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Social Science People With Disabilities

Letters with Smokie

Blindness and More-than-Human Relations

by (author) Rod Michalko & Dan Goodley

University of Manitoba Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2023
People with Disabilities, General, Animal & Comparative Psychology, Letters
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2023
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2023
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2023
    List Price
    $70.00 USD

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Leave it to a dog to put the “human” back in “humanities”

In September 2020, Rod Michalko wrote to friend and colleague Dan Goodley, congratulating him on the release of his latest book, Disability and Other Human Questions. Joking that his late guide dog, Smokie, had taken offense to the suggestion that disability was purely a human question, Michalko shared a few thoughts on behalf of his dog. When Goodley wrote back—to Smokie—so began an epistolic exchange that would continue for the next seven months.

As the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the world and the realities of lockdown-imposed isolation set in, the Smokie letters provided the friends a space in which to come together in a lively exploration of human-animal relationships and

to interrogate disability as disruption, disturbance, and
art. Just as he did in life, Smokie guides. In these pages, he offers wisdom about the world, love, friendship, and even The Beatles. His canine observations of human experience provide an avenue into some of the ways blindness might be reconceptualized and “befriended.”

Uninhibited by the trappings of traditional academic inquiry, Michalko and Goodley are unleashed, free to wander, to wonder, and to provoke within the bonds of trust and respect. Funny and thoughtful, the result is a refreshing exploration and re-evaluation of learned cultural misunderstandings of disability.

About the authors

Rod Michalko is teaching Disability Studies in the Equity Studies Program of New College, U of T. He is an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Sociology and Equity Studies, OISE, and also participates in the Critical Disability Studies Program at York University. Titchkosky and Michalko have jointly authored five books and numerous articles in disability studies.

Rod Michalko's profile page

Dan Goodley is Professor of Disability Studies and Education at the University of Sheffield. Previous books include Disability and Other Human Questions (Emerald, 2020) and Disability Studies (second edition, Sage, 2016).

Dan Goodley's profile page

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