Steaming, Compressed Air

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Devera Gordon
Zosha Stuckey


Parkinson’s, disability, facilitated communication


This essay, composed over a span of eight months, was developed through a collaboration meant to redefine notions of writing that excludes people with disabilities.  As post-colonial/collaborative composition theory suggests (Davies, 1992), the author and the writer of the narrative are two distinct people. While the author constructed the words verbally through a series of ongoing dialogues, the writer transcribed, edited, and re-ordered the text. Douglas Biklen’s book, Communication Unbound (1993), inspired us to explore these non-traditional ways of “writing” that, while grounded in conversation and collaboration, also disrupt models of efficiency and individualism.

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Biklen, D. (1993). Communication unbound: How Facilitated Communication is challenging traditional views of Autism and ability/disability. New York: Teachers College Press.

Davies, C. B. (1992). Collaboration and the ordering imperative in Life Story production. In S. Smith and J. Watson (Eds.), De/Colonizing the subject: The politics of gender in women’s autobiography (pp.3-19). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.