Critical Disability Studies Caucus

The Critical Disability Studies Caucus (CDSC) connects scholars engaged in the critical investigation of disability’s central role in American history, society, and culture, and works to increase the visibility and participation of scholars and students with disabilities within American studies. The caucus provides a venue through which scholars of disability can share ideas, build networks to increase disability-related panels at the ASA, and facilitate the development of emerging scholars in the field.

Activities of the caucus include:

  • The annual best graduate student paper in critical disability studies award

  • Sponsored panels related to the critical study of disability at the annual conference,

  • A business meeting at the annual conference,

  • Collaboration with other ASA caucuses, and

  • Social gatherings and site-specific events for caucus members and ASA members at large.

Congratulations to our past Graduate Student Paper Award Winners:


  • Sarah Orsak (Doctoral Candidate in Women's and Gender Studies, Rutgers University), for "'No Freak of Nature': Capacity, Species, and Freedom in Thylias Moss’ Slave Moth"

    • Honorable Mention: Ka-eul Yoo (PhD Candidate in Literature, University of California Santa Cruz) for “Deformed Ambassadors: The ‘Red’ Threat and U.S. Hansen’s Disease Controlling Policies in Cold War Korea”


  • No award given


  • Emily L Rogers for "Sick and Tired: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and 'Anti-Scientism(s)'”

    • Honorable mention: Ittai Orr for "Robert Montgomery Bird’s Neurodiversity Hypothesis"


  • Jessica Cowing for “Obesity and (Un)fit Homes: Health and Belonging in a Settler Nation”


We call on the ASA board and administration to ensure optimal accessibility in the organization and its meetings. Information about accessibility at the annual conference can be found here. Guidelines for session organizers and presenters on accessibility can be found here.