Society for Disability Studies and Karen Nakamura

June 19, 2015 at 3:24 am Leave a comment

Interesting- account of anthropologist Karen Nakamura’s studies of Deaf/deaf and schizophrenic communities in Japan. Wonder if there’s anything relevant to disability issues in Shinto or Zen Buddhism?

Mad Trans Dreams

I spent the last four days at the Society for Disability Studies conference (SDS). This conference has a lot of serious problems, including high financial cost, plenty of jargon, and ongoing racism. It’s also amazing in some ways, including great people, better accessibility than any other academic conference I have attended, more undergraduate presentations than any other academic conference I have attended, and fantastic conversations. I decided to go mostly because it would give me a chance to hear presentations by people whose work I admire. One of those people is Karen Nakamura.

I first heard Dr. Nakamura speak at a queer disability symposium at NYU a few years ago. I was so excited about her work that I rushed out to buy her most recent book—Disability of the Soul: An Ethnography of Schizophrenia and Mental Illness in Contemporary Japan. In Disability of the Soul, and the accompanying short films, she shared some…

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