Professor Kudlick on 'Pushing Limits' in Disability Studies

Thursday, January 21, 2016
Photo of Catherine Kudlick

PUSHING LIMITS (KPFA-FM) -- Catherine Kudlick, professor of history and director of the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability at San Francisco State University, discusses her work in disability studies.

“My book about the history of cholera and history of medicine sprung from my own personhood as being somebody with a disability and not really wanting to admit it,” she said. “I grew up with a vision impairment my whole life and was taught basically that you deny everything. You don’t talk about it, you soldier on and pretend that nothing is wrong with you.

“And yet I was working out a lot of the ideas that I wasn’t able to talk about in my public life in my writing. So I was trying to figure out what role medicine have in shaping who we are in our bodies. What role does medicine play in shaping social attitudes toward people that are sick and uncomfortable?”