In keeping with this year’s theme, “Truth and Responsibility,” roundtable participants explore the ways in which disability justice ideals and practices inform or could be integrated into aspects of their own work as anthropologists, whether in the spheres of activism and advocacy, pedagogy and teaching, and/or research. Although truth, justice, and responsibility are threads that have long existed in anthropology, there has been a dearth of effort to underscore the perspectives of disabled anthropologists regarding these commitments and/or to consider ways in which disability hierarchies and parity shape the contours of these endeavors. Disability justice is a grassroots movement led by disabled, non-binary artists and performers of color (Sins Invalid 2015). This movement offers a critique and antidote to the individualistic and neoliberal approach to disability rights prevalent in the United States. It emphasizes the voices of disabled people who have been omitted from the dominant disability discourse and incorporates intersectional, collaborative approaches to engaging in work and struggle that valorize interdependence as a guiding principle (Mingus 2017). In short, the question of how people should show up for each other is key to defining and structuring any undertakings devoted to disability justice (Piepzna-Samarasinha 2018). This question of how people do or should show up for each other has been an abiding query posed by many anthropologists. It is reflected in studies concerning forms and norms of kinship, globalization and emerging inequalities, resistance and protest, shifting parameters and definitions of community, and contested understandings of what constitutes a moral life, to name a few. Yet despite these intellectual and material pursuits, the insights gained have not drawn routinely on the lessons disabled anthropologists or anthropology versed in disability studies scholarship and praxis could provide or the value of examining these issues through a disability justice lens. In seeking to bring disability justice and anthropological perspectives into explicit conversation with one another, this roundtable addresses the following: In what ways has the question of how people should show up for one another been reflected in the work of disabled anthropologists or how disabled anthropologists have approached their work? Has this concern been particularly magnified by the context of the COVID-19 pandemic or has this been a pressing framework in which disabled anthropologist have always evaluated and framed their work? How have the principles and practices of disability justice been explicitly embedded in the research formulations, fieldwork navigations, and methodologies of roundtable participants? How has broader anthropological scholarship regarding approaches to how people show up for one another illuminated these applications? Do participants perceive these perspectives as converging or in tension with one another? How might disability justice viewpoints and organizing strategies reveal certain truths about the current state of our anthropological profession and offer guidance regarding how to show up for one another and our interlocutors?
Next from AAA Annual Meeting 2021
Global Approaches to Migration and Latinx Communities: Intra-Community Voices (Part 2)
AAA Annual Meeting 2021
18 November 2021