Mobilizing Interference as Methodology and Metaphor in Disability Arts Inquiry

Authors: Carla Rice, K. Alysse Bailey, Katie Cook

This article interrogates the limits and possibilities of interference as methodology and metaphor in video-based research aiming to disrupt ableist understandings of disability that create barriers to health care. We explore the overlapping terrain of diffractive and interference methodologies, teasing apart the metaphorical-material uses and implications of interference for video-makers in our project. Using the digital/multimedia stories created and an interview as research artifacts, we illuminate how interference manifested in disabled makers’ lives, how interference operated through the research apparatus, and how the videos continue to hold agency through their durability in the virtual realm. Drawing on feminist post-philosophies of matter (Barad) and use (Ahmed), we argue that the videos disrupt the gaze that fetishizes disabled bodies, thereby interfering with cultural-clinical processes that abnormalize disability. The research apparatus interfered with makers’ subjectivities yet also brought people together to generate something new—a community that creates culture and contests its positioning as marginal.

Rice, C., Bailey, K. A., & Cook, K. (2021). Mobilizing Interference as Methodology and Metaphor in Disability Arts Inquiry. Qualitative Inquiry. https://doi.org/10.1177/10778004211046249

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