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News "Negotiating Disability" Lecture and Book Signing

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March 8, 2:00-3:30 pm, Ewing Room, Perkins Student Center

Professors Stephanie L. Kerschbaum (English), Laura T. Eisenman (School of Education), and James M. Jones (Trustees Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Psychological & Brain Sciences and Africana Studies) recently co-edited Negotiating Disability: Disclosure and Higher Education, published in 2017 by the University of Michigan Press. Negotiating Disability grew out of the highly successful “Disability Disclosure in/and Higher Education” conference held in 2013 on the University of Delaware campus, which brought more than 100 scholars from a broad range of interdisciplinary disability studies fields to campus.

Disability is not always central to claims about diversity and inclusion in higher education, but collectively, the contributors to Negotiating Disability argue that it should be. The twenty essays in the collection emphasize how pervasive disability issues are across higher education populations and settings, from classrooms to physical environments to policy impacts on students, faculty, administrators, and staff. As CSD director James M. Jones puts it in our editors’ introduction to the collection, “While diversity often specifically refers to race and ethnic diversity, we take the view that diversity--including disability--is broad, complex, multileveled, intersectional, and dynamic” (3). When disability becomes part of these broader conversations about diversity, new dimensions and facets of human experience are brought to light.

The book has four thematic sections: “Identity,” “Intersectionality,” “Representation” and “Institutional Change and Policy.” Essays in the Identity section affirm disability as a positive and important element of identity. Within Intersectionality, the authors consider how disability identities interact with other marginalized identities. Representation essays explore implications for the different ways that disability is framed in academic settings. The chapters in Institutional Change and Policy illustrate a range of institutional and cultural assumptions about disability that impact accessibility of higher education. As a whole, the chapters in the collection represent a robust set of interdisciplinary perspectives.

In the upcoming CSD Spring Lecture on March 8, 2018 in the Ewing Room of the Perkins Student Center, two of the co-editors--Laura T. Eisenman and Stephanie L. Kerschbaum--will trace some of the threads moving through the collection. Beginning with the fact that higher education is largely inhospitable to disability, Eisenman and Kerschbaum identify ways that the contributors to this collection help us imagine other ways of moving within higher education spaces, paying specific attention to (and offering suggestions for) the University of Delaware campus and community.

Books will be available for sale and signing.​ A flyer is downloadable here.

UDaily article here.

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"Negotiating Disability" Lecture and Book Signing
  • Center for the Study of Diversity
  • 77 East Main Street - Room 217
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19711, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-3033
  • Delaware Will Shine
  • OEI
  • Vice Provost for Diversity