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Homer's Odyssey: War, Biography, Disability, and The Best Years of Our Lives

October 18, 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Mānoa Campus, Center for Korean Studies Auditorium

Analysis of disability representation in William Wyler’s famous film on the reintegration of U.S. veterans into civil society, The Best Years Of Our Lives (1946), usually centers on a specific biography: the life story of disabled vet actor Harold Russell, who won two Academy Awards for his performance.

This talk will set that life story in the context of others, both veteran and civilian, exploring the film's source texts to look at what was written out of the scripts in the making of that famously candid film. What can the backstory of Best Years illuminate about what we (don’t) tell and ask about disability and sexuality in our stories about civil incorporation of veterans today?

Susan Schweik is a Professor of English and Associate Dean of Arts and Humanities at U.C. Berkeley. Her most recent book is The Ugly Laws: Disability in Public (NYU 2009). She is currently at work on a book on Agent Orange and disability representation.

Event Sponsor
Center for Biographical Research, Mānoa Campus

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