Affiliated Faculty

Susan CahnSusan Cahn is a Professor of History who received her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1990. She specializes in U.S. women’s history and the history of sexuality, and also teaches courses in the history of mental illness, southern history, and history of adolescence. Her interest and current research in Disability Studies concerns the history of mental illness, chronic illness, and their gendered dimensions. She has published two essays on these topics: “Of Silver and Serotonin: Thinking Through Depression, Inheritance, and Illness Narratives,” (Review Essay) American Quarterly 59 (December 2007): 1225-1236; and “Come Out, Come Out, Whatever You’ve Got, or Still Crazy After All Those Years,” Feminist Studies 29 (Spring 2003): 1-12. Her major publications in women’s history include three books: Sexual Reckonings: Southern Girls in a Troubling Age (Harvard University Press, 2007); Women and Sports in the United States: A Documentary Reader, co-edited with Jean O’Reilly (Boston: Northeastern University Press / Univ. Press of New England, 2007); Coming on Strong: Gender and Sexuality in Twentieth-Century Women's Sport (NY: Free Press, 1994; Harvard University Press, 1995).

Dr. Lee DrydenDr. Lee Dryden is Director of the UB Social Science Interdisciplinary Degree Programs. The largest SSI concentration, Health and Human Services (500 students) develops social science based perspectives on the professions, agencies and recipients of services in the community health and human services system. This includes instruction and internship placements related directly or indirectly to all disabilities. People Inc. and Social Science Interdisciplinary have more than 25 years of cooperation over inclusion of instruction about disabilities in the HHS curriculum. Dr. Dryden teaches "Social and Ethical Values in Medicine" in this curriculum and is interested in the ways that attitudes toward normality and disability affect the treatment of persons in the health care system, especially in the area of reproductive screening and non-treatment decisions about disabled infants.

David HerzbergProf. Herzberg is a U.S. cultural historian specializing in the history of medicine, with a particular interest in how encounters with health and illness have been transformed in the 20th century's consumer culture. His work explores these issues in the context of modern prescription pharmaceuticals, especially sedatives, stimulants, and painkillers. Among other places, this work has appeared in American Quarterly, American Journal of Public Health, Points: The Blog of the Alcohol and Drug History Society, and in a book, Happy Pills in America: From Miltown to Prozac (Johns Hopkins, 2009). He is currently working on a history of prescription drug abuse in the 20th century.

Fred KlaitsProf. Klaits' animating questions center on why, how, and with what consequences people come to feel that their well-being is or is not bound up with that of others. His research investigates these issues in medical, religious, and political dimensions. He has conducted long-term fieldwork in Botswana, exploring the ways in which members of an Apostolic healing church have made efforts to sustain relationships of care and love in the context of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. He is pursuing two projects in Buffalo, New York. The first project explores how Pentecostal believers understand the nature of the self, and of divine and human others, in relation to substance abuse. A second project investigates how experiences of disability transform relationships of respect and care among the urban poor.

Mike RembisMichael Rembis is the Director of the Center for Disability Studies and an Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University at Buffalo (SUNY). Rembis has authored or edited more than 60 books, articles, and book chapters. His recent work includes: Defining Deviance: Sex, Science, and Delinquent Girls, 1890-1960 (University of Illinois Press, 2011 & 2013); Disability Histories co-edited with Susan Burch (University of Illinois Press, 2014); [The Oxford] Handbook of Disability History co-edited with Kim Nielsen and Catherine Kudlick (Oxford University Press, forthcoming); and Disabling Domesticity, forthcoming from Palgrave McMillan. In 2012, Rembis and co-editor Kim Nielsen launched the Disability Histories book series with University of Illinois Press. His research interests include the history of institutionalization, mad people's history, and the history of eugenics. He is currently working on a book entitled, 'A Secret Worth Knowing': Living Mad Lives in the Shadow of the Asylum.

Penny RichardsPenny L. Richards PhD is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of History. She received her PhD in Education (Social Foundations) from the University of North Carolina in 1996. Her postdoctoral project at UC-Santa Barbara was her first in disability history, but continued her interest in nineteenth-century American family lives; it culminated in the recent chapter "Thomas Cameron's 'Pure and Guileless Life', 1806-1870: Affection and Developmental Disability in a North Carolina Family," in Burch and Rembis, eds., Disability Histories (University of Illinois Press 2014). Richards served five years as president of the Disability History Association and continues as editor of the DHA newsletter, and as co-editor of H-Disability. She also blogs, edits wikipedia entries, and makes wheelchair-activated costumes.

Korydon SmithKorydon Smith is Associate Professor in the School of Architecture + Planning at the University at Buffalo, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate architecture courses, and conducts research with the internationally-renowned Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access. Dr. Smith's research investigates the relationship between design and social justice. Smith is the lead author of Just Below the Line: Disability, Housing, and Equity in the South (University of Arkansas Press, 2010), co-editor of the Universal Design Handbook, 2nd Ed. (McGraw-Hill, 2010), and editor of Introducing Architectural Theory: Debating a Discipline (Routledge, 2012). Smith holds an Ed.D. in higher education leadership from the University of Arkansas and a professional M.Arch. with a concentration in architectural theory and design from the University at Buffalo.

Edward SteinfeldEdward Steinfeld, Arch.D., is a registered architect and gerontologist with special interests in universal design, accessibility and design for the lifespan. He is a Professor of Architecture and Director of the Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDEA Center). Dr. Steinfeld is Co-Director of two federally funded Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center grants on Universal Design and the Built Environment and Accessible Public Transportation. He is one of the authors of the Principles of Universal Design and has an extensive record of research, design, education and publishing. His most recent publication is Inclusive Housing: A Pattern Book, published by W.W. Norton in Spring of 2010.

John StoneJohn Stone has been at the University of Buffalo since 1991. Prior to that he held faculty positions in Brazil for 17 years. At the University at Buffalo, he initially worked in the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Aging and in the Center for Assistive Technology. Since 1999, he has directed the federally funded Center for Rehabilitation Research Information and Exchange (CIRRIE). Dr. Stone is interested in international rehabilitation and the relationship between culture and disability. He is also interested in the process of dissemination and utilization of information, as well as the translation of information from research to practice.

Joseph ValenteJoseph Valente is the Professor and Director of Graduate Admissions and Graduate Placement at the University at Buffalo. Prior to coming to UB, Professor Valente worked at the University of Illinois. His interests include Modernism, Irish Studies, Literacy and Cultural Theory, and Autism Studies. He has received the title James Joyce Scholar due to his dedication and work in the field of literature. Professor Valente has written 3 books and published numerous articles. He is widely admired by many of his students at the University at Buffalo.

Cynthia WuCynthia Wu is Associate Professor of American studies in the Department of Transnational Studies. She specializes in Asian American and critical ethnic studies, disability studies, and gender and sexuality studies. She is the author of Chang and Eng Reconnected: The Original Siamese Twins in American Culture (Temple, 2012). Her articles and reviews have appeared in American Literature, Disability Studies Quarterly, Journal of Asian American Studies, MELUS, Signs, and other journals. She is currently at work on two projects - one on the U.S. military in the Asian American imagination and the other on intraracial same-sex desire in Asian American literature. Projected future research includes the conceptualizing of trans* identities in relation to race and the disability politics of public history at the Angel Island Immigration Station and Japanese American internment camps.

Hershini Bhana YoungHershini Bhana Young is an Associate Professor in English. Her academic specialities include Gender and Sexuality in the African Diaspora and Black Performance Studies. She has an article forthcoming in African American Review's Special Issue on Performance entitled "'Sound of Kuduro Knocking at my Door': Kuduro Dance and the Poetics of Debility" where she examines the dance practices of landmine victims in Angola. Her current book project "Coercive Performances: Spectacular Blackness and the Politics of Will" deals with the illegibility of Southern African women's will in imperial archives and performances. Several chapters focus on historical genealogies of racialized disability, showing performances of disability to be central to concepts of race.