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Critical Disability Studies Collaborative

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If you'd like to get involved, or have any questions email us directly or check us out on Facebook at UMNCDSC! 

Founded in 2015, the Critical Disability Studies Collaborative (CDSC) works to cultivate an intellectual community around the study of dis/ability at the University of Minnesota. As a thoroughly interdisciplinary endeavor, the CDSC aims to deepen the University of Minnesota’s engagement with disability as a complex site of theoretical inquiry.

The CDSC promotes the understanding of disability as an ever-shifting historical, socio-cultural, and political formation that deeply intersects with other vectors of privilege and oppression - such as race, class, gender, sexuality, and citizenship.

Because systemic inequalities unevenly distribute life chances, this collaborative studies dis/ability not only as an identity, but also as a system of power that constructs, supports, denies, and regulates the life chances of those who claim, or those are claimed by it. Interdisciplinary perspectives include, but are not limited to: Feminist Studies, Ethnic Studies, Cultural Studies, American Studies, Transnational Studies and Performance Studies. 

In the 2017-2018 school year, the CDSC became an affiliate of the Race, Indigeneity, Gender & Sexuality (RIGS) Initiative. As a collaborative, the CDSC is open to any undergraduate, graduate student, instructor, professor, staff, and broader community member that would like to join the group. 

The CDSC Leadership Team meets the first Thursday of every month from 11:30-12:30 in Ford Hall, room 400. All are welcome! Email Angela to get the agenda in advance.

The 2017-2018 Leadership Team

Co-Chairs: Angela Carter and Aren Aizura

Event Coordinator: Jessica Horvath

Outreach Coordinator: Sarah Garcia

Media Coordinators: Miranda Boen and David Perry 

Members-at-Large: Jay Wilson and Jigna Desai

Upcoming CDSC Events

Jan 26, 2018 - Reading Group: The Right to Maim by Jasbir Puar. 11am -1pm. Scott Hall. Room 4.
RSVP for the January reading group 
Feb 2, 2018 - Reading Group: Academic Ableism by Jay Dolmage. 11am - 1pm.  Scott Hall. Room 4. 
RSVP for the February reading group
Black Disability Studies Reading Group
Feb 23 and March 23. 11am - 1pm. Scott Hall. Room 4. Then Lunch workshop with Symposium Keynotes on April 13.
RSVP for the Black Disability Studies reading group
Interrogating Anti-Black Racism and Disablement: A Critical Disability Studies Symposium.
April 12 and 13 at the University of Minnesota RecWell Center.
Get details about the symposium on our site or see our Facebook event

Past CDSC Events, Co-Sponsorships, and Grants

Fall 2017

  • Recipient of the U of M’s Provost Imagine Fund “Special Events” Grant,  Spring 2018

  • Imagining Cultures of Access: Race, Disability, and Mental Health On Campus. Invited Lectures and a roundtable discussion with Dr. Margaret Price and Dr. Mimi Khúc

  • “Sustainable Design Strategies and the Future of Accessibility”. Invited Lecture by Johnna Keller

  • What’s Critical about Critical Disability Studies Now? - A Welcome Event and Discussion!

​Spring 2017

  • Recipient of the U of M’s Provost Imagine Fund “Special Events” Grant, for Fall 2017

  • “Empire’s Other other: Thinking Intersectionally in Transnational Contexts.” Invited Lecture by Dr. Nirmala Erevelles.

  • “Boys in the Bubble: Sexual Liberation, Disability and Prime Time Television.” Visiting Lecture by Dr. Julie Passanante Elman.

  • Visiting Artist Talk by Park McArthur at the Regis Center for Art

Fall 2016

  • Recipient of the U of M’s Provost Imagine Fund “Special Events” Grant, for Spring 2017

  • “Still ‘Absolutely Positive’.” Documentary screening and discussion.

  • “Disability Justice is a Feminist Issue.” Lecture as a part of the Women’s Center Feminist Fridays.

Spring 2016

  • “Disability Liberated: Mourn the Dead and Fight Like Hell of the LIving” - Documentary screening and discussion.

  • “Defective, Deficient, Burdensome: Thinking about Bad Bodies.” Visiting Lecture by Eli Clare.

  • “Fixed: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement.” Documentary screening and discussion.

Fall 2015

  • “Dialogues in Dis/Ability” - A Series of 4 Film Screenings & Discussions. Topics Included: Defining Disability, The History of the Disability Rights Movement, Disability Activism in MN, and Disability Arts & Culture.