Feminist disability scholar holding discussion Thursday

Samantha Wright

The Institute for Citizenship and Social Responsibility will be hosting a lecture and discussion about the challenges of being disabled in a modern world.

Alison Kafer, associate professor and chair of Feminist Studies at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, will speak Thursday in a presentation entitled, “Crip Futures, Future Coalitions: Disability & Social Justice.” 

Kafer is the author of several articles and co-editor of a special issue of Disability Studies Quarterly, Growing Disability Studies. Her book “Feminist, Queer, Crip” was released in 2013. 

Each spring, ICSR has a themed speaker series. This year, the theme was coalition-building. Judy Rohrer, director of ICSR, asked Kafer to speak because a great deal of her work fit with this year’s theme.

“I knew that Dr. Kafer has done significant coalition work at the intersections of queer, feminist and disability politics,” she said. “I asked her if she would be interested in giving a public talk on this topic, and luckily she said yes.”

Audra Jennings, director of the Office of Scholar Development, believes the event will foster understanding that will help with creating a better world.

“Despite the prevalence of disability—some 56 million Americans have a disability today—and the reality that disability will almost certainly figure in all of our lives, people with disabilities continue to face significant discrimination,” she said in an email. “Understanding social and cultural constructions of disability is an important step in creating an inclusive and accessible environment.”

Tiara Na’puti, assistant professor of Diversity and Community Studies, urges students to attend to widen their view of the world.

“Attending this event offers a great opportunity to learn more about disability and challenging oppression,” she said in an email. “This is also the final event in our Social Justice Speaker Series, and a great way for WKU community to consider how scholarship and social justice intertwine. We hope people from all disciplines will attend, Dr. Kafer is not one to miss.”

The lecture is April 2 in Downing Student Union, Room 3020 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. There will be a reception afterward with refreshments and the opportunity to speak with Kafer. The free event is open to the public.