Disability

The Americans with Disabilities Act, having just celebrated its 25th anniversary, profoundly changed the United States, prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities and requiring levels of accommodations and accessibility unknown to previous generations. At this important historic moment, the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues will take as its spring 2016 theme the concept of DISABILITY, exploring the scientific, cultural and representational landscape surrounding understandings of both ability and disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act will serve as a particular springboard for our events, as we consider its social and political history, its limitations, and its future. Approaching disability from interdisciplinary perspectives in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, this semester’s events will bring together medical, legal, activist, and artistic approaches to a reconsideration of what constitutes a (dis)ability; the social and cultural ramifications of how we define and respond to disability; and the ways that disability and ability intersect with other forms of identities and oppressions.

Karen Nakamura

NakamuraposterfinalHaas Distinguished Chair of Disability Studies and professor of anthropology, University of California Berkeley

Disability Rights in Global Perspective

Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Grassroots disability movements such as mad pride and crip pride have pushed themselves to the forefront of conversations across the world about diversity and inclusion, but there has also been considerable setbacks in recent years. Nakamura discusses disability rights social movements and how they have fundamentally changed the social contract and fabric in various countries.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Office of Global Study and Engagement and the departments of East Asian studies and women’s,  gender and sexuality studies.  It is also part of the Clarke Forum’s semester theme, Disability.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Karen Nakamura is the Haas Distinguished Chair of Disability Studies and professor of anthropology at the University of California Berkeley. Her first monograph was tiNakamura Picturetled Deaf in Japan: Signing and the Politics of Identity (2006). Her next project resulted in two ethnographic films and a monograph titled, A Disability of the Soul: An Ethnography of Schizophrenia and Mental Illness in Contemporary Japan (2014). She is currently working on the intersections of transsexuality and disability politics in postwar Japan and exploring a future project on disability, robotics, and augmentation/prosthetics.

Video of the Lecture

Interview with Student Project Manager Kayleigh Rhatigan ’19

 

Lance Wahlert

Wahlert PosterAssistant Professor of Medical Ethics & Health Policy, University of Pennsylvania

Disability Studies and Contemporary Bioethics for HIV-Positive Persons

Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Stern Center, Great Room, 7 p.m.

In this talk, Wahlert will discuss the prominence of HIV-positive persons in the history of medicine, paying special attention to their impact by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the departments of women’s and gender studies, American studies, biology and the health studies certificate program. It is also part of the Clarke Forum’s semester theme, Disability.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

An historian of medicine and literary/cinema/queer studies scholar by training, Dr. Lance Wahlert is assistant professor of medical ethics & health policy and director of thelance-wahlert-image Master of Bioethics (MBE) program in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.   He also holds affiliated standing-faculty appointments in Penn’s departments of: Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies; English; Cinema Studies; and, the History and Sociology of Science.

Dr. Wahlert’s scholarly interests include narrative medicine, clinical ethics, the history of LGBTQ medicine, disability theory, cinema studies, and Irish and Norwegian literature.  Accordingly, he has held residential fellowships at the Welcome Centre for the History of Medicine (London), Trinity College Dublin, Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Oslo, King’s College London, the British Film Institute, and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science.  In the fall of 2013, he served as visiting assistant professor of Clinical Ethics at the Cleveland Clinic, serving as a specialist in medical humanities and LGBT health.

Having been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Pew Foundation, Dr. Wahlert’s scholarship has been featured in publications including Bioethics, the American Journal of Bioethics, the Cambridge Quarterly of Health Care Ethics, the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, and The Hastings Center Report.  He has also served as guest editor of three special issues of peer-reviewed, academic journals dedicated to the intersections of bioethics, queer theory, disability studies, and the history of medicine: “Bioethics, Sexuality, and Gender Identity” for the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry (2012); “Queer in the Clinic” for the Journal of Medical Humanities (2013); and “Mapping Queer Bioethics: Space, Place, and Locality” for the Journal of Homosexuality (2015).

Related Links

http://www.queerbioethics.org/

http://medicalethics.med.upenn.edu/people/faculty/lance-wahlert

Video of the Lecture

Interview with Lance Wahlert and Julia Mercer ’18

Manju Banerjee

BanerjeePosterFINALVice President and Director of Landmark College Institute for Research and Training (LCIRT) and Associate Professor at Landmark College

Universal Design and Diverse Learners

Thursday, March 3, 2016
Holland Union Building, Social Hall West, 7 p.m.

This presentation will address issues, experiences, challenges and alternatives in pedagogical practice for today’s diverse population of college students. Starting with an overview of neurodiversity and learner differences, the presenter will share practical hand-on techniques, eTools, and strategies as guided by the Universal Design mindset.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, American Studies, Kappa Delta Pi, the Wellness Center and the Office of Disability Services (ODS).  It is also part of the Clarke Forum’s semester theme, Disability.

Manju Banerjee pic, distributionBiography (provided by the speaker)

Manju Banerjee, Ph.D., is vice president and director of Landmark College Institute for Research and Training (LCIRT) and associate professor at Landmark College. Dr. Banerjee has over 29 years of experience in the field of learning disabilities and postsecondary education, and is a certified diagnostician and teacher-consultant on learning disabilities. She has published and presented extensively, both nationally and internationally, on topics including Universal Design for Instruction, disability documentation, and technological competencies for postsecondary transition and online accommodations. She was Co-PI of an $1.03 million U.S. Dept. of Education demonstration project grant (#P333A080053) on “UDI Online: Applying Universal Design for Instruction to Online and Blended Courses” awarded in 2008 through 2012. She has taught and currently teaches an online course on Universal Design: Principles and Practice to post baccalaureate educators. She is an editorial board member of the Journal of Postsecondary Education Disability, Professional Advisory Board member to the Learning Disability Association of America, and a consultant to Educational Testing Service. She received her doctoral degree from the Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut, on the application of Universal Design to assessment practices. See Dr. Banerjee’s clip on UDL at Landmark College: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HHvRzemuHA

Video of the Lecture

Interview with Manju Banerjee by Kayleigh Rhatigan ’19, Clarke Forum Student Project Manager

Lennard Davis – “Morgan Lecturer”

Davis Final PosterDistinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Professor of English, Disability and Human Development, and Medical Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago

 

Morgan Lecture

The Americans with Disabilities Act:  Civil Rights Then, Now, and in the Future

Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Stern Center, Great Room, 7 p.m.

Live Stream Link

The Americans with Disabilities Act recently reached its 25th year anniversary.  This lecture looks at the history of how the most encompassing civil rights act of the 20th century, affecting the largest US minority, came to be passed; what its effects were and are; and what more work remains to be done. A book sale and signing will follow.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and the Morgan Lecture Fund and co-sponsored by the Churchill Fund and the Department of History.  It is also part of the Clarke Forum’s semester theme, Disability and the Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

lennarddavisBiography (provided by the speaker)

Lennard J. Davis is a Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences and teaches in the English Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he had also served as the department’s Head.  In addition, he is a professor of disability and human development in the School of Applied Health Sciences of the University of Illinois at Chicago, as well as a professor of medical education in the College of Medicine.  He is also the director of Project Biocultures, a think-tank devoted to issues around the intersection of culture, medicine, disability, biotechnology and the biosphere.

Davis is the author of two works on the novel–Factual Fictions: The Origins of the English Novel (Columbia U. Press, 1983, rpt. University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996) and Resisting Novels: Fiction and Ideology (Routledge, 1987, rpt. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001) and co-editor of Left Politics and the Literary Profession.

His works on disability include Enforcing Normalcy: Disability, Deafness, and the Body (Verso, 1995), which won the 1996 Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights’ annual award for the best scholarship on the subject of intolerance in North America, and The Disability Studies Reader (4th Ed., Routledge, 2013).  His memoir My Sense of Silence (University of Illinois Press, 2000), was chosen as the Editor’s Choice Book for the Chicago Tribune, selected for the National Book Award for 2000, and nominated for the Book Critics Circle Award for 2000. He has appeared on National Public Radio’s Fresh Air to discuss the memoir, which describes his childhood in a deaf family.  Davis has also edited his parents’ correspondence Shall I Say a Kiss: The Courtship Letters of a Deaf Couple, 1936-38 (Gallaudet University Press, 1999).   Davis is a co-founder of the Modern Language Association’s Committee on Disability Issues in the Profession, and he serves on the board of several academic journals.

Having written widely for newspapers and magazines, Davis is also the author of a novel entitled The Sonnets (State University of New York Press, March 2001).  A collection of his essays entitled Bending Over Backwards: Disability, Dismodernism, and Other Difficult Positions was published by New York University Press in August 2002.  He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2002-2003 for Obsession: A History (University of Chicago Press, 2008). His book Go Ask Your Father: One Man’s Obsession with Finding his Origins Through DNA Testing was published by Random House in 2009. His most recent book The End of Normal: Identity in a Biocultural Era was published in 2013 by University of Michigan Press.  His forthcoming book on the Americans With Disabilities Act will be published on the 25th anniversary of the Act by Beacon Press. Davis edits the Routledge Series Integrating Science and Culture.

He has written numerous articles in The Nation, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Chronicle of Higher Education and other print media.  Davis has also been a commentator on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, and appeared on Morning Edition, This American Life, Odyssey, The Leonard Lopate Show and other NPR affiliates.  His current interests include disability-related issues; literary and cultural theory; genetics, race, identity; and biocultural issues.

Morgan Lectureship
The Morgan Lectureship was endowed by the board of trustees in 1992, in grateful appreciation for the distinguished service of James Henry Morgan of the Class of 1878, professor of Greek, dean, and president of the College. The lectureship brings to campus a scholar in residence to meet informally with individuals and class groups, and to deliver the Morgan Lecture on topics in the social sciences and humanities. Recent scholars have been Jorge Luis Borges, Francis Fukuyama, Michael Ignatieff, Samantha Power, Art Spiegelman, Sandra Steingraber, Kay Redfield Jamison and Patricia Hill Collins.

Video of the Lecture