Disability and Knowledge Workshop


Location: Rome Global Gateway

The Disability and Knowledge research project explores expansively the nature of knowledge from the perspective of disability studies and disability experiences, with an ultimate goal to develop new epistemic and narrative resources for shared understanding, encounter, and belonging, and towards a better, more inclusive future. The March, 2023 Rome workshop will bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars and practitioners with the aim of 1) developing the project’s conceptual framework; 2) raising a series of questions which the framework poses; and 3) creating an interactive space for disability experiences to be heard and reflected upon.

In order to focus the research conversation, the workshop committee proposes organizing reflection on disability and knowledge around the concept of “relationality.” The panels on the first day of the conference will feature a practice-based look at relationality through conservation with people who live and work in disability communities. The first panel, a round table discussion, invites reflection on the theme from participants whose work bridges the worlds of disability communities and University settings. The second panel presents a documentary film about a public bicycling project undertaken by a group of friends with and without disabilities. The panels on the second day ask how a relational approach, with disability at its center, might change the way we think about and within three specific fields, namely, philosophy, politics and theology, as well as the kinds of knowledge, public policies and recommendations produced within them. A final panel will seek to bring the research project forward and set its research and publication agenda.

Presented by the Rome Global Gateway, Notre Dame's Nanovic Institute for European Studies, l'Arche Community, and the Von Hügel Institute for Critical Catholic Inquiry, University of Cambridge.


March 20

16:00-17:30 Introduction to the Conference and Panel 1

Introduction: Disability and Knowledge

Clemens Sedmak (Notre Dame Nanovic Institute), Vittorio Montemaggi (Cambridge University), Silvia Dall’Olio (Notre Dame Rome Global Gateway)

Panel 1: Building Bridges of Knowledge: Disability and the University

Christina Anglès d'Auriac (Emmaus House, Ukrainian Catholic University), Carole Irwin (Lyn’s House, Cambridge University), Giancarlo Cursi (L’Arche Rome) 


18:00-19:30 Panel 2 

Panel 2: Da Bologna a Roma in Tandem (From Bologna to Rome on a Tandem Bicycle)

Documentary Showing and Presentation

Film Showing and Public Conversation with participants in the Bologna-Rome tandem bicycle project


All are welcome to a reception following the film presentation  

March 21 (Closed Door Sessions)


Panel 3: Disability and Knowledge: Towards a Model of Relationality

Knowledge as encounter and relational experience

Lidia Ripamonti (Cambridge), Clemens Sedmak (University of Notre Dame)

Panel 4: Disability and Social Inclusion

Relationality and Public Policies: Learning from disability experiences about inclusive citizenship and diversity

Michael Driessen (John Cabot University), Caterina Milo (Cambridge), Cenap Aydin (Istituto Tevere)

Panel 5: Disability and Theology

Doing theology as encounter: lessons from theologies of disability

Carole Irwin (Cambridge), David Ford (Cambridge), Luca Badetti (Loyola University-Rome)

Panel 6: Taking it Forward

Clemens Sedmak (University of Notre Dame) and Vittorio Montemaggi (Cambridge)


Register here to participate

Originally published at rome.nd.edu.