Thinking With Disability Studies

Nirmala Erevelles

Abstract


In this essay, I offer tentative ruminations about the possibilities/challenges of theory and praxis in the field of disability studies. I begin the essay by thinking through my own positionality as a non-disabled woman of color scholar/ally in the field. Cautiously situating myself in a location of outsider-within (Hill-Collins,1998), I explore how disability studies is disruptive of any boundaries that claim to police distinctions between disabled/non-disabled subject positions. Noting the dangers of claiming that everyone is disabled at some historical moment, I propose instead a relational analysis to engage the materiality of disability at the intersections of race, class, gender, nation, and sexual identity within specific historical contexts and discuss the complicated impasses that continue to plague disability studies at these intersections. I conclude the essay by recognizing the labor of scholar/activists in the field who call for a committed politics of accountability and access via disability justice. 

 

Keywords: disability studies, historical materialism, identity politics and intersectionality, disability justice, politics of accountability/allyship


Keywords


disability studies; historical materialism; identity politics and intersectionality; disability justice; politics of accountability/allyship

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18061/dsq.v34i2.4248

Copyright (c) 2014 Nirmala Erevelles



Beginning with Volume 36, Issue No. 4 (2016), Disability Studies Quarterly is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license unless otherwise indicated. 

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ISSN: 2159-8371