Summer Roundup: Inhabitable Worlds, Part One by Deanna Day

Continuing our summer roundups, today we are highlighting a first set of essays from our Inhabitable Worlds series, brought to us by editors Michele Friedner and Emily Cohen. Inhabitable Worlds is a series that examines the theoretical tools and approaches that scholars bring to the study of disability in the social sciences and humanities.


Inhabitable Worlds: Troubling disability, debility, and ability narratives

“In approaching bodies and senses through the lens of inhabitable worlds, we aim to further inquire into age-old scholarly investigations about embodiment to think through a current fascination with the senses and to trouble social categories such as ‘disability,’ ‘debility,’ and ‘ability.’ Grappling with narratives about bodily function and the senses, we propose a series where scholars go beyond the binaries of ability and disability, and capacity and incapacity, to understand the body and senses as being volatile, unstable, and in flux. This series focuses on inhabitable worlds both as an alternative to and a mode to think through medical concepts of rehabilitation and habilitation. Medical discourses shape the ways people come to experience bodily difference; people also transform these discourses through political advocacy and personal tactics they develop to navigate the material realities of bodily differences and built environments.” —Michele Friedner and Emily Cohen


Accra Rehab Centre (2010). Photograph courtesy of James E. O’Neal.

On the Worlding of Accra’s Rehabilitation Training Centre

“Many Ghanaian ‘disables’ (a term used by people with disabilities in Accra to refer to themselves) consider ‘The Centre’ to be a critical locale in their ongoing movement toward greater accessibility and fulfillment of their rights.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.