The Humanities, Social Sciences & Social Justice Education (HSSSJE) Brown Bag 2013/14 Speakers Series presents…
‘Driving Under the Influence: Impairment Rhetoric in Social Justice Education’
~ Tanya Titchkosky
Date (Venue): Wednesday, 20th November: 12:30-1:30pm (Room 12-274, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto, 252 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON, M5S 1V6)
Summary: Color blind, deaf to the call of justice, suffering from historical amnesia; blind to structural oppression, limping under the weight of inequality, an amputated self, crazy; subject to colonial aphasia, nothing but a deformed autonomy made to fit a crippled economy; devastatingly disabled. What compels this impairment rhetoric? Obviously, such rhetoric is steeped in able-ism and includes disability as a devalued and excludable type. Still, is there something not so obvious that we should notice here?
This talk explores social justice education’s need to drive itself forward under the influence of impairment rhetoric, so as to reveal a few of the lessons concealed in this need. These lessons touch upon the production of the nature/culture divide accomplished through disability configured as the boundary of peoples’ potential, as this relates to an unexamined conception of the human steeped in its own inhumanity. I will end this talk by showing how a non-rhetorical relation to impairment rhetoric offers an imaginative way to re-approach social justice issues.
Bio: Tanya Titchkosky is an Associate Professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. Tanya’s publications include, The Question of Access: Disability, Space, Meaning (2011); Reading and Writing Disability Differently: The Textured Life of Embodiment (2007); Disability, Self and Society (2003) as well as a reader with co-editor Rod Michalko, Rethinking Normalcy (2009). Tanya’s current work explores disability narrative in order to reveal the interpretive edges of the meaning of human with a particular focus on human rights, immigration and education policy, epigenetic discourse, and WHO mental health projects.