Our RSA workshop was simply fantastic! I’ll be keeping this site up for a while, as discussed, so we can all connect. I’ve added a page listing participants so we can easily keep in touch.

Also, if you want to revisit the Workshop PowerPoint you can. (Though the time for extra credit has passed, ha!) Also, below is a photo from our brainstorming session, and these questions are also typed into the PowerPoint itself.

Keep in touch people!

This is a white board covered in questions we generated. The questions are: How do we do ethical scholarship? What is disability rhetoric? Is there something generative in leaving terms open? In what ways should we be award of who our interventions are speaking to AND about? How do truth claims move across identities? Who benefits and at what expense? What is my accountability/complicity? Whose bodies are being called forward? Whose are missing or occluded? Whose bodies haunt? How can we balance theory and activism? Where is agency? When does intersectionality feel/seem generative? When does it feel obligatory? For authors? For audiences? What are the limitations of centering DS around language? Do we need metaphors? How do we decolonize DS? How do we use DS to queer/crip/decolonize educational and health policy? How do we protect people’s insurance? How do we highlight/foreground the relationship between different identities and different processes/systems of oppression? Methodology: the role of language and the analysis of language within larger political discourses? Interdisciplinary work: keep in mind speaking to the discipline and the logistics of “getting a job”

Update: 5/5/17

This is entitled “Big Wheel” and is a free-wheeling, many-looped, multi-colored, circular scribbled with a white and light-blue background. Creator Kathleen King describes it as “[t]he simple bliss and symmetry of a spinning wheel taking you wherever you choose to go.” © 2009 Kathleen King. Available at

We’ve assembled our working bibliography and shared readings and are looking forward to our time together! You should have received copies of the readings and the workshop packet with bios, emails, and project descriptions for each workshop participant.

See you in Bloomington!


Update: 3/8/17

Image of intersecting circles on a white background. Big circles are blue and orange, smaller circles are light blue, teal, green, and yellow. Soome are full circles, some are parts. Sort of like a cross of a Venn diagram and sloppily painted basketball court.

We are really excited to see you all in May at the RSA Institute/Workshops. Those of you who have participated in the past may already have some idea of what to expect, while others may be wondering what, exactly, this is all about. We hope the information we share on this website will ensure that you have a sense of what to expect and how to prepare, as well as to just generally introduce ourselves to one another.

In addition to what’s below, we’ve created specific pages with information about access, how to prepare for the workshop, and conference details.

This workshop is about developing more complex orientations to disability identity in rhetoric studies and engaging with intersectional disability studies scholarship. We will build a collaborative bibliography of intersectional disability studies scholarship, and during the workshop, we’ll engage in discussions of selected works and take the bibliography itself as a text to critique.

We will give and receive feedback on the scholarly and pedagogical projects we’ll bring to the workshop. Such discussion will primarily occur in smaller groups to encourage connections and professional development.

Throughout the workshop, we’ll variously work toward generating the questions we need to ask when doing work in intersectional disability studies. In focusing our rhetorical approach on question formation, we want to challenge the idea that this workshop (and its coordinators) can or should provide “answers” or “solutions” about intersectionality. At the same time, this workshop is a place to chart generative routes toward answering and complicating the questions we identify, at the intersections of what we know and what we seek to learn.

Finally, as coordinators, we find ourselves in a different political climate than when we initially proposed this workshop. We want our workshop space to be a place of emotional support where we build networks for the difficult work we are doing – work that is simultaneously becoming more important and more difficult. While we’ll have our scholarly hats on during the workshop, we also seek to create a space for emotional response.

Please head to this page that details how to prepare for the workshop. Also, note that we will send an email to the group if we add or change content on this site, and/or you can follow the site to receive updates.


Original post:

This is a computer-sketched/generated image of a black wheelchair and brown wooden-type chair against a light blue background. The wheelchair has a smile as it pushes itself forward, saying "Woohoo!" The brown, traditiona chair looks unhappy as it barely scoots.







This website provides information about the “Disability at the Intersections” workshop for RSA 2017. The workshop runs from the afternoon of Thursday, May 25 until noon on Saturday, May 27 at Indiana University in Bloomington. We hope it gives you the information you need and encourages you to apply, and the site will continue to expand as we move toward the workshop itself. Contact the workshop leaders with questions and read on!


Official Workshop Description (posted on the RSA site):

Building on a decade of work that explores the interconnections of disability, rhetoric, and writing, this workshop focuses on intersectional scholarship in disability, rhetoric, and writing, as well as the dynamic intersections of research and teaching. Pushing for a more radical rhetorical politics of intersectionality, this workshop encourages participants to engage intersections of disability with gender, race, class, and sexuality, and also religion, age, appearance, geography, lived environment, etc. Attending to these intersections enables deeper understanding of the ways that bodies and situations are experienced differently across rhetorical settings, with particular attention to the rich interconnections between how we write and how we teach writing.

Designed explicitly to encourage and support intersectional scholarship and teaching, the workshop includes opportunities to engage shared readings, to workshop work-in-progress (articles/essays, dissertation proposals, conference presentations, syllabi, and assignments), and to create engaging multimedia artifacts that reflect our evolving research and/or teaching work. Participants will be invited to identify access needs before and during the workshop, and we will use diverse ways to interact with each other and meet workshop goals.


More Details

At RSA 2016, disability was a bigger presence than ever (including a featured Disability SuperSession). This workshop seeks to build on that momentum, as well the 2013 RSA Rhetorics of Disability Workshop, by providing a focused, supportive, and accessible space to ask critical questions about our research and teaching projects.

We chose to focus on “disability at the intersections” both because there is important work being done in these areas and because we need more of it. We will identify a short list of readings to get us thinking as we head into the workshop, but works that encouraged us to develop this workshop include include Sami Schalk’s “Coming to Claim Crip: Disidentification with/in Disability Studies,” Alison Kafer’s Feminist, Queer, Crip, Therí Pickens’ New Body Politic: Narrating Arab and Black Identity in the Contemporary United States, and Julie Avril Minich’s Accessible Citizenships. We have also chosen to position our workshop as both about the “content” of our work and how we get such work done in the context of ableist methodologies and expectations (see Zosha Stuckey’s A Rhetoric of Remnants and a recent CFP for Qualitative Inquiry). To these ends, we welcome engagement with scholarship and also with teaching in tenured, non-tenured, part-time, graduate student, and less traditional teaching environments.

The precise nature of the workshop will depend on the interests of those who apply. We want to create a space for new scholars (as many MA and PhD students in disability studies have limited support for their work at their home universities) as well as experienced scholars who are pushing the traditional bounds of what it means to do disability studies work in rhetoric. A diversity of interests is necessary if we are truly to have a workshop at the “intersections,” and we welcome applicants from within and beyond English/rhetoric/writing fields, as well as those familiar with disability studies and those new to the field.

Read more about your semi-fearless workshop leaders and commitments to workshop access.

This is an image of the cover of the ground-breaking book _Embodied Rhetorics: Disability in Language and Culture," edited by James C. Wilson and Cynthia Lewiecki-Wilson. It has a fuschia background and a large drawn B and D.

Website created and maintained by Amy Vidali.