Oregon State University

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Event Details

The Clinic as Biological Warfare

A Lunch Bunch lecture with Stephanie Jenkins

Friday, April 18, 2014 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Join us for a lunch bunch with Philosophy professor Stephanie Jenkins.

This paper examines the debate between the two predominant models of disability (i.e. medical and social) as being predominately ontological in nature.  Although these conflicts are not explicitly characterized as ontological debates, they hinge on disagreements about the nature of disability.  As Bill Hughes describes developments within disability studies, “ontological arguments are implicit and sometimes explicit in the literature that describes the ‘othering’ of disabled people… and the ways in which these processes invalidate disabled lives.”

Bringing together contemporary work in feminist disability studies and Foucault scholarship, my paper argues that the medical model of disability is a biopolitical tactic.  Using Foucault’s writings about race, biopower, and abnormality, I argue that the “birth of the clinic” transforms the violence of “race wars” into the apparent humanitarian aims of medicine.  Contemporary debates about what makes a life “livable” can only be understood through a genealogical account of life and the productive role of ableism and racism in its history.



Milam Hall (campus map)
Room 301
Robert Peckyno
(541) 737-8560
robert.peckyno at oregonstate.edu
School of History, Philosophy, and Religion
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