Ashley Shew, "Narratives Against Ableist Technologies"

Ashley Shew, "Narratives Against Ableist Technologies"
March 16, 2021 - 3:00 PM

March 16 (Tues.), 12:00-1:00: Ashley Shew (Asst. Prof. of Science, Technology and Society, Virginia Tech) presents as part of our series, Stories for Survivability: How we Talk about Disability Ethics and Why it Matters

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Shew works in philosophy of technology at its intersection with disability studies, emerging technologies, and animal studies. She is author of Animal Constructions and Technological Knowledge (Lexington, 2017) and co-editor (with Joseph C. Pitt) of Spaces for the Future: A Companion to Philosophy of Technology (Routledge 2017).  She is also a recent awardee of a National Science Foundation CAREER Grant, running from 2018 to 2023, to study narratives about technology from the disability community.  Shew highlights the disconnects between STEM practice concerning disability and the lived experience of disability. By looking at the history, narratives, and context of negotiations about technology, her work centers the expertise possessed by disabled communities about the nature of disability, offering alternative narratives for considering disabled bodies in the technological imagination.

About the series: Even as disability has many meanings and contexts, narratives about disability are often narrow, reducing to celebrations of individual heroism or laments about lost experiences.  These reductive stories fail to do justice either to the experiences of disabled individuals or the structural conditions of their lives.  But if stories about disability can narrow our understanding, they can also expand them, creating strategies both to imagine this world and to move toward a more just one. Join us for a series of conversations about the stories we tell about disability, and how constructing new, overlapping stories helps us to imagine a more inclusive, survivable world.  Previous sessions with Rosemarie Garland-Thomson and Joel Michael Reynolds are available on the Center's YouTube Channel, and the final talk in the series features Kim Q. Hall (April 15).