Seminar and Reading, Eli Clare: ‘Brilliant Imperfection’, Edinburgh

Date: 3-5pm, Tuesday 12th September 2017

Location: Appleton Tower, University of Edinburgh

Eli Clare is an international speaker on disability, queer and trans identities, and social justice. Reading from his new book Brilliant Imperfection: Grappling with Cure, Eli will be hosting a seminar for the School of Social and Political Sciences. Following the reading, there will be time for discussion and questions.

“In Brilliant Imperfection Eli Clare uses memoir, history, and critical analysis to explore cure—the deeply held belief that body-minds considered broken need to be fixed. Cure serves many purposes. It saves lives, manipulates lives, and prioritizes some lives over others. It provides comfort, makes profits, justifies violence, and promises resolution to body-mind loss. Clare grapples with this knot of contradictions, maintaining that neither an anti-cure politics nor a pro-cure worldview can account for the messy, complex relationships we have with our body-minds. The stories he tells range widely, stretching from disability stereotypes to weight loss surgery, gender transition to skin lightening creams. At each turn, Clare weaves race, disability, sexuality, class, and gender together, insisting on the non-negotiable value of body-mind difference. Into this mix, he adds environmental politics, thinking about ecosystem loss and restoration as a way of delving more deeply into cure. Ultimately Brilliant Imperfection reveals cure to be an ideology grounded in the twin notions of normal and natural, slippery and powerful, necessary and damaging all at the same time.” For more information on Eli Clare, visit his website:

The seminar is an open event and people from outside of the University are welcome. Tea, coffee and snacks will be provided.

Registration: This event is free, but due to the small size of the seminar registration is essential. To register, visit the Eventbrite page.

Access information: Appleton Tower is located on the central George Square campus in Edinburgh city centre. Please use the Chapel St/Windmill St main entrance– it is much easier to find the room this way and is also accessible by lift. The room is wheelchair accessible. The room has a hearing induction loop installed. We will have a 10-minute break after the first hour. There will be a separate quiet room located next to the main room. If you require a reserved seat, have any questions, or if you have access needs you’d like for the organiser to be aware of please contact Sarah at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *