The EUI attracts many scholars from different disciplines and countries, but not only from the European Union. Nancy Hirschmann, a professor of political science and recent director of the Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania in the United States, spent the spring semester as a Fernand Braudel Senior Fellow at the EUI, in the Department of Political and Social Sciences, working on her book Freedom, Power, and Disability.
The author of several books on freedom from the perspective of gender, Hirschmann also holds fellowships this year from the American Council of Learned Societies and the National Humanities Center. Her new volume considers the concept of freedom from the perspective of disability, examining the use of disability imagery in the history of political theory and contemporary theories of freedom. She considers how disability informs the way that we define what is and is not a “barrier” to doing what we want, how desire and will operate in the mind and body, and the power relations that determine the kinds of “rights” we have and the choices that we can make.
“The EUI is an inspiring place to write,” Hirschmann noted. “The atmosphere is extremely scholarly, the area is lovely, and the campus overlooks Tuscany and the city of Florence. It’s really a wonderful place to spend my sabbatical, with a fantastic library, resources, events, and people.”