Eli Clare on Disability, Illness and Environmental and Social Justice – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Eli Clare on Disability, Illness and Environmental and Social Justice

In November, writer, activist and educator Eli Clare will explore the intersections of social justice, environmental injustice, disability and chronic illness in a two-day visit to the HWS campus.

On Wednesday, Nov. 13, Clare will present a public lecture, “Cautionary Tales: Environmental Injustice, Disability, and Chronic Illness,” from 7:30 to 9 p.m. in the Vandervort Room in the Scandling Campus Center.

“Many activist campaigns, whether they are about protecting water and trees or protesting coal and pesticides, use disability as an argument against environmental injustice. Through stories, media analysis and intersectional politics,” Clare’s lecture “will explore this common argument, insisting that attention be paid to the impact on people with disabilities.”

The following evening, Thursday, Nov. 14, he will lead an intimate workshop, “Moving Beyond Pity and Inspiration: Disability as a Social Justice Issue,” from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the Seneca Room on South Main Street.

“On college campuses and in the non-profit world, people frequently interact with people with disabilities but with little awareness of disability as an issue of cultural competency and social justice. Often the major disability issues faced by people with disabilities are not about health but about disability-based marginalization and discrimination, which in turn impact access to education, employment, housing and social services. Participants will leave this workshop with tools to create more disability access in their work places and communities,” says Clare.

To foster in-depth discussion, the workshop is capped at 20 participants. Dinner will be provided. Those interested in attending should send a brief statement of interest to Assistant Professor of LGBT Studies Melissa Autumn White at mawhite@hws.edu by Wednesday, Nov. 6. Priority consideration will be given to RSVPs received by Nov. 1

Author of Brilliant Imperfection: Grappling with Cure and Exile and Pride: Disability, Queerness, and Liberation, Clare lives in occupied Abenaki territory (currently known as Vermont). White, disabled and genderqueer, Clare teaches all over the United States and Canada at conferences, community events and colleges about disability, queer and trans identities and social justice. Among other pursuits, he has walked across the United States for peace, coordinated a rape prevention program and helped organize the first ever Queerness and Disability Conference.

This event is sponsored by the Colleges’ departments and programs in LGBT Studies, Writing and Rhetoric, Women’s Studies, English, Theatre, Education, Sociology, Political Science, and Environmental Studies, as well as the Fisher Center for the Study of Gender and Justice, and the Walt Whitman Fund.

The portrait (above) of Eli Clare was created by artist Riva Lehrer.