Philosophy of Disability at the CPA

It occurred to me that readers and listeners of BIOPOLITICAL PHILOSOPHY, especially readers and listeners of the blog who are members of the Canadian Philosophical Association (CPA), might be interested in knowing what is planned for “Disabling Philosophy in the Canadian Context,” the symposium that I have organized for the upcoming meeting of the CPA in May. So, I have copied the successful proposal for the 3-hour symposium below the break.

As I noted in a previous post, the CPA conference, which will take place online from May 17-20, is part of the Federation of Humanities and Social Sciences Congress, the annual meeting of a consortium of more than 160 university, college, and other scholarly associations in Canada.

Registration for Congress (including for the CPA) is now open here. Early-bird, discounted registration fees are available until March 31.


Disabling Philosophy in the Canadian Context

Proposal for Symposium at the 2022

Annual Meeting of the Canadian Philosophical Association

Despite the persistent efforts of disabled philosophers during the past decade (and more), they remain one of the most underrepresented and marginalized groups in Canadian philosophy, a philosophical community from which disabled philosophers of disability are in fact almost entirely excluded. Indeed, disabled philosophers of disability are generally sequestered in adjunct or other precarious employment, must take employment in a discipline outside of philosophy, must move to the United States for permanent work, are unemployed, or leave academia altogether (Tremain 2020). Nevertheless, philosophy of disability, engaged in almost exclusively by disabled philosophers, has steadily become a burgeoning area of inquiry in Canadian philosophy, emerging in all specializations of the discipline.

This symposium will spotlight the work of several Canadian disabled philosophers who produce some of the most cutting-edge work currently done in philosophy of disability. Although their research in philosophy of disability shares common features, their respective areas of research specialization span the discipline, encompassing (for example) epistemology, philosophy of technology, feminist philosophy, Foucault, Fanon, biopolitics, phenomenology, philosophy of language, and philosophy of education.

Thus, the symposium will garner interest from a range of members of the CPA. Among the topics that the presentations in the symposium will address are these: norms of pedagogy and neuroableism, especially with respect to expectations of productivity, criteria for funding, and deadlines; philosophy of technology, disability, and pedagogy, especially with respect to the primacy afforded face-to-face interaction; disability, ideology, and epistemology, especially with respect to ableist tropes and metaphors; and disability, feminist philosophy, and colonialism, especially with respect to “colonial presentism,” as Kyle Whyte refers to it.

“Disabling Philosophy in the Canadian Context” will comprise a diverse group of disabled philosophers, reflecting the heterogeneity to which the philosophical community in Canada should aspire. The participants in this pathbreaking proposed symposium will be:


Alex Bryant (

Amandine Catala (

Emily R. Douglas (

Isaac [YunQi] Jiang (

Shelley Tremain (


Audrey Yap (

The proposed symposium will take the following format: Each speaker will present for 25 minutes. After the first three presentations, there will be a 10-minute break. After the break, the last two speakers will present. The subsequent question and answer/discussion period will constitute the remaining time of the 3-hour session. At least one of the presentations may be delivered in French.


Tremain, Shelley Lynn. Field Notes on the Naturalization and Denaturalization of Disability in (Feminist) Philosophy: What They Do and How They Do It. Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 6 (3): 4.

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