Special Interest Group to promote Disability Studies at the Universities


Disability Studies provides the opportunity to examine disability and normalcy from a critical perspective; importantly, it offers a new epistemology to understand the bordering between the two and equips us with the tools with which to unmask the social interests such a bordering serves and protects. The woeful lack of disability related research and research groups within the Indian academia not only deprive the academic community the experience of this new epistemology but also fails to supply the essential fuel to sustain long-term and meaningful rights-based activism. Disability related activities in India, with its overemphasis on services, is alarmingly close to creating a hegemonic discourse that shrinks the space for the emergence of a Disability Studies discourse, even further.

With this background in perspective, we propose to create a Special Interest Group (SIG) to promote Disability Studies in the Universities. SIG-DSU is envisaged primarily as a study circle engaged in academic discussions on disability as a global concern to emerge in time with the creation of a more focussed and localised disability academics at the university level in India. SIG-DSU will operate within the aspiring morals of a university system which occasions a profession that espouses respect for individuals, the celebration of diversity, mutual caring and sensitivity to the needs of others; let these be the only guiding and operative principles of SIG-DSU. Since we will not promote or encourage individuals to use this SIG as a platform to realise their political or leadership aspirations, the membership to the group is restricted to individuals who are demonstratively engaged in disability research/ teaching at the university level. Members must also read the paper/ Chapter assigned before deciding to join the reading group meeting.

Our aim is to read and discuss every month one seminal piece of work in Disability Studies. An effort will be made to summarise the discussion surrounding each work and create an electronic archive comprising the original and related work and the summaries. We will operate via the erstwhile DHR website, now re-christened as SIG-DSU, for the time being. The venue/ date/ time of the study circle meetings will be posted via this site and individually mailed to the members.

(Tanmoy Bhattacharya: 18 May 2012)

  1. This is a brilliant initiative. thank you for including me in this. Best wishes Jane

    • tanmoy says:

      Thanks, Jane! Our next meeting is built around reading your paper in D&S, 2011; greatly looking forward to it. I will post a summary of the discussion sometime during the (Indian) Summer. Thanks for your body of work on India.

  2. How did the meeting go – really interested in hearing about new insights and new research into disability history. also be really interested in whether people think things have moved on in the history field since I wrote that article. best wishes jane

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s