Announcing session two of neurodissent

The first session of the neurodissent theory circle will end in June 2022. During our first session, I posed the question “Who are WE to theorize neurodivergence and the neuronormative world?” to a group of 25 neurodivergent scholars. We read texts that affirmed the value of and need for our neurodivergent perspectives. They also challenged us to consider how our struggle for neurodivergent liberation might intersect with others, necessitating thoughtful solidarity. Contributions to our neurodissent asynchronous discussions in session one were always thoughtful, often profound, and just a real treat to read. I, for one, can’t wait for more.

Neurodissent will continue in a new session in July 2022. Our discussions will focus on four open access texts that will explore the theme, “The power to make neurodivergence”.

By making neurodivergence, I do not mean that we will manufacture new neurodivergent life-forms or somehow ‘rewire’ existing life-forms so that they become neurodivergent. Rather, by “the power to make neurodivergence”, I mean that neurodivergence and particular forms of neurodivergence, like all social constructions, come into being through being named and discussed. Hence, I am pointing to the ways that humans make neurodivergence real: the labelling, legitimizing, validating, categorizing, describing, diagnosing, and so on. The second session of neurodissent will explore how we “make neurodivergence” through a close study of two particular diagnoses: ADHD and autism. We will consider how power influences how we think, talk about, and know forms of neurodivergence. We will consider the real world consequences of how neurodivergence is made. We will ask how we might (re)make neurodivergence in ways that facilitate neurodivergent liberation.

The texts for session two are listed here in the order we will discuss them:

  1. Reconstructing truth, deconstructing ADHD: Badiou, onto-epistemological violence and the diagnosis of ADHD by Matthias Nilsson Sjöberg
  2. Autism, Inc.: The Autism Industrial Complex by Alicia A. Broderick & Robin Roscigno
  3. Global Mental Health and Pharmacology: The Case of Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorders in Brazil by Francisco Ortega & Manuela Rodrigues Müller
  4. Absence and Epidemic: Autism and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder in Indigenous populations in Canada by Caleigh Estelle Inman

If you are a neurodivergent scholar, I invite you to join the neurodissent theory circle. Following that link will take you to our Google Groups page, where you should click “Ask to join group”. (You can simply write that you are a neurodivergent scholar who wants to join; a moderator will approve your request as soon as possible). If you’re not sure if you are “a neurodivergent scholar” or not, you probably are. I aim to be broadly inclusive, and I describe what I mean by “neurodivergent scholar” in more detail in the original announcement for the neurodissent theory circle.

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