AFS Fellows Webinar: Folklore Talks: Interrogating the Normal: Folkloristic Engagements with Disability

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The AFS Fellows presented a webinar, “Interrogating the Normal: Folkloristic Engagements with Disability,” on March 25, 2022, 12:00–2:00 pm EDT. (Click on the image above to play the recording.) This webinar is the first in a planned series of three webinars on the topic of “Interrogating the Normal” and is part of a continuation of the Folklore Talks webinars presented by the AFS Fellows. 

Folklore opens new vistas for understanding what counts as normal. Studies of disability by folklorists are especially provocative for their critiques of ableism, challenging concepts of cultural competence. 

Phyllis May-Machunda (Professor Emerita of American Multicultural Studies at Minnesota State University Moorhead) discusses her experiences as a parent of a child with a disability/illness through the lens of a folklorist and will consider intersections among folklore and disability. 

Nora Groce (the Cheshire Chair at University College London (UCL)) considers folklore and disability as important and often overlooked factors in international development and global health efforts. 

Drawing on his memoir, The Secret Life of a Black Aspie, Anand Prahlad (Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus at the University of Missouri) focuses on the importance of writing and voice in representations of disability, implicating ruptures in the canon of folkloristics.  

They are joined by scholars from both folklore and disability studies in a roundtable discussion following the presentations. 

Live captioning and ASL interpretation were provided for this webinar. Download the unedited transcript of the closed captioning.

These events are co-sponsored by The Society for Disability Studies. 

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