09 - 11 December 2020, 13:00 - 19:00
Online event
Open to the public
This event is free - register below to attend

Update: The conference videos are now available on YouTube and you can also view the transcript of the conference.

The Philosophy, Disability and Social Change online conference comprises presentations by disabled philosophers whose cutting-edge research challenges members of the philosophical community to:

  1. think more critically about the metaphysical and epistemological status of disability;
  2. closely examine how philosophy of disability is related to the tradition and discipline of philosophy;
  3. acknowledge the continuing exclusion of disabled philosophers from the profession of philosophy;
  4. seriously consider how philosophy and philosophers contribute to the pervasive inequality and subordination that disabled people confront throughout society;
  5. develop mechanisms designed to transform the current professional and institutional position of disabled philosophers in particular and the economic, political and social position of disabled people more generally.

The presentations will highlight the diversity and range of approaches to critical philosophical work on disability and showcase the heterogeneity with respect to race, gender, nationality, sexuality, gender identity, culture, age and class of the community of disabled philosophers.

This conference is organised as part of the Alfred Landecker Programme at the Blavatnik School of Government.

Please note: This conference will be held online via Zoom. There will be live captioning for all of the sessions. Please register to attend using the form below and you will receive an email containing joining instructions.


Please note: All times shown are Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

Wednesday 9 December

13:00–13:05 Welcome and opening remarks

  • Co-hosts: Jonathan Wolff (Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford) and Shelley L Tremain (BIOPOLITICAL PHILOSOPHY)

13:05–13:55 Session 1 – Unmaking disability: Philosophy and social change

  • Presenter: Julie E Maybee (Lehman College, CUNY)
  • Chair: Shelley L Tremain (BIOPOLITICAL PHILOSOPHY)

14:05–14:55 Session 2 – African communitarian philosophy and disability in African contexts

  • Presenter: Elvis Imafidon (SOAS, University of London)
  • Chair: Olúfẹmi Táíwò (Georgetown University)

15:05–15:55 Session 3 – Dis/ableist inheritance

  • Presenter: Johnathan Flowers (Worcester State University)
  • Chair: Zara Bain (University of Bristol/University of Cardiff)

15:55–16:30 – Break

16:30–17:20 Session 4 – Ageism, ableism and the power of the double bind

  • Presenter: Christine Overall (Queen's University, Kingston)
  • Chair: Jane Dryden (Mount Allison University)

17:30–18:20 Session 5 – Philosophy, the apparatus of disability, and the nursing-home industrial complex

  • Presenter: Shelley L Tremain (BIOPOLITICAL PHILOSOPHY)
  • Chair: Eric Winsberg (University of South Florida)

Thursday 10 December

13:00–13:05 Informal meet and greet

13:05–13:55 Session 1 – Neurodiversity and the pathology paradigm

  • Presenter: Robert Chapman (University of Bristol)
  • Chair: Bryce Huebner (Georgetown University)

14:05–14:55 Session 2 – A neurodiversity paradigm for moral responsibility

  • Presenter: August Gorman (Princeton University)
  • Chair: Cecilea Mun (Independent Scholar)

15:05–15:55 Session 3 – Cheap talk: Stuttering, trolls and talking heads

  • Presenter: Joshua St Pierre (University of Alberta)
  • Chair: Shelley L Tremain (BIOPOLITICAL PHILOSOPHY)

15:55–16:30 Break

16:30–17:20 Session 4 – Vulnerability to COVID-19 and the moral perniciousness of congregate care

  • Presenter: Joseph Stramondo (San Diego State University)
  • Chair: Laura M Cupples (Gonzaga University)

17:30–18:20 Session 5 – Captivity, carceral logics, and disposability

  • Presenter: Lori Gruen (Wesleyan University)
  • Chair: Lissa Skitolsky (Dalhousie University)

Friday 11 December

13:00–13:05 Informal meet and greet

13:05–13:55 Session 1 – Chronic fatigue as adversity under capitalism

  • Presenter: Michelle Ciurria (University of Missouri at St Louis)
  • Chair: Jonathan Wolff (Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford)

14:05–14:55 Session 2 – Phenomenologies of debilitation and questions of volition

  • Presenter: Emily R Douglas (McGill University)
  • Chair: Tamsin Kimoto (Goucher College)

    15:05–15:55 Session 3 – 'He's not worth it': The deleterious character of the disabled Black male

    • Presenter: Tommy J Curry (University of Edinburgh)
    • Chair: Johnathan Flowers (Worcester State University)

    15:55–16:30 Break

    16:30–17:20 Session 4 – COVID-19 as crisis

    • Presenter: Catherine Clune-Taylor (San Diego State University)
    • Chair: Grace Cebrero (University of Minnesota)

    17:30–18:20 Session 5 – Risking ourselves: The politics and persons of risk

    • Presenter: Melinda C Hall (Stetson University)
    • Chair: Joseph Stramondo (San Diego State University)

    18:20–19:00 Close of conference and conference social

    • Participants will be divided into breakout rooms for discussion and networking opportunities.


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