Disability and Embodiment in Namibia: Religious and Cultural Perspectives Professor Louise J Lawrence, University of Exeter

Weekly Seminar of the Centre for the Study of Religion and Politics (CSRP).

Compassionate Research and Curricula?

The Bible, Disability, Northern and Southern Epistemologies, and Cognitive [In-]Justice

Professor Lawrence will trace some of the ways in which the disciplines in which she primarily works, biblical studies and disability studies, have perpetuated or destabilised northern epistemological hegemony, employing insights from southern theory to probe (a) research and curricula and north-south global inequalities and (b) research and curricula and forgotten/invisible disabled bodies. What follows constitutes a reflexive analysis of both the privilege (and precariousness) afforded by her personal context and embodiment as a white, female, able-bodied, British academic who has also conducted research and written collaboratively with partners in a southern context (through a GCRF/AHRC project in partnership with the University of Namibia on ‘Disability and Embodiment in Namibia: Religious and Cultural Perspectives’).

Also the ways in which Professor Lawrence’s research, and the curricula which she (and others like her) then curate for students, could itself risk concealing contexts and embodiments through unmarked neoliberal and neo-imperialist transcripts. She will also offer some tentative suggestions where epistemic injustices could be exposed and challenged, and more compassionate imaginaries in research and teaching could be developed.

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