Injury / Agency: Competing Constructions of Canadian Women in the Thalidomide Crisis
Madeline Burghardt has a PhD in Critical Disability Studies from York University and is the author of Broken: Institutions, Families and the Construction of Intellectual Disability, published by McGill-Queen’s University Press. She is an instructor in the graduate program in Critical Disability Studies at York University, is cross-appointed to York’s graduate programs in Development Studies and Music, and is an instructor of Disability Studies at King’s University College at Western University. Her research interests include the geopolitics and historical ontology of difference and disability, systems of oppression, and generative conditions of social policy. She currently holds a fellowship at the Institute for Feminist Legal Scholarship at Osgoode Law School, and will soon assume a position at the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba. Her talk will focus on the tension between women’s injury and agency in the context of the thalidomide scandal in 1960s Canada, including feminism’s position in the crisis and its historically fraught relationship with disability.