Joyce is often considered as having a ‘disability consciousness’, and that his experience of living with glaucoma, a condition that is almost universally misunderstood, provided him with an empathy to understand and react to the injustices of living with a disability. But Ulysses often speaks to and about disability in monologue or uses it as a metaphor to speak to political capacity or mobility. It is a device, rather than a protagonist.
Cripping Ulysses is a three-part podcast series that transports us to the heart of Eumaeus, where the central tenet is the friction between how we define ourselves, and how others see us. Taking Joyce’s disability consciousness, this podcast response speaks to people whose lived experiences transcend the intersections of identity. We create space for them to tell us who they are, in their own words.
“Cripping Ulysses presents a narrative arc of pride, community and agency. It amplifies the voices and experiences that are often unrepresented, unheard or unreached. I feel very proud to be part of Ulysses 2.2, to be tilting the lens on a part of the canon wherein identity and disability are embedded.” - Sinéad Burke
How do we define ourselves? How do others define us?
On Friday 2 December 2022, Sinéad Burke spoke with Dr Rosaleen McDonagh in the Old Physics Theatre at MoLI - Museum of Literature Ireland for a live recording of the first podcast in the Cripping Ulysses series, re-framing identity through agency and pride.
Photo credit: Néstor Romero Clemente
Dr. Rosaleen McDonagh is a playwright, performer, columnist for The Irish Times and a member of Aosdána. Her plays include The Baby Doll Project, She’s Not Mine, Rings, The Prettiest Proud Boy and Mainstream. Her most recent commissions were Walls and Windows for the Abbey Theatre and Contentious Spaces for the Project Arts Centre. Rosaleen holds a BA, two MPhils from Trinity College Dublin and a PhD from Northumbria University. She is a board member of Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre and was appointed a Human Rights Commissioner in June 2020. Unsettled is her first book.
Alok V Menon (they/them) is an internationally acclaimed author, poet, comedian, and public speaker. As a mixed-media artist their work explores themes of trauma, belonging, and the human condition. They are the author of Femme in Public (2017), Beyond the Gender Binary (2020), and Your Wound/My Garden (2021). They are the creator of #DeGenderFashion: an initiative to degender fashion and beauty industries and have been honored as one of HuffPo’s Culture Shifters, NBC’s Pride 50, and Business Insider’s Doers. Over the past decade they have toured in more than 40 countries, most recently headlining the Vancouver Just for Laughs Comedy Festival and selling out their runs at the Soho Theatre in London and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. T their new latest show has been described as "provocative and powerful" (Chortle), a "Potent combination of comedy and poetry" (The Scotsman), and a "Jaw-dropping celestial event" (To Do List London). On screen, they will make their feature film debut in Absolute Dominion. On television, they have appeared on Netflix’s Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness, HBO’s Random Acts of Flyness and The Trans List, and Hulu’s Planet Sex with Cara Delevingne.
Kimberly Drew is a curator and cultural critic. Drew received her B.A. from Smith College in Art History and African-American Studies. She first experienced the art world as an intern in the Director’s Office of The Studio Museum in Harlem. Her time there inspired her to start the Tumblr blog Black Contemporary Art, sparking her interest in social media. Drew’s writing has appeared in Vogue, Vanity Fair, and them. Drew recently joined the Curatorial team at Pace Gallery. Her book's Black Futures, co-edited with J Wortham, and This is What I Know About Art are both available wherever books are sold. You can follow her at @museummammy on Instagram and Twitter.
Cripping Ulysses is a three-part podcast series with Sinéad Burke that transports us to the heart of Eumaeus, episode 16 of Ulysses, where the central tenet is the friction between how we define ourselves, and how others see us. Taking Joyce’s disability consciousness, this podcast response speaks to people whose lived experiences transcend the intersections of identity. We create space for them to tell us who they are, in their own words.