A few highlights:
- The June 2015 conference of the Society for Disability Studies brought some great moments for disability ethnography. For the first time in recent memory, interdisciplinary ethnographers in attendance met to discuss common goals, new research, and possible collaborations. There were several ethnographic and/collaborative qualitative research presentations. There was an exciting discussion following Karen Nakamura’s paper presentation, “Why I am Not a Medical Anthropologist.” A meeting on disability and digital research methodologies produced some interesting points.
- In June 2015 the open access medical anthropology platform Somatosphere hosted series on disability ethnography, curated by Michele Friedner and Emily Cohen. The series as a whole offers an interesting snapshot of the current moment in disability anthropology (one which I hope to see evolve further). An excerpt from my work on digital worlds and accessibility appeared therein.
- As a Summer Research Fellow at the Kennan Institute for Russian Studies at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington DC, I was glad to participate in a roundtable event on Global Disability Rights. Held in tandem with the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the panel highlighted different perspectives on the role of the US in disability rights advocacy in Russia and Ukraine. The panelists included me, Eric Mathews of Disability Rights International, and Andrea Mazzarino of Brown University and formerly Human Rights Watch. The event offered a rare moment to bring together policy, human rights advocacy, and critical academic perspectives. A transcript and audio recording of the event are available via the Kennan Institute.
- And, most recently, I’ve moved to San Diego to begin a Postdoctoral Fellowship with the interdisciplinary Studio for Ethnographic Design at UCSD and the multicampus University of California Collaboratory for Ethnographic Design (CoLED).
I was also an enthusiastic spectator-at-a-distance for the production of the new play FREIGHT at HERE Arts Center in New York. Joseph Megel, who developed and directed that show, has been a great mentor to me as I develop a documentary theater project based on my research. Congrats to all involved in that production!