(Dis)Courses Dialogue Series Highlights Activist-Scholars in Intersectional Disability Cultural Work – Syracuse University News


The conversation series (Dis)courses: Interdisciplinary Disability Dialogues returns this semester with four luminaries who are engaged with many forms of innovative and intersectional disability cultural work.
Hosted by the Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach at the Burton Blatt Institute and Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature, (Dis)courses: Interdisciplinary Disability Dialogues offers ongoing events on disability literature, media and the arts, focusing on critical reflection, teaching and research in today’s world.
All events are free and open to the public. Registration is required for each event.
The four events are the following:
Tuesday, March 8, 2022, 3-4 p.m. ET via Zoom
Register for the event.
Shayda Kafai
Shayda Kafai will engage in a conversation about her new book, “Crip Kinship: The Disability Justice & Art Activism of Sins Invalid.” Sins Invalid is a performance project that centers a disability justice framework. “Crip Kinship” investigates the revolutionary survival teachings that disabled queer of color communities offer to all our bodyminds.
Kafai is an assistant professor of gender and sexuality studies in the ethnic and women’s studies department at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. As a queer, disabled, Mad femme of color, she commits to practicing the many ways we can reclaim our bodyminds from systems of oppression. To support this work as an educator-scholar, Kafai applies disability justice and collective care practices in the spaces she cultivates.
Kafai’s writing and speaking presentations focus on intersectional body politics, particularly on how bodies are constructed and how they hold the capacity for rebellion. Kafai is also an artmaker and co-founder of CripFemmeCrafts with her wife, Amy.
Thursday, April 7, 2022, 5-6:30 p.m. ET via Zoom
Register for the event.
Naomi Ortiz. Photo credit: Jade Beall
Cultivating love affairs with ourselves, communities and places means loving within states of stress. The disability community has unique knowledge in working toward accessibility and care in times of perpetual uncertainty. Join us as we discuss how to draw from our lineages, cultures and ancestors to gently touch vulnerability and create our own definitions of sustainability.
Naomi Ortiz is a poet, writer, facilitator and visual artist whose intersectional work focuses on self-care for activists, disability justice, climate action and relationship with place. Ortiz is the author of “Sustaining Spirit: Self-Care for Social Justice” (Reclamation Press), a non-fiction book for diverse communities on dealing with the risks of burnout. They are a 2021-2022 Border Narrative Grant Awardee for their multidisciplinary project, “Complicating Conversations.”
Ortiz is a 2019 Zoeglossia Poetry Fellow whose poems have been nominated for Best of the Internet and listed on Entropy’s “Best of 2020-2021: Favorite Poems Published Online.” They emphasize interdependence, inclusion and spiritual growth in their poetry, writing and artwork, which can be found in numerous print and on-line publications, anthologies, and art shows. Ortiz is a disabled Mestiza living in the Arizona U.S./Mexico borderlands.
Monday, April 11, 2022, noon-1:30 p.m. ET via Zoom
Register for the event.
Clark A. Pomerleau
Clark A. Pomerleau uses his archival research into the famous homesteading advice and practice of Helen and Scott Nearing and oral histories of back-to-the-landers who were influenced by them from 1965 through the 1980s to consider how people have been successful and unsuccessful in accommodating homestead gardening to anxiety, depression, and changes in physicality and cognition.
Pomerleau is an associate professor and associate chairperson of the History Department at the University of North Texas. His scholarship analyzes social justice alternatives to mainstream U.S. society and includes the book, “Califia Women: Feminist Education against Sexism, Classism, and Racism” (U. Texas, 2013); chapters and articles on LGBTQ+ history, feminist praxis and trans-inclusion; and a biography in process about Helen Knothe Nearing’s spiritual and practical role in the back-to-the-land movement titled “A Consecrated Life in Her Times.”
Pomerleau also publishes poetry, including the chapbook “Better Living through Cats” (Finishing Line Press, 2021) that tackles depression and anxiety and the full-length book about growing into elder care, “Every Day, They Became Part of Him” (Finishing Line Press, 2023). His most recent awards are a 2021 Faculty Research Leave, the 2020 UNT President’s Council Service Award, and nomination for outstanding accessible online teaching.
Tuesday, April 19, 2022, 5-6:30 p.m. ET via Zoom
Register for the event.
Joseph Stramondo
This talk will explore if or when one has an ethical duty to disclose their disability in a higher education setting. Joseph Stramondo will argue that faculty, especially permanent, tenured faculty, sometimes have a moral obligation to disclose their disability identity to create the social space for other disabled people with less institutional power to flourish within the academy. However, this obligation is limited, and its strength is directly proportional to the likelihood and degree of risk posed by disclosure, which tends to track an individual’s institutional power within the ivory tower.
Stramondo is an associate professor of philosophy and director of the Institute for Ethics and Public Affairs at San Diego State University. He holds graduate degrees in philosophy and public policy studies and his current research focuses on the intersection of biomedical ethics and philosophy of disability. He is concerned with how bioethics can be reframed by centering the lived experiences of disability as a crucial source of moral knowledge that should guide clinical practice, biomedical research and health policy. He has published scholarship on topics ranging from informed consent procedures to reproductive ethics to pandemic triage protocols to assistive neurotechnology. His work appears in such venues as The Hastings Center Report, Social Theory and Practice, the Kennedy Institute for Ethics Journal, Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, Utilitas, The International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics and more. He also serves as the co-president of the Society for Disability Studies.
The webinars will include American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation, live captioning, image descriptions and an opportunity for registered Zoom webinar participants to engage with the featured presenter. The events will also be recorded and made publicly available online. The post-production videos will include ASL interpretation and captions, accompanying transcripts, and a summary of online resources of interest.
Copies of selected texts will be available for purchase at the Syracuse University Campus Store.
The Spring 2022 (Dis)courses series is sponsored by the Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach at the Burton Blatt Institute and Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature, with thanks to the Syracuse University Libraries, and with additional support from the Center on Disability and Inclusion; the Central New York Humanities Corridor Health Humanities Working Group (Medicine, Disease, Disability, and Culture); the Consortium for Culture and Medicine; Cultural Foundations of Education; the departments of Biology, English, History, and Women’s and Gender Studies; Disability Cultural Center; disability studies; the Graduate School; Hendricks Chapel; Information Technology Services; the Intergroup Dialogue Program; La Casita Cultural Center; the LGBTQ Resource Center; LGBTQ Studies; the Renée Crown University Honors Program; the School of Education and the Syracuse University Humanities Center.
Questions can be directed to [email protected].
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