|Nina G. is the San Francisco Bay Area’s favorite female stuttering stand-up comedian (granted, she is the only one). She is also a disability activist, storyteller, children’s book author, and educator. She brings her humor to help people confront and understand social justice issues such as disability, diversity, and equity. When she isn’t performing at comedy clubs like the San Francisco Punchline or the Laugh Factory, she is playing colleges and presenting as a keynote speaker to children with disabilities and training professionals. Nina is part of the comedy troupe The Comedians with Disabilities Act, which brings laughter and awareness to audiences of all ages across the country. She is the author of the children’s book Once Upon an Accommodation: A Book About Learning Disabilities, which helps children and adults advocate for their rights as a person with a Disability. Nina’s one-person show, Going Beyond Inspirational, a comical exploration about growing up with Learning and Speech Disabilities, debuted in 2015 and was featured on CBS San Francisco Local.|
|Rosemarie Garland-Thomson is Professor of English and bioethics at Emory University, where she teaches disability studies, bioethics, American literature and culture, and feminist theory. She is a disability justice and culture thought leader, bioethicist, teacher, and humanities scholar. Her recent editorial, “Becoming Disabled,” was the inaugural article in the ongoing weekly series in the New York Times about disability by people living with disabilities. Her work develops the field of critical disability studies in the health humanities to bring forward disability access, inclusion, and identity to a broad range of institutions and communities. She is the author of Staring: How We Look and several other books. Her current project is How to Be Disabled: Shaping the Future for Everyone.|
|Michele Friedner teaches in the department of Comparative Human Development at the University of Chicago and is the author of Valuing Deaf Worlds in Rural India (Rutgers University Press, 2015). She is a social and medical anthropologist whose work examines both the category of and experience of “deafness” and “disability,” particularly in urban India. She’s interested in how political economic changes in India have created new opportunities and constraints for deaf and disabled people in the arenas of employment, education, politics, religion, and everyday life. In working with sign language-using deaf people, she also attends to the limits of disability as both a juridical and legislative category and as an explanatory concept within social theory. She is on the editorial board of Disability Studies Quarterly, on the Society for Medical Anthropology’s Disability Research Interest Group Steering Committee, and is an advisor on the European Research Council-funded project Mobile Deaf, a deaf-run research project based at Heriot Watt University analyzing deaf peoples’ translanguaging in various empirical contexts. Read her full bio at https://humdev.uchicago.edu/directory/michele-friedner.|
|Margaret Price is Associate Professor of English and Director of Disability Studies at The Ohio State University. Her book Mad at School: Rhetorics of Mental Disability and Academic Life (2011) won the Outstanding Book Award from the Conference on College Composition and Communication. Her work also appears in Disability Studies Quarterly; Hypatia; Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture; Inside Higher Education; Creative Nonfiction; College Composition and Communication; and other venues. Margaret is now at work on a book titled Crip Spacetime. She is an incessant knitter, likes to wear interesting socks, and has a tiny dog named Ivy. Read more about Margaret’s work at http://margaretprice.wordpress.com.|
Sami Schalk is an Assistant Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Her interdisciplinary research focuses broadly on disability, race, and gender in contemporary American literature and culture, especially African American literature, speculative fiction, and women’s literature. Dr. Schalk’s first book Bodyminds Reimagined: (Dis)ability, Race, and Gender in Black Women’s Speculative Fiction (Duke University Press 2018) argues that black women writers of speculative fiction reimagine the possibilities and limits of bodyminds, changing the way we read and interpret categories like (dis)ability, race, gender and sexuality within the context of these non-realist texts. She has also begun a second book project on disability politics in contemporary African American art and activism, including the Black Panthers and the Black Lives Matter movement.
|Susan Schweik is Professor of English at the University of California Berkeley, where she has worked since 1984. She is the author of The Ugly Laws: Disability in Public (NYU, 2009) and A Gulf So Deeply Cut: American Women Poets and the Second World War (1991) and is completing a book, centered on Iowa history in the 1930s, tentatively titled Unfixed: How the Women of Glenwood Asylum Overturned Ideas about IQ– and Why You Don’t Know About Their Work. She is a recipient of Berkeley’s Chancellor’s Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence, its Distinguished Teaching Award, and the University of California’s Presidential Chair in Undergraduate Education. Schweik has been involved with the development of disability studies at Berkeley for over twenty years. She was co-coordinator of the Ed Roberts Fellowships in Disability Studies post-doctoral program at Berkeley (coordinated by the Institute for Urban and Regional Development). She is co-founder and co-director of Berkeley’s Disability Studies minor and has been very actively involved in the advanced Disability Studies Research Cluster in Berkeley’s Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society.|
|Joseph Straus is Distinguished Professor at CUNY’s Graduate Center. A music theorist specializing in music since 1900, he has written technical music-theoretical articles, analytical studies of music by a variety of modernist composers, and, most recently, a series of articles and books that engage disability as a cultural practice. He has written textbooks that have become standard references. Many of his books and articles have received publication awards from the Society for Music Theory (SMT), of which he was President from 1997–99. His publications include Broken Beauty: Musical Modernism and the Representation of Disability (Oxford University Press, 2018), Extraordinary Measures: Music and Disability (Oxford University Press, 2011), and The Oxford Handbook of Music and Disability Studies, co-edited with Blake Howe, Stephanie Jensen-Moulton, and Neil Lerner (Oxford University Press, 2016).|