Oh, you lucky duck!
You’ve found your way to The Quack, the place for hot takes, deep dives, and musings on the intersection of creativity and disability from author Katharine Duckett. I’m a speculative fiction author, teacher, and disability studies scholar who edited the Disabled People Destroy Fantasy edition of the Hugo Award-winning magazine Uncanny, has published stories in disability-themed collections (Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction, Rebuilding Tomorrow: Anthology of Life After the Apocalypse, and more to come), and who currently writes, researches, and presents extensively on disability for various publications, workshops, and panels. Subscribe here to get full access to my monthly newsletter and website!
Why “The Quack”?
The simple answer is that I’m a true middle-aged dad when it comes to loving terrible puns, and with a last name like “Duckett,” I take advantage of small aquatic bird-themed wordplay opportunities whenever I can. If you want to go deeper, though, let’s say it’s a reference to the long history of trying to “cure” disability out of existence, often through the use of quack treatments (many of them damaging and unsafe). I’ve been told that everything from intensive yoga to holy water from a Greek monastery would fix my genetic joint disability, proving that these quacksalvers are alive and well. My early life was filled with able-bodied adults, unscrupulous teachers, and so-called medical authorities telling me how my body should be and what my limitations were as a disabled, neurodivergent person, until I was able to discover my voice and my own disabled identity and tell them all to duck off. So consider this a quack back. If you’re in any way plagued by the quacks who tell you you need to change yourself to fit their ideas of what a person should be, join me in quacking—er, cracking—that myth wide open, examining the damage it’s done, and exploring how we tell more compelling and accurate stories about the infinite spectrum of human experience in our media, politics, and everyday lives.
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Get Your Ducks In a Row
Join The Quack and dive into the wide world of disabled and neurodivergent creators pushing the boundaries of art, theater, literature, and more! Across artistic fields, we’ve long been innovating and leading the way on considerations of embodiment, evolving technologies, and the shifting shapes human societies can take. In addition to examining the foundational ways disability worked itself into our literary canons, both as a metaphor used by non-disabled writers and as a way for disabled creators to assert their realities, I’ll always have new recommendations for disabled and neurodivergent creators to watch, as well as ways to get involved with the communities that are changing the way we approach artistic expression and telling new, exciting stories about what it means to be human, no holds barred. My speciality is disability in speculative fiction, but I love to talk about what disabled artists are doing in all arenas, and to share the good (and the bad, or the certainly-could-be-improved) when it comes to disability representation and portrayals of neurodivergence.