Podcast Episode 39 – Black Disability Politics

Guest host Emma Wathen interviews Sami Schalk about her new book, Black Disability Politics.

Episode Image: Cover of Black Disability Politics by Sami Schalk. The words are a faint yellow color set against a black background, with red horizontal bars above and below the title “Black Disability Politics.”

Download mp3 file here.
Download pdf transcript here.

About Our Guest

Dr. Sami Schalk (she/her) is an Associate Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Schalk’s interdisciplinary research focuses broadly on disability, race, and gender in contemporary American literature and culture. She has published on literature, film, and material culture in a variety of peer-reviewed humanities journals. Dr. Schalk’s first book Bodyminds Reimagined: (Dis)ability, Race, and Gender in Black Women’s Speculative Fiction  (Duke University Press 2018) argues that Black women writers of speculative fiction reimagine the possibilities and limits of bodyminds, changing the way we read and interpret categories like (dis)ability, race, gender and sexuality within the context of these non-realist texts. Her second book Black Disability Politics (Duke UP 2022) explores how Black cultural workers have engaged disability as a social and political issue differently than the mainstream, white-dominated disability rights movement. In doing so, Dr. Schalk argues that because Black disability politics take on different qualities, the work has been overlooked or misrecognized within disability studies and Black studies alike. Dr. Schalk also writes for mainstream outlets, serves as a board member for Freedom Inc., and once twerked with Lizzo. You can follow Dr. Schalk on Twitter.