Sacred Positions: A Personal History of Blindness and Singing

Emily K. Michael


This narrative essay explores a blind singer's experience with church singing, a cappella competitions, and Sacred Harp singing. In it, Emily K. Michael maps the conflicts between pervasive disability narratives and audience expectations, as well as the evolving challenges of each genre. Michael discovers that audiences carry the alluring myth of a cure across genres and venues. She comes to privilege the cooperative power of Sacred Harp singing, where personal talent and conventional rehearsal give way to immediacy and welcome. Sacred Harp singing helps Michael transform her own destructive beliefs and the problematic stories of blindness she has encountered.

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Copyright (c) 2018 Emily K. Michael

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Beginning with Volume 36, Issue No. 4 (2016), Disability Studies Quarterly is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license unless otherwise indicated. 

Disability Studies Quarterly is published by The Ohio State University Libraries in partnership with the Society for Disability Studies.

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ISSN: 2159-8371 (Online); 1041-5718 (Print)