DRF News

Event: Education meets Disability Studies Evening Seminar, Oct. 2012: Sheffield, UK

Event: Education Research Seminar Series joins forces with the DRF for…

Date/Time: Tuesday, 16th October 2012 @ 5.30pm (tea/coffee from 5.00pm)

Venue: Room 10212, Arundel Building, Charles Street, City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University


“Teaching Disability — Disability as Teacher” ~ Dr. Rod Michalko

Abstract: In contemporary times, disability is very often understood as something about which expertize can be gleaned.  From this, experts are manufactured and head out to teach disabled and non-disabled people alike about disability.  This talk examines this process but with a twist; it aims to explore expertize rather than disability.  It will raise and engage the following questions: How do we make disability a topic for research and its subsequent knowledge production?  Do we ignore disability when we do so?  Can disability teach experts and others about what expertize in disability means?  Finally, can our disabilities teach all of us something about what it means to be human?

Bio: Dr. Rod Michalko is in his first year of retirement from teaching sociology and disability studies at the University of Toronto.  He is author of numerous articles and four books, including a co-edited book with Dr. Tanya Titchkosky titled, Rethinking Normalcy. All of Rod’s work begins, and sometimes ends, with his blindness, leaving some people to stipulate that he is doing “blind studies” and not “disability studies.” Rod, though, is not concerned with these labels as much as he is with taking disability seriously and embracing the fun it offers.  He is thrilled to be retired and even more thrilled to be in the UK. 

“Why Critical Education Studies needs Disability Studies” ~ Dr. Tanya Titchkosky, Department of Humanities, Social Science and Social Justice Education, University of Toronto

Abstract: In July, 2011 a fire evacuation occurred on the final day of the international Disability Studies Summer Institute hosted by the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) of the University of Toronto.  This talk narrates this evacuation.  I will relate this evacuation to a group of scholars in their embodied particularity, but I will do so in a way that resists simply pointing to disability’s precarious inclusion in education.  Beginning in the midst of the various ways that the evacuation was made sensible, my analysis aims to proceed to the heart of our consciousness of what we do and do not mean for each other within educational environments.  By showing four basic moves key to disability studies, my talk will demonstrate why disability studies enhances any critical examination of education even in the face of fires and evacuations in normative space.  If a disability studies perspective can change how evacuations are thought of, imagine what it might be able to achieve in the ordinary day-to-day life of the classroom and our lives together?  

Bio: Dr. Tanya Titchkosky is Associate Professor in the newly reconfigured Department of Humanities, Social Science and Social Justice Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.  Her teaching and research are in the areas of disability studies in education and interpretive sociology informed by critical race, feminist and queer theory.  Through these various scholarly endeavors, as they intersect with her dyslexia as well as a more philosophical version of sociology, Tanya has authored three books:  The Question of Access (2011); Reading and Writing Disability Differently (2007) ; Disability, Self and Society (2003).  She has also co-edited with Dr. Rod Michalko, Rethinking Normalcy (2009).  Tanya’s teaching and writing aims at showing that while disability is a social issue that has been invited to the table of critical inquiry rather late, it is nonetheless a fascinating seat from which to rethink everyday conceptions of deviance and normalcy, inclusion and exclusion, human and its others. 

  • To confirm attendance and/or directions to the venue, please contact Ian Chesters on I.Chesters@shu.ac.uk  or 0114 225 6060.

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