Saturday, August 30, 2008

Disability Blog Carnival #44 is up NOW!

Go check out the latest edition of the Disability Blog Carnival. Athena, Ivan, and the Integral have assembled a collection of links around the theme of "disability superlatives"--as in "most interesting," "most hopeful," "most irritating," "most ridiculous".... it's a "most" diverting edition.

Next edition, #45, will appear on 11 September at E is for Epilepsy, where Paula Apodaca has chosen the theme "The Future"--so start with the crystal balls or economic charts or whatever helps you look forward a bit, and submit your links by all the usual means: the form (warning: inaccessible CAPTCHA there), comments here or there, or put "disability blog carnival" in your post's text, I usually find those.

And I should be able to start posting at DS,TU with more like my usual frequency after this week's back to school festivities.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Disability, Blogging, and the DNC

Mark Siegel passes along news of his friend Kelsey Neumann, who will be blogging from the Convention next week as a delegate. Kelsey uses a wheelchair, and Mark's predicting "plenty of photo ops with party bigwigs." Many of you will have read Harriet McBryde Johnson's chapter on attending the DNC as a delegate in 1996; Kelsey Neumann's reports continue the genre, and we can only hope she'll find improvements in accessibility (and just basic comprehension).

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

New book: Gail Landsman, "Reconstructing Motherhood"

[Image description: Book cover featuring a Picasso-esque image of a mother and baby, in overlapping squares of color, with blue predominating.]

I've found Gail Landsman's journal articles useful and insightful for years; I've cited them and shared them with students and friends. So I'm pleased to note that Landsman's got a new book out today, Reconstructing Motherhood and Disability in the Age of "Perfect" Babies (Routledge 2008). Landsman is an anthropologist who studies mothers whose babies have diagnoses such as Down syndrome and cerebral palsy, and how they (we!) revise or reinvent their (our!) ideas about parenting and personhood after learning such diagnoses. (Or not, I guess; some don't.) The chapter titles are a good indication of her topics, but don't communicate the abundance of real, honest, human voices in Landsman's work--including her own. I've probably read article versions of some of these, but it's still going on my wishlist.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Disability Blog Carnival #43 is up NOW!

[Logo description: "The Disability Blog Carnival" and "a bracing event" in blue text, superimposed over an old patent drawing of a torso-bracing device]

Cherylberyl has an early back-to-school lesson in adjectives--among them, yes, the r-word, but also expensive, wrong (as in, "what's wrong with him?"), happy, annoyed, funny (and funny-looking too), frustrated, loud, little, first...well, the disability blogosphere is a descriptive community, it seems! Have a read and add your comments, succinct or florid, as you see fit.

The next carnival edition (#44) is scheduled to take place August 28, hosted by Athena, Ivan, and the Integral. The chosen theme is "disability superlatives"--best, worst, biggest, smallest, longest, shortest, loudest, quietest, you get the idea. Write up the most or least of something related to the experience of disability, and submit it by the deadline (August 24), at the form, in comments here or there, or just putting the phrase "disability blog carnival" in your post (that usually works).

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sliding Board Rules

It's summer, so I'm not at liberty to blog so much--kids are out of school, and we're just hanging out, since the conference trip. And we're at the park a lot, with other families doing the same thing. I'm always surprised when supposedly smart grownups don't know or don't remember the sliding board* rule:
When you hurt someone, say you're sorry.

Even if you didn't mean to hurt them, say you're sorry.

Even if you think they're not really hurt, say you're sorry.

Even if you plan to do better next time, say you're sorry.

Even if you're busy and in a hurry, say you're sorry.

(I'm not linking to the movie in question, to Stiller's IMDb site, none of that--they don't need my help. Patricia Bauer, Beth Haller, Steve Gorelick, Lizditz at I Speak of Dreams, and others are on the case, go there. And it's summer. And I'm not in the mood for another comment thread full of people calling my kid a "turnip.")

*I've only recently heard (via the internet, natch) that "sliding board" may be a Scranton-ism--for forty years I've been saying this, while most Americans (including two of the ones I live with) apparently only say "slide." On the other hand, this blog indicates that it's "Sheboyganese." Huh!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Conference: Cognitive Disability and Moral Philosophy

From the SDS listserv and H-Disability:
The Stony Brook University Department of Philosophy presents

Cognitive Disability: A Challenge to Moral Philosophy
(for some reason the link doesn't work in the title, but this is the URL)
September 18 – 20, 2008
Stony Brook Manhattan 401 Park Avenue South (Between 27th and 28th Street)

Rethinking and revising traditional assumptions about personhood, autonomy, agency, justice, care, human relationships, classification, and moral light of Alzheimer’s, autism and ‘mental retardation.’

Keynote Speakers:

Michael Bérubé, Pennsylvania State University;
Leslie Francis, University of Utah;
Ian Hacking, Collège de France, University of Toronto;
Martha Nussbaum, University of Chicago;
Peter Singer, Princeton University;
Jeff McMahan, Rutgers University;
Anita Silvers, San Francisco State University;
Daniel Wikler, Harvard University School of Public Health;
Jonathan Wolff, University College London;

Douglas Biklen, School of Education and Facilitated Communication Institute, Syracuse University;
Jeffrey Brosco, M.D. University of Miami and the Mailman Center for Child Development;
Licia Carlson, Harvard University;
James C. Harris, M.D., Johns Hopkins School of Medicine;
Agnieszka Jaworska, University of California, Riverside;
Bruce Jennings, Yale University School of Medicine;
Eva Kittay, Stony Brook University/SUNY;
Hilde Lindemann, Michigan State University;
Victoria McGeer, Princeton University;
James Nelson, Michigan State University;
Henry Richardson, Georgetown University;
Cynthia Stark, University of Utah;
David Shoemaker, Bowling Green State University;
Anna Stubblefield, Rutgers University, Newark;
Sophia Wong, Long Island University.

For questions contact
For disability-related accommodation contact Licia Carlson at (617) 496-4349.

Co-sponsored by The Center for Discovery, New York University Center for Bioethics, and Metaphilosophy (Wiley-Blackwell), the Office of the Provost at Stony Brook University/SUNY, Forest Laboratories. Also NYC AHRC, Alzheimer's Association, College of Arts and Sciences at Stony Brook University, Humanities Institute at Stony Brook University, Philosophy Department at Southern Connecticut State University, Templeton Research Lecture Series at Stony Brook University, S. Donald Sussmann, The Abelson Company

Monday, August 04, 2008

Back from the Disability History Conference

Spent last week on a combination family vacation and conference trip, to the Disability History Conference at SFSU. It was a good conference, small, no book display or anything, just two sessions running concurrently, probably 50-100 people? (I'm bad at guessing such numbers.) I was on two panels, one for the forthcoming Encyclopedia of American Disability History (Facts on File 2009), and one for my project about Marion Brown (1843-1915), with Iain Hutchison (more on that here). Iain brought me a wonderful gift: The Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women (Edinburgh University Press 2007). It has an entry on Marion Brown in it (written by Iain), but it has loads of other great stories, and if you're a longtime reader of DS,TU, you know I'm already scanning it for post subjects. Better than popcorn.

One example, for starters: Christian Gray (1772-c1830) was a farmers' daughter from near Perth, who became blind when she survived smallpox as a little child. She was read to, daily, for her education; in time, she began composing poetry, and her first volume of poems was published in 1808. She pointed to Milton and Ossian as her predecessors, and wrote poems about being blind (I can't find any of those verses online yet, though).