Black disability studies expert earns visiting professorship at McGill

Two Black women sitting on a couch in conversation

York University Assistant Professor Agnès Berthelot-Raffard, Faculty of Health, has been selected as the Senior Muriel Gold Visiting Professor at McGill University’s Institute of Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies, Faculty of Arts.

Agnès Berthelot-Raffard
Agnès Berthelot-Raffard

During her research stay from March 13 to July 31, Berthelot-Raffard will work on a monograph on the interconnection between racial domination and epistemic injustices from a Black feminist perspective. As a political philosopher working in disability, Black health and ethics, Berthelot-Raffard’s book will highlight Black women’s experience in the health-care system and the barriers they face.

Berthelot-Raffard holds the first Canadian academic position in Black disability studies, and is leading research funded by the Public Health Agency to explore social determinants of racialized students’ mental health and equity at universities.

Within a social epistemology perspective and critical disability studies, Berthelot-Raffard develops philosophical arguments to conceptualize the specificity of testimonial injustices that Black women face within the medical system. She aims to shed light on how historically, by an afro-centric hermeneutic, and through activism for transformative changes, they contributed to develop new medical oppositional knowledge about their bodies to counter the effect of racial domination in the way they are treated in the health-care system, as well as the barriers to receive culturally sensitive and anti-oppressive medical treatments.

Berthelot-Raffard will deliver a keynote address for McGill’s Katherine A. Person Lecture on April 4 on the topic of “Rethinking Public Health: Merging Disability Justice with Anti-Capitalism.” The event is offered as an in-person lecture or in a virtual format, and is free to attend. Those interested in attending can register here.