Emory Disability Studies Initiative Highlights 25th ADA Anniversary with Local Jazz Musician and Disability Activist

Barham Flyer PurpleThe Emory Disability Studies Initiative (DSI) is pleased to present a renowned, local jazz band, Frank Barham – Brazilian Fusion, for its spring cultural event. Doors open at 7pm on Monday, March 23rd at the Emory Performing Arts Center. The event is free and open to the public. 

Frank Barham has been a disability activist for decades, and in addition to a dazzling performance, the event will highlight Wheel 2 Live, a 302 mile tour for disability awareness that Frank will roll in his wheelchair along Sherman’s Path from Atlanta to Savannah. Planned in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), Frank will be stopping for performances, spreading information about disability resources, and raising money to buy wheelchairs. Wheel 2 Live kicks off at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights on May 11th, and you can support this amazing project here

Now in its second year, the DSI develops scholarly and artistic programming that stimulates and enriches conversations about disability, both within the Emory community and in the broader public. The DSI has helped establish Emory University as a preeminent institution for the study of disability across multiple fields. 

Please visit the DSI webpage for more information on upcoming events.

Disability Studies Initiative Brings Philosopher Eva KIttay to Campus

Eva_Kittay_Poster_FINALThe Emory Disability Studies Initiative (DSI) is pleased to bring renowned philosopher Eva Kittay, a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at SUNY Stony Brook, for a residency at Emory.

On Monday, February 23, Eva Kittay will give a talk entitled “Normalcy and A Good Life: Problems, Prospects, and Possibilities in the Life of People with Severe Cognitive Disabilities” in the Center for Ethics Room 102 from 4-6pm. Her talk will engage perceptions of ability and disability in relation to the value of human life with far-ranging implications that have effects from policy in the United States to mandates from the United Nations.

On Tuesday, February 24th (4-6pm in White Hall 207), Dr. Kittay will participate in a discussion on “Disability Rights as Human Rights” with writer and Emory University Distinguished Professor Salman Rushdie as well as Emory English Professors Rosemarie Garland-Thomson and Benjamin Reiss.

To conclude her visit, Kittay will join Martha Fineman, Woodruff Professor of Law, and Mark Risjord, Professor of Philosophy and Nursing, for a “Roundtable on Care Ethics” on Wednesday, February 25th (4-6pm, Center for Ethics, Room 102), which will discuss the future and impact of care ethics in relation to concerns of both global and local justice.

Find out more about these events here

Now in its second year, the DSI develops scholarly and artistic programming that stimulates and enriches conversations about disability, both within the Emory community and in the broader public. The DSI has helped establish Emory University as a preeminent institution for the study of disability across multiple fields. 

DSI homepage

Ralph Savarese Looks at Autistic Writers

savareseIn his recent talk at Emory (see YouTube video), Ralph Savarese of Grinnell College advances the notion of a much less human-centered empathy by exploring the propensity in autism to attend to objects more than people (February 19, 2014). Focusing on the work of two autistic writers, Dawn Prince and Tito Mukhopadhyay, he investigates the trope of personification, appealing to neuroscientific investigations of the phenomenon in order to distinguish between a categorical and a precategorical engagement with experience. Lyric writing, especially poetry, plays a controlled game with categories, dwelling in the sensory and blurring distinctions through a range of literary devices such as personification and metaphor. For Prince and for Mukhopadhyay, the space of lyric writing appears to welcome autistic difference.

Ralph James Savarese is the author of “Reasonable People: A Memoir of Autism and Adoption,” which Newsweek called “a real life love story and an urgent manifesto for the rights of people with neurological disabilities,” and the co-editor of three collections, including “Autism and the Concept of Neurodiversity,” a special issue of Disability Studies Quarterly. The winner of the Herman Melville Society’s Hennig Cohen Prize and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Mellon Foundation, he spent the academic year 2012/2013 as a neurohumanities fellow at Duke University’s Institute for Brain Sciences. He teaches at Grinnell College in Iowa.

The Disability Studies Initiative at Emory is a new working group (beginning Fall 2013) generated across departments and schools that is dedicated to interdisciplinary research and teaching by faculty and students. The Initiative is led by a group of faculty and students who are interested in the social, cultural, historical, political, and legal dimensions of disability in our world.

See YouTube Playlist

Comedian Josh Blue on Disabled Athletes and Paralympics (among other things)

Disability0131Comedian Josh Blue and Jon McCullough of Blaze Sports talk about their experiences as Paralympic athletes and more in this engaging, often humorous conversation (see YouTube video) held January 31, 2014, at Emory University. They are also joined by Benjamin Reiss, Professor of English and co-chair of the Disability Studies Initiative at Emory. Blue was a winner of the Last Comic Standing competition and a disability advocate. Blaze Sports is a Decatur nonprofit adaptive sports organization.

Emory’s Disability Studies Initiative is a new working group (beginning Fall 2013) generated across departments and schools that is dedicated to interdisciplinary research and teaching by faculty and students. The Initiative is led by a group of faculty and students who are interested in the social, cultural, historical, political, and legal dimensions of disability in our world.

 

New Videos on Autism and Disability Advocacy by the Disability Studies Initiative

Three new videos highlight themes being discussed by the Disability Studies Initiative at Emory, a new working group (beginning Fall 2013) generated across departments and schools that is dedicated to interdisciplinary research and teaching by faculty and students. The Initiative is led by a group of faculty and students who are interested in the social, cultural, historical, political, and legal dimensions of disability in our world.

  1. A conversation between Ari Ne’eman, president of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network and member of the President’s National Council on Disability, and Maria Town 09C, who currently works at the US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. The conversation was moderated by Dr. Rosemarie Garland-Thomson (October 28, 2013).
    http://youtu.be/h1p0V-4lEuk
    iTunesU audio
  2. Ari Ne’eman delivers a talk on “Autism and the Disability Community: The Politics of Neurodiversity, Causation and Cure” (October 29, 2013).
    http://youtu.be/7NzDh4rtcOI
    iTunesU audio
  3. Walk a mile in my shoes? Maria Town hosts an informal discussion about disability advocacy and disability policy (October 30, 2013).
    http://youtu.be/vfda9cLM1ro

Disability Studies Initiative to Encourage Scholarship and Greater Awareness

from the Emory News Center…

For years, disability studies have played an important role at Emory University, finding a natural home within a wide array of disciplines, from medical and cultural scholarship to anthropological, literary, artistic, historical and religious works.

But without a formal program or department, the full scope and strength of that work hasn’t always been readily apparent.

However, disabilities scholarship is finding new visibility at Emory this fall with the launch of a Disability Studies Initiative (DSI), which supports the promotion and development of interdisciplinary teaching, research and activities in the field.

Created with support from Emory College, the Laney Graduate School, the Center for Ethics, and the Provost’s Office, the initiative seeks not only to identify and enhance existing disability studies at Emory, but also to further the University’s commitment to access and diversity through curriculum development, scholarly research and artistic programming around disability issues.

The initiative was proposed by Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, professor of English and women’s, gender and sexuality studies, who counts disabilities studies as a part of her own research, and Benjamin Reiss, an English professor whose research includes connections among literature, medicine, disability and American culture.

See full article at Emory News Center

Related Media

YouTube: Rosemarie Garland-Thomson talks about her 2009 book Staring and Its Implications in Society