The Bioarchaeology of Rare Disease: A Framework for Considering Disability and Lived Experiences in the Past

February 10, 4pm

This Department of Anthropology lecture will take place in the ZSR Library Auditorium.

Dr. Aviva Cormier, Visiting Assistant Professor at Davidson College, will present an interpretive framework that steps beyond the differential diagnosis of a rare disease and towards an understanding of the individuals’ mobility or activity limitations, engaging with the resulting social limitations that impact their identities and experiences. With this new focus, researchers can uncover universal and longstanding experiences of disease and disability, highlighting how anyone and everyone experiences at least momentary limitations during their lives, and thus effectively humanize modern marginalized communities. This framework also integrates considerations of the modern rare disease health movement, allowing us to further consider the impact of disease on life experiences, advance contemporary perspectives on impairment and disability, and raise awareness about rare diseases in the past and today. Content warning: This presentation includes images of human remains. This event is sponsored by the Department of Anthropology and the Disability Studies Initiative.