We’re back! Return of the DRF…

The rumours are true, after a short break of the DRF, we’re pleased to announce that the dates for 16-17 seminar series schedule is now available, along with details of the first seminar. We’re pleased to welcome Dr. Kirsty Liddiard (University of Sheffield) and Dr. Esther Ignagni (Ryerson University, Toronto) to speak on their groundbreaking, internationally acclaimed work, “Thinking with ‘Chemical Stories'”.

Monday, 28th November 2016, 11am-1pm, Arundel 10311

All people encounter chemicals – legal and illicit, helpful and harmful – in myriad and complicated ways.  This is particularly true for disabled people who rely on prescribed and generic chemicals for everyday functioning. Framing ‘chemicals’ as an open category, we are interested in everyday encounters with substances ranging from pharmaceuticals, street drugs, environmental pollutants, cosmetics and beyond. Narrative studies of chemical lives include the ‘storied lives of chemicals’; stories of chemical use within identified populations and ‘toxic tales’ of involuntary chemical exposure. These lines of inquiry position disability as an undesirable outcome of our chemical lives, and consequently a site of a precarious, dangerous or obliterated future.

Animated by initial findings from exploratory inquiries in Canada (Ignagni; Eliza Chandler) and the UK (Liddiard, China Mills) centered on people’s stories of their chemical lives, this workshop will begin with a brief description on this project’s framework, a brief review of how ‘chemical stories’ have been taken up in the fields of disability studies, feminist theory, and Indigenous Studies, and an account of the chemical stories we have engaged so far. The workshop will bring a focused discussion on the role of chemicals in our lives, specifically how chemicals both energize and deplete the future. Questions for workshop attendees will include:

  • Broadly speaking, how do you interact with chemicals in your everyday life?
  • How do interactions with chemicals capacitate some and incapacitate others (Erevelles, 2011; Fritsch, 2013)?
  • What kind of (crip) futurity do chemicals allow for (Kafer, 2012)?

Throughout this workshop, we will consider how ‘chemicals’ form and manifest disabling environments, shaping and maintaining particular subjectivities, embodiments and lives marked by difference, debility and exclusion through both mundane and extreme interactions. In this way, we will draw on and contribute to growing disability studies literature that interrogates how disability and impairments are socially produced within the environment by and through interactions with toxins, workplace hazards, and war .

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