Marquette University: Conference on Welcoming Disability at the Intersection of History, Culture, Religion, Gender, and Health, March 3-4

MILWAUKEE – Marquette University will host the Disability at the Intersection of History, Culture, Religion, Gender, and Health Conference in a hybrid format on March 3-4 at Raynor Memorial Libraries, 1355 W. Wisconsin Ave., and through Microsoft Teams.


Thursday March 3 | 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
In-person sessions at Raynor Memorial Libraries; all sessions are also available via Microsoft Teams. In addition to the keynotes, there will be round tables spread over four sessions.

  • 1:20 p.m. | Keynote 1 — Disability Studies: Then and Now
    Delivered by Dr. Lennard Davis, Distinguished Professor of English, Professor of Disability and Human Development, and Professor of Medical Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is also the director of Project Biocultures, a think tank dedicated to studying the intersection of culture, medicine, biotechnology, the biosphere and disability. Davis has spoken of her childhood experience in a deaf home and has written extensively on disability and human rights issues. He is editor of The Disability Studies Reader and his current research focuses on issues of disability, literary and cultural theory, genetics, race, identity and biocultural issues.

  • 4:40 p.m. | Disable Difference: Identity and Politics

Delivered by Brenda Wesley, attorney and award-winning playwright. She served as Director of Outreach and Education for the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Greater Milwaukee for 14 years. Wesley started his own mental health counseling agency, Pasch and Wesley, and has received numerous awards, including the 2013 Multi-Cultural Outreach Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the 2016 Wisconsin State Assembly Hometown Hero Award, and the 2016 Public Service Award. of the National Association of Social Workers.

Friday March 4 | 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.
List of fully virtual events hosted on Microsoft Teams. There will be five sessions with two panels in each session throughout the day.

A full range of sessions, topics and speakers are available upon request.

Registration is open and available online.

This conference aims to generate inclusive dialogues and cross-disciplinary interactions between academics, community organizers, social and legal activists, service providers/healthcare providers, and religious leaders. The aim is to encourage open discussion and better understanding and to break down the stigma associated with disabilities. Panel discussions, keynote speeches and sessions will serve as platforms to foster collaboration among diverse groups committed to understanding and improving conditions of disability.

Media interested in attending a session should contact Kevin Conway of the Office of Marketing and Communications at [email protected].

The Conference on Disability at the Intersection of History, Culture, Religion, Gender and Health brings together an interdisciplinary group of academic and community partners. Marquette’s co-sponsors include the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures; the Department of History; the racial, ethnic and aboriginal studies program; Marquette University Libraries; Center for the Advancement of the Humanities; Office of Research and Sponsored Programs; and the Marquette Forum. The community co-sponsors are the Arab and Muslim Women’s Research and Resource Institute; the Islamic Society of Milwaukee; and the Muslim Women’s Coalition of Milwaukee.

About Lucille Thompson

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