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Thinking through Crip Studies 2.0 - Beyond the Corporeal, Disabled Body

In this two-speaker symposium (Berkeley) that explores the next evolution of Disability Studies, Professor Sunaura Taylor (ESPM) leads by conceptualizing disability as a central force that shapes human relationships to the more-than-human world through the lens of a forty-year-old Superfund waste site in Tucson, Arizona. The talk asks us to understand ecosystem impairment not as merely metaphorical, but as a form of disability. Taylor frames impaired ecosystems as parts of larger networks of disabled ecologies, or the material and cultural ways disability is manifested among human and nonhuman entities. Taylor suggests that disability theory, with its deep engagement with concepts such as loss, limitation, interdependence, and adaptation, might offer key insights into how to live with impaired landscapes and build accessible futures.

The next speaker, Professor Karen Nakamura (Anthropology) explores disability and its relationship to Artificial Intelligence through two lenses. The first is contemporary – the current biases against disabled people in AI/ML systems that render them as non-human by our robot overlords; and secondarily, the perception of AI/ML systems as fundamentally disabled themselves.

Together these two talks explore how Critical Disability Studies slash Crip Studies has moved beyond the corporeal body of the disabled person and its new potentialities.

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