For the last six years, Rayna Rapp and Faye Ginsburg have pursued a research project on cultural innovation in special education in New York City. In addition to their joint work among media, legal, and educational innovators in this growing sector, Rapp and Ginsburg conduct fieldwork in scientific laboratories on brain research about learning, memory, childhood psychiatric diagnoses, and epigenetics. Their new fieldwork concerns the rise of disability consciousness. They argue for an explicitly anthropological perspective on the growing public awareness and mediated diversity of “All Kinds of Minds” (to quote a famous and popular book on the subject) in U.S. families and communities. One of Rapp's contributions to this research involves intensive fieldwork at a pediatric neuroscience laboratory, where theories about childhood ADHD, Learning Disabilities, and other conditions are increasingly being folded into collaborations to produce “Big Data” on “Small Kids”.
Dept. of Anthropology | New York University