As an analytic and an object of study, disability provides a powerful lens to refocus and potentially transform thinking about new and enduring concerns shaping contemporary anthropology. At its most basic, the recognition of disability as a universal social fact helps us to understand the cultural specificities of personhood and to reconsider the unstable boundaries of the category of the human. This special issue of Current Anthropology is based on a 2018 Wenner-Gren international symposium on disability addressing this underrepresented area of research. The articles published here demonstrate the transformative value of critical anthropological studies of disability for many of our discipline’s key questions regarding kinship, biopolitics, the life course, in-equality/racism, war and violence, technology and materiality, and the importance of disability to decolonizing perspectives in anthropology.
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