Marquette University to host Disability at the Intersection of History, Culture, Religion, Gender, and Health Conference, March 3-4

Feb. 22, 2022

Raynor Memorial LibrariesMILWAUKEE — Marquette University will host the Disability at the Intersection of History, Culture, Religion, Gender, and Health Conference in a hybrid format March 3-4 at Raynor Memorial Libraries, 1355 W. Wisconsin Ave., and via Microsoft Teams.




Thursday, March 3 | 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
In-person sessions at Raynor Memorial Libraries; all sessions also available via Microsoft Teams. In addition to the keynotes, there will be panel discussions broken up over four sessions.

    • 1:20 p.m. | Keynote address 1 — Disability Studies: Then and Now
      Delivered by Lennard Davis, distinguished professor of English, professor of disability and human development, and professor of medical education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is also the director of Project Biocultures, a think-tank devoted to studying the intersection of culture, medicine, biotechnology, the biosphere and disability. Davis has spoken on his childhood experience in a deaf household and has written extensively on issues of disability and human rights. He serves as the editor for “The Disability Studies Reader,” and his current research focuses on issues of disability, literary and cultural theory, genetics, race, identity, and biocultural issues.
    • 4:40 p.m. | Disabling the Difference: Identity and Policy
      Delivered by Brenda Wesley, award-winning advocate and playwright. She served as the outreach and education director for the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Greater Milwaukee for 14 years. Wesley started her own mental health consulting agency, Pasch and Wesley, and has received numerous awards, including the 2013 Multi-Cultural Outreach Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the 2016 Wisconsin State Assembly Hometown Hero Award, and the 2016 Public Service Award from the National Association of Social Workers.

Friday, March 4 | 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.
All-virtual slate of events hosted on Microsoft Teams. There will be five sessions with two panels in each session throughout the day.

A complete lineup of sessions, topics and speakers is available upon request.

Registration is open and available online.

This conference seeks to generate inclusive dialogues and interdisciplinary interactions between academia, community organizers, social and legal activists, health care service/providers, and religious leaders. The goal is to encourage open discussion and better understanding and to breakdown stigma associated with disabilities. Panel discussions, keynotes and sessions will serve as platforms to foster collaboration between various groups engaged in understanding and improving disability conditions.

Media interested in attending a session should contact Kevin Conway in the Office of Marketing and Communication at

The Disability at the Intersection of History, Culture, Religion, Gender, and Health Conference brings together an interdisciplinary group of campus and community partners. Marquette co-sponsors include the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures; the Department of History; the Race, Ethnic and Indigenous Studies program; Marquette University Libraries; Center for the Advancement of the Humanities; Office of Research and Sponsored Programs; and the Marquette Forum. Community co-sponsors are the Arab and Muslim Women’s Research and Resource Institute; the Islamic Society of Milwaukee; and the Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition.

About Kevin Conway

Kevin Conway

Kevin is the associate director for university communication in the Office of University Relations. Contact Kevin at (414) 288-4745 or