February 12, 2016  

Critical Disability Studies symposium to note program launch

Purdue's new Critical Disability Studies Program will host a symposium Thursday (Feb. 18) to examine an array of issues regarding disability and inclusion.

The Critical Disability Studies Symposium, which is free and open to the public, will take place from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Stewart Center, Room 214 AB. The CDS program is housed in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies in the College of Liberal Arts, and the symposium celebrates the launch of a new undergraduate minor in disability studies, effective this coming fall. The symposium schedule features four speakers and includes a provided lunch:

* 10:30 a.m.: Keynote speaker: Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, Department of English, Emory University, on "Habitable Worlds." Her fields of study are disability studies, American literature and culture, bioethics, and feminist theory. Her work develops the field of critical disability studies in the health humanities, broadly understood. She is the author of "Extraordinary Bodies, Staring: How We Look" and several other books. Her current book project is "Habitable Worlds: Toward a Disability Bioethics."

* 11:30 a.m.: Michele Friedner, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Stony Brook University, on "Valuing Deaf Worlds in Urban India: Reorienting Disability, Deafness, and Value." She has authored a book of the same main title.

* 12:30 p.m.: Lunch (provided).

* 1:30 p.m.: Douglas Baynton, Department of History, University of Iowa, on "The Great Race of Life: Time and Disability in American History." He is the author of "Forbidden Signs: American Culture and the Campaign Against Sign Language" and "Defectives in the Land: Disability and Immigration in the Age of Eugenics," forthcoming in June from the University of Chicago Press.

* 2:30 p.m.: Jenifer Barclay, Department of Critical Culture, Gender, and Race Studies, Washington State University, on "Laughable Limps, One-Eyed Wenches, and Cross Dressing Dwarfs: How Disability Makes Sense of Blackface Minstrelsy." She is completing a manuscript titled "The Mark of Slavery: The Stigma of Disability, Race, and Gender in Antebellum America," which is under contract with University of Illinois Press for the Disability Histories series.

The symposium is part of an Emerging Research Incentive grant titled "Diversity and Inclusion: Implications for Science and Society," sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships and awarded to Laurel Weldon, Distinguished Professor of Political Science and director of the Purdue Policy Research Institute.

Symposium co-sponsors are the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, the Center for Research on Diversity and Inclusion, and the Department of English.

For more information, contact Maren Linett, associate professor of English, at mlinett@purdue.edu

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