Disability, Culture, and Society

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This seminar provides a venue for scholars working in disability studies—which examines the social, political, cultural, and historical factors that define disability—to interrogate the current state of the field and identify the most crucial problems and concerns for its future. Critical scholarship around disability questions is essential because it builds a platform to interrogate charged ethical and political questions about the meaning of aesthetics and cultural representation, identity, and dynamics of social inclusion and/or exclusion. Over the past 15 years, disability studies has grown into a vibrant interdisciplinary arena, engaging some of the most pressing debates of our time: questions about the beginning and end of life, prenatal testing, abortion, euthanasia, eugenics; definitions of mental health and wellness; accommodation in schools, public transportation, and the workplace; technologies for the medical correction and “cure” of the non-normative body; disease, wartime injuries, post-traumatic stress, and healthcare.

Professor Julia Miele Rodas

Professor Irina Carlota Silber

Liz Bowen



09/23/2016 Barnard College, Columbia University
12:00 PM
Interdependencies: Narratives of Giving and Receiving Care
Rachel Adams, Columbia University

Laura Mauldin, University of Connecticut

10/21/2016 Barnard College, Columbia University
12:00 PM
Theorizing Access
Joshua Miele, Smith-Kettlewell Institute

Jessica Murray, The Graduate Center, CUNY

11/18/2016 Barnard College, Columbia University
12:00 PM
Outcasts from the Vote: Women Suffrage and Disability in the Long 19th Century United States
Rabia Belt, Stanford Law School

Respondent: Elizabeth F. Emens, Columbia Law School

02/03/2017 Barnard College, Columbia University
12:00 PM
The Disabilities of Color Blindness and Antiblackness
Dennis Tyler, Fordham University

Cheryl Sterling, City College, CUNY

03/10/2017 Barnard College, Columbia University
12:00 PM


04/21/2017 Barnard College, Columbia University
12:00 PM