PAST EVENT Lecture/Presentation/Talk

Learning Differences Distinguished Lecture: Biocultural Myths About Poverty

Professor Lennard J. Davis of the University of Illinois at Chicago will share about his forthcoming book as part of a series exploring critical issues related to the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in our education system.

Event details

Thursday, February 15th 2024
02:45 PM—04:15 PM
LocationCERAS 101
Available toFaculty / Staff, Alumni / Friends, Students
This event has passed.

In his forthcoming book, “Poor Things: How Those With Money Depict Those Without” (Duke UP 2024), Lennard J. Davis notes that artistic works about poverty are mainly done by people who are not poor for people who are not poor.

The most famous works about poverty are those by what he calls “Exo” creators — those from outside the culture. Given that contradiction, in this talk he will present the dominant myths that are the building blocks of a genre he calls “poornography.” The myths being considered are “biocultural” in that they intersect with science, medicine, ideology, and culture. Taken together, they form a kind of toolkit from which creators of artistic works can draw on well-known and believed explanations that normalize oppression and mitigate against social and economic justice for people who are actually poor.

About the speaker

Lennard J. Davis is professor of English, Disability and Human Development, and Medical Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He directs Project Biocultures, a think tank devoted to issues around the intersection of culture, medicine, disability, biotechnology and the biosphere.

About the Learning Differences Speaker Series

The Learning Differences Initiative is inviting national scholars from multiple disciplines to work together to advance a transformative vision for the field. Each lecture will challenge our ideas and intentions for future learning, research, policy initiatives, and community partnerships. Initial talks focus on:

  • Teaching, learning, and life beyond school
  • Policies, institutional alignment, and the work force
  • Neuroscience, data, and technology
  • Law, ethics and cultural contexts for learning in diverse settings, cultures, and public spaces