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New Projects Seminar Series: ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’: Introduction to Disability Studies

Dr. Magda Szarota, Humanity in Action (Poland)
20/04/2023, 1:00 pm
Staszic Palace, Nowy Świat 72, Warsaw, Room 232

Event supported by NAWA Welcome to Poland.


‘Disability is everywhere once you start noticing it’ argues US-based Disability Studies professor Rosemarie Garland Thomson. Indeed, people with disabilities constitute the world’s largest minority exposed to political, economic, cultural, and societal discrimination and marginalization. However, dominant scholarly knowledge production is often underpinned by paternalistic approaches towards people with disabilities – which positions them as objects rather than subjects of the academic scrutiny. During the seminar, I will provide a nutshell-overview of Disability Studies – a field of study which emerged out of the American and British disabled people’s movements in the 1970s. Those movements made a case for conceptualizing disability as a social and systemic rather than a medical problem. Building on this general premise disabled and non-disabled scholars developed Disability Studies in social sciences and in humanities over the following decades. Despite its relatively short history, Disability Studies is considered an impactful, vibrant and constantly evolving discipline.

The seminar is open to all.


Dr. Magda(lena) Szarota
Disability Studies scholar and disability human rights and policies expert
Dr. Magda(lena) Szarota is a Disability Studies scholar and disability human rights and policies expert. She co-founded the first association of women with disabilities in Poland (2004) and over the years has been involved in effective advocacy on disability, intersectionality, and social change in the European Union and the United Nations. Currently, one of the research projects she is a part of examines the political participation of women with disabilities in the European Union countries. Twitter: @Magda_Szarota
Listen to Dr. Magda Szarota’s talk on our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/0i365fHcaHQ