New essay published: What Future People Will There Be?

I wrote a brief reflection on the subversive imaginations of N. K. Jemisin and Nnedi Okorafor, linking their protagonists to neurodiversity. The essay is one of several introducing the new issue of the Museum of Science Fiction’s Journal of Science Fiction, now live, with the special theme of disability studies! Sami Schalk and Michael Bérubé also contributed reflections.

Great job to Aisha Matthews, who put together a great issue!

Citation information:

Hall, Melinda. 2019. “What Future People Will There Be? Neurodiverse Heroes for a Changing Planet.” MOSF Journal of Science Fiction 3 (2): 15-17.

CFP: philoSOPHIA 2020

CFP: philoSOPHIA 14th Annual Conference, May 14-17, 2020

Hosted by Kelly Oliver at Vanderbilt University

The 14th annual meeting of philoSOPHIA will run from the evening of Thursday, May 14, to Sunday, May 17, 2020, at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN.

Plenary speakers are Kathryn Sophia Belle (Penn State), Lisa Guenther (Queens University), and Tracy Sharpley Whiting (Vanderbilt).

Plenary Panel, “New Perspectives on Disability”, featuring Kim Q. Hall, Melinda C. Hall, Joel Michael Reynolds, and Shelley Lynn Tremain.

The conference will have two workshop streams: “Rethinking Prisons” and “Rethinking Disability”

Submit abstracts (500-700 words) or panel proposals (panel abstract, 500 words, plus panelists’ abstracts, 500-700 words each) on any topic related to Continental Feminism—very broadly construed—for the general program. Indicate on your abstract if you are applying to participate in a workshop.

Send abstracts to:

Deadline: December 15th, 2019

In the News, May and June

I was interviewed for news stories and opinion pieces on working motherhood, prison education, women among freshmen lawmakers, and new abortion laws in May and June. Stories at the links.

Shannon Green, Orlando Sentinel, June 6: Abortion bans aren’t just a war on women, they’re a war among women

Talk Media News, May 22: Female Congressional Staffers getting more leadership roles with freshmen lawmakers

Eileen Zaffiro-Kean, Daytona Beach News Journal, May 11:  ‘You make it work’: Volusia working moms juggle dual roles

T. S. Jarmusz, Daytona Beach News Journal, May 8: Stetson professors venture to prison to education inmates



New chapter published: “Second Thoughts on Enhancement and Disability” (Oxford Handbooks)

My chapter on enhancement and disability for the Oxford Handbook on Philosophy and Disability is now published and available online. Check it out!

Here’s the information:
“Second Thoughts on Enhancement and Disability,” Melinda C. Hall

The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Disability, edited by David T. Wasserman and Adam Cureton

Abstract and Keywords

Transhumanist arguments in support of radical human enhancement are inimical to disability justice projects. Transhumanist thinkers, the strongest promoters of human enhancement, and fellow travelers who claim enhancement is a moral obligation, make arguments that rely on the denigration of disabled embodiment and lives. These arguments link disability with risk. The promotion of human enhancement is therefore open to significant disability critique despite transhumanism’s claims to allyship with disability justice activism. This chapter lays out such a disability critique of enhancement and further supports its claims by describing bioethics, and therefore transhumanism, as biopolitical in the sense Michel Foucault uses the term. Finally, this chapter develops an alternative vision of enhancement. This alternative vision poses a disability-inclusive future, accepts the risks of embodiment, and lays groundwork for a counterdiscourse of enhancement.

Keywords: enhancement, transhumanism, biopolitics, disability justice, the future, risk