Edited By Curt Dudley-Marling and Alex Gurn
10 A Dialogue We’ve Yet to Have: Race and Disability Studies - Beth Ferri 139
Johnnella Butler’s (1989) call for scholars to more deeply engage in difﬁcult yet necessary dialogues around race, gender, sexuality, and class is also relevant to the ways that scholars have yet to fully account for the overlapping politics of disability and race. As Erevelles, Kanga, and Middleton (2006) write, scholars in “critical race theory and disability studies have rarely explored the critical connec- tions between these two historically disenfranchised groups within educational contexts” (p. 77). Given the longstanding problem of overrepresentation of stu- dents of color in special education (Blanchett, 2006; Losen & Orﬁeld, 2002; Ferri & Connor, 2006; Harry & Klingner, 2006), it has become increasingly difﬁcult to ignore these connections. Could it be that, “educators and researchers believe that if they do not name these issues, they will go away” (Blanchett, 2008, p. xii)? A quick, yet disheartening review of Dissertation Abstracts does not bode well for the ﬁeld. Of the ninety-nine dissertations published in the past ﬁve years that include “disability studies” in the title, abstract, or as a key term, only twenty-four include analyses of race or ethnicity, and of those only ﬁve are in the ﬁeld of education. It seems clear that unless we intervene quickly we will likely produce another generation of disability studies scholars willfully ignorant of issues of race. A similar lack of engagement with disability studies is evident in scholar- ship focused on racial inequity. It is into this absence that I write—hopeful that this chapter serves as an invitation...
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