Accepted paper:

Anthropologizing disability: exploring interdisciplinarity in Disability Studies in India


Nilika Mehrotra (UC Berkeley, USA)

Paper short abstract:

The paper discusses the challenges of interdisciplinarity in disability studies in India.

Paper long abstract:

Study of disability in Indian context is largely informed by international discourses and political disability activism. I trace my efforts to study disability by grounding it in anthropological and feminist perspectives. Learning lessons from both anthropology and feminism on one hand and disability perspectives on the other, this paper attempts to deconstruct the discourses on disability in India and also emphasize the need for ethnographically grounded understandings of lives of people with disabilities. The challenges that one faces within university structure and the disabilty rights movement as a temporarily abled academic have been discussed. Questions about interdisciplinarity and identity politics are also raised in the contexts where both activists and academics participate. The paper makes a case for learning from movement and also contributing to it by foregrounding the voices from the margins.

panel G15
Re-thinking collaboration: between research and socio-political interventions