Faye Ginsburg and Rayna Rapp, “Disability Worlds” (Duke UP, 2024)

In Disability Worlds (Duke UP, 2024), Faye Ginsburg and Rayna Rapp chronicle and theorize two decades of immersion in New York City’s wide-ranging disability worlds as parents, activists, anthropologists, and disability studies scholars. They situate their disabled children’s lives among the experiences of advocates, families, experts, activists, and artists in larger struggles for recognition and rights. Disability consciousness, they show, emerges in everyday politics, practices, and frictions. Chapters consider dilemmas of genetic testing and neuroscientific research, reimagining kinship and community, the challenges of “special education,” and the perils of transitioning from high school. They also highlight the vitality of neurodiversity activism, disability arts, politics, and public culture. 

Disability Worlds reflects the authors’ anthropological commitments to recognizing the significance of this fundamental form of human difference. Ginsburg and Rapp’s conversations with diverse New Yorkers reveal the bureaucratic constraints and paradoxes established in response to the disability rights movement, as well as the remarkable creativity of disabled people and their allies who are opening pathways into both disability justice and disability futures.

A transcript of this discussion is available here.

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