WGS Lunch Discussion Series

The WGS Lunch Discussion Series seeks to bring together faculty from different disciplines to discuss a topic of wider interest over lunch in an informal setting. We hope these events support faculty research and foster productive conversations and collaborations.

For example, the Lunch Discussion titled “Disability Studies Across the Disciplines,” featured Karen Jacobs (Sargent) and Anthony Petro (WGS, Religion). Professor Jacobs spoke about Project CAREER, which aims to improve the employment success of undergraduate college and university students with traumatic brain injury (TBI). She has developed a technology-driven, long-term support program for Veteran and civilian postsecondary students with TBI that merges assistive technology and vocational rehabilitation. Professor Petro presented his work in progress on a new book project, “Good Morality Is Good Medicine”: Public Health, Disability, and American Christianity since the 1950s. Petro examines the history of American Christian engagement with health and disability policy in the U.S. and argues that Christians have shaped debates over public health in national discussions of alcoholism, the patients’ rights movement, euthanasia, the rights of disabled children, and needle exchange. This Lunch Discussion generated a fascinating discussion of how critiques of normative concepts of health, such as Petro’s, can appear to clash with efforts, like Jacobs’, to assist those recovering from TBI. If we couldn’t resolve these tensions over lunch, we left the event with a broader understanding of the complexity of disability policy and rehabilitation efforts.

Stay tuned for our first Lunch Discussion of the 2016/2017 year featuring our Visiting Scholar, Diana Garvin, discussing her project focused on East African women’s domestic labor in Fascist-period Italy, Black Milk: Colonial Foodways and Intimate Imperialism, and Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research Fellow, Vrinda Varma, discussing her research on the Construction of Women’s Identities and Food Narratives in India.

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