Disability and Queerness: Theory, Activism, Movements

Jan 29, 2015 | Events

Looking forward to joining three other interdisciplinary scholars in New York for this panel.

When: Friday February 20, 2015. 6:00 – 9:00 pm

Where: The Graduate Center, CUNY, 365 5th Avenue, Room C198, New York, 10016, United States

Cost & audience: Free and open to the public

Event description

Scholars and activists have elucidated how the systems of oppression and struggles that coalesce around issues of queerness and disability are intimately intertwined. Arguably, efforts to think through and foreground the interrelations between compulsory heterosexuality and compulsory able-bodiedness have existed throughout LGBTQ and disability social movements of the last few decades, from efforts to fight AIDS and the organizing of Women of Color feminist to the groundbreaking scholarly work by scholars such as Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, Tobin Siebers, and Robert McRuer. This roundtable features three speakers who, in presenting their current research, will reflect upon the past, present, and future of theorizing and organizing at the intersection of queerness and disability. In what ways have theorizing and activism around queerness and disability influenced, shaped, and challenged each other? How, if in any way, do conversations and movements around queerness and disability continue to occlude consideration of each other? What would it mean to imagine a future in which questions around queerness and disability are centered and considered intersectionally?

Speaker bios

Cathy Hannabach

Cathy Hannabach is an editor and independent scholar whose research focuses on transnational feminist cultural studies, queer disability studies, and science and technology studies. Her scholarship has appeared in Women and Performance, Cultural Politics, Social Text, and Studies in Gender and Sexuality. In her editing business she works with authors who are academics, artists, and activists to produce writing for social change. She has taught at Temple University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Pittsburgh, UC Davis, and UC Berkeley. She also founded and directs Philly Queer Media, a media arts organization that fosters new, activist work in the performing, media, visual, and media arts.

Cindy Wu

Cynthia Wu is an associate professor of American studies in the Department of Transnational Studies at the University at Buffalo.  She works at the convergences of Asian American studies, critical ethnic studies, disability studies, and gender and sexuality studies.  Her book, Chang and Eng Reconnected: The Original Siamese Twins in American Culture, was published by Temple University Press in 2012.  It received an honorable mention for the Lora Romero First Book Publication Prize from the American Studies Association.  She has published articles and reviews in journals such as Amerasia Journal, American Literature, Disability Studies Quarterly, Journal of Asian American Studies, MELUS, Meridians, and Signs. Currently, Wu is at work on two new manuscripts:  one that examines military service among Asian Americans and the other on intra-racial male same-sex desire in Asian American literature.  In both of these manuscripts, she sees disability as a linchpin around which discussions about inclusion and access–broadly defined–coalesce.

Robert McRuer

Robert McRuer is Professor of English and Chair of the Department of English at The George Washington University, where he teaches queer theory, disability studies, and 20th/21st-century American studies.  He is the author of Crip Theory: Cultural Signs of Queerness and Disability (NYU, 2006), which was awarded the Alan Bray Memorial Book Award by the GL/Q Caucus of the Modern Language Association, and of The Queer Renaissance: Contemporary American Literature and the Reinvention of Lesbian and Gay Identities (NYU, 1997).  With Abby L. Wilkerson, he co-edited “Desiring Disability: Queer Theory Meets Disability Studies” (Duke, 2003), a special double issue of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies.  Most recently, with Anna Mollow, he co-edited Sex and Disability (Duke, 2012).  He is currently completing a manuscript tentatively titled Crip Times: Disability, Globalization, and Resistance.

Akemi Nishida

Akemi Nishida is a Ph.D. candidate in Critical Social Personality Psychology at the Graduate Center and a faculty member of Disability Studies and Psychology within the City University of New York system. Using an interdisciplinary approach that combines critical disability, feminist, race, and immigration/global studies with psychological inquiries, her current work examines the neoliberaliziation of the public healthcare program, Medicaid, through austerity reforms, and how such reforms capacitate certain women for their labor power and debilitate certain disabled people for their profitable care needs—all for the development of care industries. She also looks into how some care recipients and providers of Medicaid long-term care programs adapt to each other’s distinct capacities, needs, desires, and rhythms through repeated practices of care that slowly nurture interdependent, caring, and co-capacitating relationality between them. Nishida’s research, teaching, and community organizing value artful, accessible, and liberating methodologies. She is also a member of the national organization Disability Justice Collective.

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