Keynote Speakers

UVA Adams

Rachel Adams
Professor of English and Comparative Literature
Columbia University

Keynote topic: "Some Mother’s Child (Is Dead):  Maternal Care, Intersectionality, and Crip Time"


David Serlin
Associate Professor of Communication and Science Studies
University of California at San Diego

Keynote topic: “Disability and the Moral Universe of 1968”

Also Featuring

DSI Symposium

Dennis Tyler
Fordham University                       

Claudia Gordon
Sprint  Accessibility                   

Nirmala Erevelles
University of Alabama

Pre-symposium performance (Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, 7 p.m.)

Trio Cake
Nate Eubanks and Willy Conley

“A Taste of Deaf Theater”

With Willy Conley, Casey Johnson-Pasqua, and William Millios

Old Cabell Hall auditorium
Free and open to the public

Accessibility: Old Cabell Hall is wheelchair accessible.  Voice actors or interpreters will translate American Sign Language into spoken English.

Symposium (Friday, Feb. 23, 2018)

Auditorium of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library

Free and open to the public; no registration required

9:15 am: Coffee and bagels

9:30 am: Welcome: Dr. Marcus Martin, Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity

9:40 am: “Disability Identity in the Age of Donald Trump,” Elizabeth Barnes, Philosophy

9:55 am: Introduction of first keynote speaker by Sandhya Shukla, English 

10:00 am: Keynote #1: "Some Mother’s Child (Is Dead):  Maternal Care, Intersectionality, and Crip Time," Rachel Adams, Columbia University

10:35-10:45 am: Q & A

10:45 am: Coffee break

11:00 am: Panel I: Disability, Race, and Ethnicity

Deborah McDowell, English and Woodson Institute, presiding
“Jim Crow’s Disabilities,” Dennis Tyler, Fordham University
“Disability Rights are Civil Rights: The Intersection of Race and Disability,” Claudia Gordon, Sprint Accessibility
“Disability among Latinas/os: Challenges and Prospects,” Hector Amaya, Media Studies

12 noon: Lunch (on your own)

1:30 pm: Panel II: Disability and Design: A Roundtable Discussion

Vikram Jaswal, Psychology, presiding
Elizabeth Ellcessor, Media Studies
Rupa Valdez, School of Medicine
Bill Mechnick, Land Planning and Design Associates, Inc., Charlottesville
Anselmo Canfora, School of Architecture

2:30 pm: Panel III: Disability, Gender, and Sexuality

Sarah Cole, English and assistant dean, presiding
"Disability Studies and Feminist Theory: A Conversation," Susan Fraiman, English
“Reading Disability and Gender in the Global South,” Christopher Krentz, English and American Sign Language
“’Scenes of Subjection’: Crippin' Methodologies at the Intersections of Gender/Race/Sexuality,” Nirmala Erevelles, University of Alabama

3:30 pm: Coffee break

3:40 pm: Introduction of second keynote speaker by William Therrien, Curry School of Education

3:45 pm: Keynote #2: “Disability and the Moral Universe of 1968,” David Serlin, University of California at San Diego               

4:20 pm: Q and A

4:30 pm: Closing reception in Garrett Hall

Accessibility: The auditorium of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library is wheelchair accessible.  All symposium events will be interpreted into American Sign Language.  Hourly parking is available in the nearby Central Grounds Parking Garage.


  • The Disability Studies Initiative
  • The Jefferson Trust, an initative of the U.Va. Alumni Association
  • The Page-Barbour Funds
  • Arts & Sciences (Collective Response: Moving Forward)
  • Institute of the Humanities and Global Cultures
  • The American Sign Language Program
  • Office of the Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity
  • Office of the Provost and Vice Provost for the Arts
  • The Department of English
  • The School of Architecture
  • Center for Biomedical Ethics and Humanities
  • Disability Advocacy and Action Committee