My name is Laurence Parent and I am a PhD student in Humanities at Concordia University in Montréal. I have an MA in Critical Disability Studies from York University and a BA in Political Science from Université du Québec à Montréal. I am a disability activist who is passionate about mobility, storytelling and disability history. My practice as a researcher and an activist intersects during most of my waking hours.
My doctoral research project examines disabled people's sense of belonging in Montréal and in New York City, as well as in the communities they identify or would like to identify with, considering that this is not fixed but rather constantly changing. I am particularly interested in the use of mobile media technologies enabling the creation of new methods for the critical study of ableism. Spinney (2011) studies cycling practices and explains that traditional methods of inquiry such as surveys are “too distant from the embodied practice of cycling, relying at best on verbalised accounts of practice divorced from the context of doing that is so fundamental to the creation of meaning in mobile practices.” He uses mobile video as a "tool to access themore fluid and fleeting aspects of urban cycling as a mobile practice." I claim that “wheeling” – the act of getting around using a wheelchair – is also a mobile practice.
About this blog:
In October and November 2014, I will be blogging from New York City, where I will be conducting interviews with disabled New Yorkers and learning about what it means to wheel New York City.
Follow me on my blog Wheeling New York City!