As Lavonna Lovern writes in this issue, "Coming to understand that all things are in constant flux and exist as relational to all other things, the dynamic of engagement must be one of respect, reciprocity, and perspective." 1 Contributions in this section are united by an exploration of knowledge-making and informed by relational values of respect, reciprocity, and perspective-sharing.
Authors Lieketseng Ned, Chioma Ohajunwa, and Lily Kpobi offer a panoramic study of Indigeneity and disability, detailing common patterns—interdependence, kinship, spiritual connections, and collective care—as well as characteristics specific to the Indigenous worlds at the center of their work: Indigenous Ghanaian and South African medicine and healing practices. Drawing on literary, disability, and Indigenous studies, essays by Meghann O'Leary and Amanda Stuckey unpack historic and contemporary memoirs, finding disorderly stories, sources of knowledge, and interpretations of difference.
Collaborators Scott Thomas Gibson, Sara Newman, and Maria Antonia Carcelen Estrada draw on Ecuadorian oral history archives to underscore the importance of storytelling, language, communal wholeness, and collective labor in sustaining Quijos self-determination and well-being. Collaboration and storytelling similarly infuse "a prescription for consent"—a critical and poetic conversation between Charlee Huffman/maxpú hiⁿga miⁿga and Marina Tsaplina that resists colonial knowledge constructions by centering poetic disabled knowledges both in form and content. Ryan Scott Hechler's essay on bodily difference in the Inkan Empire closes this section by critically remembering social constructions of inclusivity and cultural resilience in the face of colonial conquest.
Questions and issues you might consider while reading this section:
- How different concepts of difference, inclusion, and care shape research, preservation practices, and knowledge-sharing.
- The authors in this section approach disability, difference, and Indigeneity from different disciplines, cultural and historical contexts, and using different formats. What draws your attention in these varied perspectives, practices, and accounts? Why?
- Learning as a practice of relationship centers prominently in many of these essays. Consider its different meanings and identify some of the important connections between these works.