Research

Primary Research Areas: Ethics (especially practical ethics and bioethics), philosophy of disability, epistemology (especially social epistemology).


Silence, Oppression, and Resistance in Narrative Health Practices: The relatively recent “narrative turn” (or perhaps “return”) in medicine and bioethics has generated lively discussion on the relevance and importance of attending to stories for health and moral practices. While I believe that narrative and testimony are important for many of the reasons commonly expressed in these discussions, I argue that an uncritical centring of narratives in our moral and health practices may miss and obscure the ways in which instances and structures of injustices often manifest in enforced “silences”, as well as the ways “silences” are often deployed as strategies of communication, as self-protection, or as resistance to unjust and coercive epistemic and health practices. Drawing from social epistemology, disability studies, postcolonial studies, and communication studies, and with examples from health communities, institutions, and practices, my thesis examines the different ways we discuss or undervalue “silence”, the practices and structures that produce or reproduce different kinds of “silences” and exclusions, and the material consequences for health and healthcare. This research is currently supported by a SSHRC Vanier Canada award.


2018 Selected News: *

  • November 22, 2018: Promoting Public Health through Forgiveness Interventions: Cautionary Notes“. Health Promotion Ontario Conference. Toronto, Ontario. CAN. Preview: Among other claims, I will argue that those who want to treat forgiveness as a public health issue for intervention need to critically attend to the gendered and raced attitudes toward forgiveness and reconciliation, to the risk of displacing attention on harms, to the differences between definitions in public and research contexts, and to the relationships between healthism and forgiveness research.
  • October 17, 2018:Dialogues on Disability: Shelley Tremain Interviews C Dalrymple-Fraser” on the Discrimination and Disadvantage Blog.
  • June 4-7, 2018:Building Epistemic Justice: Disability, Epistemic Exclusions, and the Material Built Environment” and comments on Michael Montess (York University, Canada) “Challenging the Anthropocentrism in the Ethics of Climate Change”. Canadian Philosophical Association. Montreal, Ontario. CAN.
  • May 30, 2018: “Rethinking ‘Participation’: Inclusive Design in Evaluation of Student Engagement“. 10th Annual Accessibility Conference. Guelph, Ontario. CAN.
  • May 23-25, 2018: “Exclusion and Healthism in Population Health Nudging Practices“. Canadian Bioethics Society Annual Meeting. Halifax, Nova Scotia. CAN.
  • April 27-28, 2018: “What You See Is What You Gender: Pinkwashing in Digital Architectures“. Theorizing the Web Annual Conference. Panel on Representing Queerness. New York City, New York, USA.
  • March 23, 2018:Social Epistemology and Bioethics“. Invited talk for Philosophy Course Union Bioethics Conference: ‘What Every Philosophy Student Should Know About Bioethics’. University of Toronto. Toronto, Ontario, CAN.
  • January 6, 2018: Epistemic Exploitation of Students in Accommodation Policies and Practices” (co-authored with Mark Fortney). Eastern American Philosophical Association Teaching Hub. Savannah, Georgia, USA.

* A lot of my research and learning is grounded in dialogue and community conversation, and so I seek out conferences and events rather often. However, this is only possible through the material and community supports I have access to, which enable me to attend conferences with this frequency. The list here is meant both to provide a reference for people looking to reconnect after an event, and to give some more detail on my research. But I am also acutely aware of how this may contribute to the pervasive culture of ‘productivity’ and overwork as a norm in academia (as academics’ personal websites often do in general), particularly among graduate and early-career academics, and how this serves to passively and actively exclude or disvalue many people and groups who do not have the same access to resources or opportunities. I hope that this comment can do at least a little work to contextualize these research activities while we remain critical of the structures and barriers around those.

Those interested in thinking more about academic norms in the context of disability in particular might wish to learn about the concept of ‘crip time’ such as in Alison Kafer’s 2013 Feminist, Queer, Crip (esp chapter one) or Ellen Samuels’ 2017 “Six Ways of Looking at Crip Time” in the open access Disability Studies Quarterly, and to read Margaret Price’s Mad At School which does well to discuss and interrogate norms around eg participation and productivity in the context of mental disabilities (esp chapters two and three).