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Neurological, Structural, and Pandemic Emergencies: Elective Cochlear Implant Surgery during the COVID-19 Pandemic

This article is part of the following series:

While conducting research in India during the summer of 2019 for my book on cochlear implantation, I kept on coming across an interesting object: a small cardboard office supply holder shaped like a yellow and black ambulance on which it is written on the side, top, and back in block capital letters: “HEARING LOSS IS AN EMERGENCY” and “ACT NOW” …

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“Cross-Disability”

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We are interested in the ways that the concept of “cross-disability” has become an unquestioned value and goal in development and advocacy work: organizations, programs, and advocacy efforts are supposed to be “cross-disability” in nature. Disability activists and organizations in India often proclaim that they are “cross-disability.” As such, commonly-used concepts such as “accessibility” and “disability rights” do not necessarily …

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Disability from the South: Toward a Lexicon

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In this series, we work to broaden the horizons of an emergent anthropology of disability[1] by taking two considerations as the starting point for a conversation. On the one hand, we respond to Jean and John Comaroff’s (2012) provocative call for “theory from the South,” or grounding the location of social theory-making outside dominant Euro-American spaces, assumptions, and priorities. On …

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Respect, care, and labor in collaborative scholarly projects

As members of Somatosphere’s Editorial Collaborative, we have been following the unfolding crisis surrounding Hau with profound concern (Agro 2018, Flaherty 2018). As others have noted, this crisis has revealed multiple structural issues that deserve intense engagement beyond the specifics of the individual case: open-access (OA), digital scholarship and publication, yes, but also academic power, precarity, and vulnerability;

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Teaching Disability Studies in the Era of Trump

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In spring semester of 2017 we (Pam Block and Michele Friedner) co-taught the graduate course “Conceptual Foundations of Disability Studies.” Though the readings were the same as in previous iterations of the course, the emphasis and tone of the class shifted, not just because of the co-teaching but because we were now teaching in a context in which the rights …

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Disability as Diversity: A New Biopolitics

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We’re a medical anthropologist and a literary critic, and while our research interests seemingly have little overlap, we found ourselves engaged in a series of conversations about how the language of diversity shapes representations of disability and reproductive politics, and how this representation stems from the biopolitical management of life in the twenty-first century. In the short essay that follows, …

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