chronic Spectacles: Invisible Disability & Chronic Illness in Netflix’s Afflicted



Lunch 12:30 – 1:45



Coffee Break 3:00 – 3:15



Session 3                                  3:30 – 5:00.  Afternoon in the Archives



Saturday 4th June


Keynote TBC

Sainer Auditorium



10:00am-11:45 am                 TITLE

Followed by Luncheon for conferees at Muse, Ringling Museum Pavillion



Session 6,                                1:45 – 3:00                   Performing Bodies


·       Ball, “Edwardian poster children? Disability, agency, representation and crowdfunding in early 20th century South Australia”

·       Costa, “Actresses & Freaks: Ishi & Lily Lena”

·       Huey, “The Peculiar Body of the Classic Circus Clown”


Coffee Break & Farewell 3:00 – 3:15

Support for this event was provided by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Co-Hosted by New College of Florida; John and Mable Ringling Museum/Tibbals Collection; University of Winchester.