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



09/15/2017 409 Barnard Hall, Columbia University
12:00 PM

Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, Emory University

Respondent: Lennard Davis, University of Illinois at Chicago

10/20/2017 409 Barnard Hall, Columbia University
12:00 PM
The Womb in the Forehead: Modernism, Deformity, and Olive Moore’s Spleen
Maren Linett, Purdue University

Respondent: Rebecca Sanchez, Fordham University

11/17/2017 409 Barnard Hall, Columbia University
12:00 PM
Neoliberal Assemblages of Economy, Body and Society: Ethnography of Disability and Microfinance in India
Vandana Chaudhry, College of Staten Island, CUNY

Respondent: Sophie Mitra, Fordham University

02/09/2018 409 Barnard Hall, Columbia University
12:00 PM
Being in touch: care, disability, and the non-metaphysics of presence in urban Uganda
Tyler Zoanni, New York University

Omri Elisha, Queens College, CUNY

03/09/2018 409 Barnard Hall, Columbia University
12:00 PM
Wheelchair Overboard: Klinghoffer and Ableism
Stephanie Jensen-Moulton, Brooklyn College, CUNY

Respondent: Joseph Straus, The Graduate Center, CUNY