In the course of last month’s Dialogues on Disability interview, Nathan Moore talked about his fears for the future given the systematic exclusion of disabled philosophers—especially disabled philosophers of disability—from adequate employment in Canadian philosophy departments in particular and philosophy departments more generally.
I share Nathan’s fears. I am unemployed, despite the fact that I am a leading specialist in philosophy of disability (a subfield that I initated), a prolific writer, excellent teacher, and have made significant contributions to various subfields of philosophy. Most disabled people are unemployed due to widespread discrimination against us, social subordination, and systemic prejudice and hatred of us.
Philosophy is not immune to these forms of power but rather perpetrates them in both its own distinct ways and other mundane and common ways. Indeed, I have spent years identifying, analyzing, challenging, and resisting the mechanisms, strategies, and practices that reproduce these asymmetrical relations of power in philosophy and academia more generally. In Foucault and Feminist Philosophy of Disability and various articles—including “Field Notes on the Naturalization and Denaturalization of Disability in (Feminist) Philosophy: What they Do and How They Do It”—I used Foucault’s methods and analytical tools in order to do so. No one has written more about the professional situation and status of disabled philosophers than me. I am, as it were, the expert in philosophy on the (un)employment of disabled people in philosophy.
As I continue to salvage a career by applying for jobs in philosophy, conducting research, writing articles, and producing most of the content for BIOPOLITICAL PHILOSOPHY, my situation has become even more precarious. I now face eviction during a pandemic with little money or other resources.
If you benefit from my work on BIOPOLITICAL PHILOSOPHY and from my writing and activism in philosophy more generally, if I have mentored your students, if I have offered you recommendations about accessibility or reading materials, I would be grateful for your assistance now. My friend and colleague Susan Schweik is facilitating PayPal contributions to assist me at this time. Any help that you might provide would be greatly appreciated. Please contact Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can send a PayPal contribution to assist me. If you are in Canada and do online banking, you can e-transfer your assistance directly to me. Please do not send assistance directly to me through PayPal.
At the urgence of my co-blogger Melinda Hall and others, I may soon mount a Patreon account for BIOPOLITICAL PHILOSOPHY that will enable the avid followers of the blog to demonstrate their appreciation for its work in a more tangible way. For now, however, I would be enormously thankful for your immediate and direct support of me as I grapple with my current predicament. Please contact Susan Schweik at the email address that is given above to find out how to do so.
Yours in struggle and solidarity, Shelley
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