Lectures

11Jan11

Darby Penney

The Lives They Left Behind: Suitcases from a State Hospital Attic

Thursday February 3, 2011
6:00-8:00p.m.
University of Washington
Odegaard Library 220

Darby Penney is the curator of the exhibit and co-author, with Peter Stastny, of The Lives They Left Behind: Suitcases from a State Hospital Attic (Bellevue Literary Press, 2008).  The exhibit is based on artifacts from suitcases dating from as early as 1918, found in the attic of an abandoned building at the Willard Psychiatric Center in New York when it closed in 1995. Many of the suitcases appeared untouched since the day they were packed, and their contents bear witness to the rich, complex lives their owners lived prior to being committed to Willard. This presentation will focus on the history of people in institutions through a series of personal lenses, including what issues affected these individuals and led to their incarceration.  There will be ample time for discussion allowing the audience to consider the complexities of these stories and issues.

Darby Penney is a Senior Research Associate with Advocates for Human Potential, Inc., where she works on projects related to trauma-informed services, shared decision-making in mental health, and cross-disability peer support. She was formerly Director of Recipient Affairs at the New York State Office of Mental Health, where she brought the perspectives of people with psychiatric disabilities into the policy-making process. She also served as OMH Director of Historical Projects, where she worked on state hospital cemetery restoration, oral history projects, and the Suitcase Project. She is a long time leader and activist in the human rights movement for people with psychiatric histories.

Sponsored by Live Inclusive and UW Disability Studies Program.

Download flyer for Penney’s presentation Flyer_week2_If_Lives (pdf)

Geoffrey Reaume

Memorializing Mad People’s History:
Preserving our Past through Archives and Activism

Thursday February 10, 2011
6:00-8:00p.m.
University of Washington
Odegaard Library 220

This talk focuses on efforts to preserve and commemorate mad people’s history through public history projects and collecting archival material, mainly by the Psychiatric Survivor Archives, Toronto. The discussion will include examples dealing with the asylum period and more recent decades of activism by current and former psychiatric patients.

Geoffrey Reaume is Associate Professor in the Critical Disability Studies Graduate Program at York University. He is the author of Remembrance of Patients Past: Patient Life at the Toronto Hospital for the Insane, 1870-1940 (Oxford U Press, 2000, U of Toronto Press, 2009) and Lyndhurst: Canada’s First Rehabilitation Centre for People with Spinal Cord Injuries, 1945-1998 (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2007). He is a co-founder of the Psychiatric Survivor Archives, Toronto, and has introduced and taught “Mad People’s History” at all three universities in Toronto.

Sponsored by UW Disability Studies Program; Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies; Canadian Studies Center of the Jackson School of International Studies; Law, Societies, & Justice Program; Department of Political Science; Norris & Dorothy Haring Center for Applied Research & Training in Education; Program on Values in Society; Department of History; Comparative History of Ideas Program; Women Studies Department; Bothell Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences; Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity. Reaume_color_flyer (pdf)

Philip Ferguson

The Doubting Dance: Contributions to a History of Parent/Professional Interactions in Early 20th Century America

Monday February 14,  2011
4:30-6:30p.m.
University of Washington
Odegaard Library 220

This presentation explores the nature of family/professional relationships during the early 20th century when eugenic sterilization was rapidly gaining public and professional support. Using case files from Fairview State School in Oregon, the presentation analyzes correspondence between administrators and parents discussing proper “treatment.” Unspeakable_week4_Ferguson_flyer (pdf)

Philip Ferguson is a professor in the College of Educational Studies at Chapman University, and past President of the Society for Disability Studies. He pursues an array of interests in the general field of disability studies with a special emphasis on issues affecting people with intellectual disabilities. His research focuses on the areas of family/professional interactions and support policy, social policy and the history of disability, and qualitative research methods in disability studies and education. He has a book and an accompanying video on the history of policy and practice for people with intellectual disabilities, Abandoned to Their Fate: Social Policy and Practice toward Severely Disabled Persons, 1820 –1920 (Temple U Press, 1994).

Sponsored by UW Norris & Dorothy Haring Center for Applied Research & Training in Education; Program on Values in Society; Department of History; Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity; Law, Societies, & Justice Program; Department of Political Science; Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies; Comparative History of Ideas Program; Women Studies Department; Canadian Studies Center; Bothell Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences; Disability Studies Program. PowerPoint Doubting Dance presentation

Jennifer Stuber

Transforming the American Conversation about Mental Health

Wednesday February 16, 2011 5:30-7:00p.m. University of Washington Odegaard Library 220

Jennifer Stuber is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Washington. Her research interests are on stigma and prejudice as social processes and the role these processes play in the production of poor health, health disparities, and in some cases improved health (as is the case with smoking-related stigmatization). She is the editor for a special issue of Social Science and Medicine on Stigma, Discrimination, Prejudice and Health. Stuber’s current research concerns the social construction of mental illnesses and mental health policy. She is working on two major projects investigating the causes and interventions to address mental illness related stigmatization.

Co-hosted by the School of Social Work and Department of Communication. Registration is required for this event. Please go to http://socialwork.uw.edu.

Jeffrey Brune

Brown bag talk, Department of History: What Every Historian Should Know about Disability History (and What They Lose by Ignoring the Field)

Monday February 28, noon-1pm

Smith 203E

Please bring your lunch. Juice and cookies will be provided.

Jeff will talk about how attention to disabled people as a minority group and “disability” as a category of analysis can change the ways that we view all of American history. As disability historian Doug Baynton says, “disability is everywhere in history, once you begin to look for it, but conspicuously absent in the histories we write.”

Blind Like Me: John Howard Griffin, Disability, and the Fluidity of Identity in Modern America

Tuesday March 1, 2011
6:00-7:30p.m.
University of Washington
Odegaard Library 220

This talk explores intersections of disability, race, gender, and sexuality in the life and work of John Howard Griffin, author of Black Like Me, and how these offer opportunities to alter fundamental assumptions about identity in modern America.

Jeffrey Brune is Assistant Professor of History at Gallaudet University and in 2011-2012 will serve as a postdoctoral fellow at Syracuse University’s Center on Human Policy, Law, and Disability Studies. After completing his dissertation at the University of Washington in cultural history, three years ago he shifted his focus to the history of disability and is currently working on two books. His new monograph project, which has received an early contract from Cambridge University Press, is Disability Stigma and the Modern American State. It examines how government disability programs heightened fears of malingering (fear of faking or exaggerating a disability), affected the treatment of disabled people, and increased the stigma of disability. He argues that this trend, ironically, has only worsened as disability policy has shifted toward civil rights during the past forty years. He is also co-editing an anthology, Blurring the Lines: Disability, Race, Gender and Passing in Modern America.

Sponsored by UW Department of History; Comparative History of Ideas Program; Bothell Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences; Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity; Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies; Norris & Dorothy Haring Center for Applied Research & Training in Education; Program on Values in Society; Law, Societies, & Justice Program; Department of Political Science; Canadian Studies Center; Women Studies Department; and Disability Studies Program. Pdf of color flyer Brune_flyer

Licia Carlson

Gender, Disability, and the Dynamics
of Institutionalization

Monday March 7, 2011
6:00-7:30p.m.
University of Washington
Odegaard Library 220

This talk explores the role that gender difference played in the history of institutionalization, including the relevance of gender to definitions of mental disability and the use of inmate labor. Carlson will consider what the stories from the Willard Suitcase Exhibit can teach us about the relationship between gender and disability.

Licia Carlson is an assistant professor of philosophy at Providence College. She is the author of Faces of Intellectual Disability: Philosophical Reflections (Indiana U Press, 2010), and co-editor of Cognitive Disability and Its Challenge to Moral Philosophy (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). Her work explores the history of ideas about cognitive disability and what it means to treat people with intellectual disabilities in an ethical manner.

Sponsored by UW Program on Values in Society; Women Studies Department; Comparative History of Ideas Program; Bothell Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences; Norris & Dorothy Haring Center for Applied Research & Training in Education; Department of History; Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity; Law, Societies, & Justice Program; Department of Political Science; Canadian Studies Center; Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies; and Disability Studies Program.

Joanne Woiak

Voices from the Washington Archives: Eugenics and Forced Sterilization in State Institutions

Tuesday March 15, 6:00-7:30p.m. University of Washington Odegaard Library 220

This talk explores how disability was defined and deployed during the eugenics era, using archival records of sterilizations in Washington state institutions. Examples from patient files show how concepts of “insanity” and “mental deficiency” were inextricably tied to gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and class. The archives also include letters and purported transcripts of patient interviews before the sterilization board. These documents suggest that medical authorities, inmates, and families had differing perspectives on the meanings of “consent,” and they voiced a range of attitudes towards sterilization as a form of eugenics, social control, therapy, or contraception.

Joanne Woiak is a lecturer in the Disability Studies Program at the University of Washington. Her Ph.D. is in the history and philosophy of science, and she pursues research and teaching on the history of eugenics and other topics exploring the social justice implications of medical-scientific knowledge and practices. In 2009, she developed and hosted the public symposium Eugenics and Disability: History and Legacy in Washington.

Sponsored by UW Disability Studies Program.

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