Saturday, January 12, 2008

More Than Footloose and Fancy Free

Henry Jenkins has argued that YouTube has a strong element of vaudeville entertainment to it. An interesting case in point is the much-watched "she without arm, he without leg" video from Chinese television that shows disabled dancers Zhai Xiaowei and Mai Li competing in a televised national dance contest in a format familiar to many Americans who watch performance spectacle/reality programming.

This video is interesting because YouTube has also been an important venue for providing advocacy and community for the disabled, including those with cognitive impairments, such as autism, obsessive compulsive disorder, and
psychiatric illnesses that require medication.

(Thanks to my wonderful former student Sara Huber for the link.)

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