Pac Rim 2023

Pre-Conference Events

dsi banner

Conversations on Disability Studies

Saturday, March 4, 2023
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM (HST)

Online via Zoom


What is disability? This is the question at the heart of Disability Studies, one of the newest disciplines in the academy.   As we work towards creating equitable and inclusive spaces, Disability Studies invites us to question our most basic assumptions about disability and to consider the host of factors (including cultural, environmental, and historical) that impact the experience of being disabled. 

We are delighted to celebrate the contributions of this discipline and invite you to join our Pre-Conference Disability Studies Celebration Day on March 4th, 2023. Come help kick off the 38th Annual Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity with this exciting exploration together!

DSI DS Across the Curriculum Roundtable

How can disability studies enliven and invigorate other disciplines? What are practical ways higher education instructors can bring the concerns of this vibrant set of ideas into their classrooms? And how can doing so best prepare our students to be informed and aware allies and leaders? Join what proves to be a lively discussion about some of the ways various educators have incorporated the concerns of disability studies into their courses. This conversation with an array of instructors from various fields will share some of their experience as well as practical tips for those interested in bringing disability studies into their curriculum.

DSI Student Panel

How are current students and the next generation of disability scholars bringing disability studies into their learning experiences? Come hear some of the cutting edge research and activity done by some up and coming scholars. Current students in a wide range of disciplines, all intersecting with disability studies, will share some of their current research directions and processes and hopes for the discipline. 

Disability Studies DIrectors’ Summit - the State of Disability Studies Today

In the first event of its kind, this forum gathers together directors from disability studies programs from around the United States. The gathering of leaders promises to provide insight into the current state of the discipline of disability studies today. What are programs’ priorities? How are connections made with community? What’s working? What isn’t? What lies ahead? Join us for this fascinating dialogue about disability studies today.

Matthew Wangeman’s Conversation on Disability Studies

For the last 8 years Professor Matthew Wangeman has been hosting lively conversations about disability as a way to engage people to discuss disability in an open format. His dialogues invite some of the top voices in disability studies to come together to discuss disability and make new discoveries together. “The Beauty of the format is we never know where the conversation will go and when you have interesting people involved it tends to make people think differently about disability.” The talk promises to not be merely about talking about disability as a subject to be studied and researched; Wangemen is interested in changing how people think about disability in all of our lives. You are invited to join this provocative Zoom conversation about disability in ‘a front row seat’ and lend your voice.

About DSI - The Disability Studies Initiative

A joint initiative between the Hawai’i State Council on Developmental Disabilities, Center on Disability Studies, and the College of Social Sciences, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Disability Studies Initiative (DSI) seeks to increase awareness and cultivate excitement and conversation around disability across the arts and sciences,  throughout the University of Hawai’i system, from students to faculty, staff, and administration. Furthermore, we believe this work is critical to the communities UH serves, the development of such programing and expansion of awareness improves the state of Hawai’i.