Deep topics for everyday understanding

Once a week learn about cutting edge academic and disability justice research straight from the people making these discoveries. Brought to you without jargon or need for former knowledge.  Nothing about us, without us. Ask questions and discuss.

Thursday, July 30, 7PM EST

Devva-in-RedWhat is Disability Studies? 

Devva Kasnitz, trained as a cultural geographer and a medical anthropologist. She has worked in the area of disability studies for the last 35 years. She is a founding member of the Society for Disability Studies and its current director and an adjunct professor at the City University of New York. She has published more than 50 books, chapters, and  articles.

Thursday, August 6th, 7PM EST

allies-and-obstaclesAllies and Obstacles: Disability Activism and Parents of Children with Disabilities.

Disability rights organizations often cast parents as adversaries: overprotective and clueless about how to best advocate for their children’s rights in a society that marginalizes the disabled. Parents may see disability rights activists as unrealistic warriors in a social justice fight they don’t want to join, and try to protect their kids from injury in that battle.Learn what anthropology can tell us about this tense relationship.

Pamela Block is an anthropologist at New York’s Stonybrook University. An expert in the lived experiences of people with disabilities across different cultures, Block has focused for several decades on how societies in Brazil, the U.S.A., and Canada differ in their treatment of people with disabilities. In recent years, she has expanded her study to how disability as a political identity intersects with other identities such as race, gender, and sexual preference. Block uses anthropology to place disability justice and identity into the larger context of social justice movements.

Allison Carey has been active in disability advocacy and politics her entire life.  She focuses on segregation of people with intellectual disabilities in schools and institutions along with the controversies over forced sterilization, eugenics, marriage and procreation, and protection from the death penalty. She is expert  in the impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act passed in 1990.

Richard Scotch is a  Professor of Sociology, Public Policy, and Political Economy at the University of Texas at Dallas. and has written on health care, education, and human services. A past president of the Society for Disability Studies,Scotch is the author of two books and numerous articles and monographs on social policy reform and social movements in disability, health care, education, and human services.

Monday, August 10th, 2PM

Ableism: The Causes and Consequences of Disability Prejudice

Michelle Nario-Redmond is  is a Professor of Psychology ableismat Hiram College, specializing in stereotyping, prejudice, and disability studies. Her research focuses on group identification and political advocacy, strategies of responding to prejudice, and the unintended consequences of simulating disability.  She is also a member of the band Swapmeet.

Thursday, August 13th, 7PM EST

Lydia X. Z. Brown is a disability justice advocate, Lydiaorganizer, and writer whose work has largely focused on violence against multiply-marginalized disabled people, especially institutionalization, incarceration, and policing. They are currently a Justice Catalyst Fellow at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, providing legal representation and self-advocacy education to Maryland students with disabilities facing school pushout, disproportionate discipline, and criminalization. Lydia is also a past Visiting Lecturer at Tufts University, where they taught a course on critical disability theory, public policy, and intersectional social movements, and past chairperson of the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council.

Wednesday, August 19th, 2PM EST

StevenBrown51TPzsOr9TL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Disability Culture 20/20

In the mid-1990s, I wrote this definition of “DisabilityCulture”: “People with disabilities have forged a group identity. We share a common history of oppression and a common bond of resilience. We generate  art, music, literature, and other expressions of our lives, our culture, infused from our experience of disability.  Most importantly, we are proud of ourselves as people with disabilities.  We claim our disabilities with pride as part of our identity. We are who we are:  we are people with disabilities.”

Thirty years later, in 2020, Disability Culture has evolved and continues to do so. With the impact of huge changes in all of our lives in 2020, this session will explore Disability Culture from its beginnings to its explosion within the era of social media to life in the year of the pandemic.

Steven E. Brown has worked in the field of disability
rights for several decades.In the 1980 a need for knowledge about the history, ideologies, and diverse expressions of people with disabilities, he and Lydia Gonzales Brown established the Institute on Disability Culture. It promotes pride in the history, activities, and cultural identity of individuals with disabilities throughout the world.

“The lessons are in the telling, they provide a framework and a dwelling.”  From the poem, “Tell Your Story,” by Steven E. Brown ©, All Rights Reserved, Institute on Disability Culture, 1994


Thursday, August 21

Disability Rights Denied,  the first disabled American Revolutionaries.   Laurel Daen will discuss the exclusion of disabled people from many legal and political rights (marriage, voting, property ownership, and more) around the time of the American Revolution. We’ll discuss how these exclusions were implemented and how disabled people resisted and fought for greater access and equality.

LaurelDaenLaurel Daen is a National Endowment for the Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow in Early American History and Culture at the College of William & Mary. She researches and writes about disability in American history, especially around the time of the American Revolution. Currently, she is finishing a book about disability and civil rights just after the nation’s founding. She is moving to Michigan this summer to join the University of Notre Dame as an Assistant Professor of American Studies.

Thursday, August 27, 2 PM EST

Jaipreet Virdi is a historian and professor at the JaipreetUniversity of Delaware. Deaf since age four, she focuses her research to examine how hearing loss has historically been viewed through medical and popular culture, and the different ways that technology impacts the lived experiences of disabled people. She is Board Member of the Disability History Association and currently manages the Association’s blog, All of Us. As an author, Virdi has published books, articles and popular essays on disability technology, deaf history, and medical care.

Wednesday, September 2, 2PM


“T4 Memorialization and the Holocaust in Germany Today”



Published by

Susan Fitzmaurice

Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin /susanfitzm

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