It was a different sort of autism workshop from those in which I have usually been asked to participate. The topics included video games and manga. The presenters were academics, mostly English professors. The invitation I received referred to me as an autism scholar (!) I started to think about the meaning of the word “scholar” and whether I was or wasn’t. It was a spiral of thought resembling what happens when I think about the word “autism.” I like the idea of looking at the concept of autism in different contexts. I very much like the idea of expanding the definition of scholarship to include more people and formats. I really liked the name of the conference, too. The ESA 2012 was called Cripples, Idiots, Lepers, and Freaks: Extraordinary Bodies / Extraordinary Minds.
Since I couldn’t make it to NYC, the workshop’s organizer, Julia Miele Rodas, invited me to submit my thoughts in video form. This is one of the two I presented. We then had a group conversation via Skype.
In a day or two, I’ll post my thoughts about the workshop and links to the presentations by Julia, Chris Foss, and Melanie Yergeau.