The Power of Misfitting: Disrupting Sinner, Saint, and Super Crip Controlling Images

Thursday, February 2, 2023 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm EST (GMT -05:00)

2023 Sawatsky Lecture

Using Patricia Hill Collins’ delineation of “controlling images,” Darla Schumm identifies three of the most prevalent controlling images religious communities ascribe to people with disabilities. She argues that the sinner, saint, and super-crip controlling images produce, reinforce, and perpetuate the ideological justification-whether intentionally or unintentionally- for designating people with disabilities as the inferior other within their religious communities. Schumm ultimately offers Rosemarie Garland-Thomson’s conception of misfitting as a deliciously disruptive controlling image as well as an avenue for reorienting our thinking about disability more generally, and for complicating the sinner, saint, and super-crip controlling images in particular.

The 2023 Rodney and Lorna Sawatsky Visiting Lecturer is by Darla Schumm, associate provost and Professor of religious studies at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.

Reception to follow. 

This year's lecture will be held in-person and livestreamed. All are welcome to attend.

Darla Schumm

Darla Schumm is the associate provost and professor of religious studies at Hollins University—a small liberal arts college for female-identified students located in the midst of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Roanoke, Virginia. Darla received her B.A. in interdisciplinary studies with concentrations in history, psychology, and women’s studies from Goshen College, her M.A. in social ethics from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA, and her Ph.D. in religion, ethics, and society from Vanderbilt University. Schumm’s current research focuses on intersections between religious studies and disability studies. She is the coeditor of four books, most recently Disability and World Religions: An Introduction (Baylor University Press, 2016), as well as the author of numerous articles and opinion pieces. Darla is working on a monograph tentatively titled: Accessible Love: The Work of Transformational Disability Justice.