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Sami Schalk: 504 & Beyond: Disability Politics and the Black Panther Party


February 23, 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Location: 132 Performing Arts and Humanities Building

A Black women with short curly hair is smiling at the camera. She is wearing glasses with black frames and red liptstick.

The Humanities Forum presents Sami Schalk, associate professor of gender and women’s studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who will speak on 504 & Beyond: Disability Politics and the Black Panther Party.

Drawing from the book Black Disability Politics, this talk will detail the Black Panther Party’s involvement in the 1977 504 Sit-in, in which protesters around the country picketed and occupied government offices to urge passage of delayed regulations related to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Schalk will discuss the sit-in as an historical example of how Black cultural workers have engaged with disability as a political issue in ways that have sometimes been obscured in Black studies and disability studies alike.

Sami Schalk (she/her) is the author of Bodyminds Reimagined: (Dis)ability, Race and Gender in Black Women’s Speculative Fiction (Duke, 2018) and Black Disability Politics (Duke, 2022). Her academic work focuses on race, disability, and gender in contemporary American literature and culture. She also writes for mainstream outlets, including a monthly column called “Pleasure Practices” in TONE Madison. Schalk identifies as a fat, Black, queer, disabled femme and a pleasure activist.

Admission is free.

ASL interpretation will be provided. Masks are strongly encouraged.

UMBC is committed to creating an accessible and inclusive environment for all students, staff, and visitors. If you would like to request a disability-based accommodation on site or have questions about this event or its location, please contact us at dreshercenter@umbc.edu.

This lecture is organized by the Dresher Center for the Humanities.

Co-sponsored by the Initiatives for Identity, Inclusion, and Belonging, and the Office of Accessibility and Disability Services.

Photo by Paulius Musteikis.



February 23
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
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