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WESTERN HISTORY DISABILITY STUDIES AND DISABLED SCHOLAR AWARD
The purpose of the Western History Disability Studies and Disabled Scholar Award is to promote the place of disability and all of the ramifications that disability, diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion have had in the history of the North American West. It is important to promote and support scholars who study this history, whether these scholars have a disability or not. To read more on the significance and vibrancy of Disability Studies, see Disability Studies and History below.
The $1,000 award, funded by independent blind historian Alida Boorn, will support two graduate students ($1,000 per award) who either are working in the fields of disability studies and western history OR identify as disabled and who wish to attend the WHA conference with financial assistance. Funding from the award will assist their ability to research and present academic papers and network with other scholars at the annual WHA conferences. Applicants are not required to be conference program participants (presenters, panelists, chairs, etc.).
Applicants should send in one pdf file to each member of the committee listed below: 1) a letter of interest, and 2) CV. Include your last name in the title of the pdf file. Applicants should request that their faculty advisor send a letter of support to each committee member.
-2024 Awards Cycle opens January 15, 2024
-2024 Award Submission (Postmark) Deadline: July 15, 2024
The WHA office sends notifications to selected award recipients at the end of August.
DISABILITY STUDIES/DISABLED SCHOLAR AWARD COMMITTEE
2023 | Coyote Ulysses Shook, University of Texas at Austin
2022| Samantha Smith, Michigan State University
2021| Ellie Kaplan, University of California, Davis
DISABILITY STUDIES AND WESTERN HISTORY
The study of Disability in Western History is to bring awareness to today's current and future scholars about how American communities in the North American West approached persons with sensory, physical, and neurological diverse disabilities in order to understand both how and why current American communities and governments approach the contributions of disabled persons to their communities and how people in the past set attitudes about diverse inclusionality in society today.
There is a need to understand society's perceptions of disability today, as well as yesterday. Many questions need answers, such as how and why certain laws were written about how persons with sensory, physical, and mental disabilities should be treated by their communities, families, and society in general. How did disability direct citizenship and voting rights, health care, education, employment opportunities? More and more work in and outside of academia is now bringing the subject of disability studies, such as history, to the forefront. It has not been easy, but progress is being made.