Tyler Jared Zoanni

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

New York U.

Grant number

Gr. 9286

Approve Date

April 18, 2016

Project Title

Zoanni, Tyler J., New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'In the Image of God?: Christianity and Disability in Uganda,' supervised by Dr. Faye Ginsburg

Preliminary abstract: What does it mean to say that people with disabilities are created in the ‘image of God’? This is a central assertion of Christian disability-focused initiatives in Uganda, where more than 20 percent of the population is disabled in a context marked by scarce state resources, widespread poverty, and intense disability stigma. Disability has become a meaningful category of human difference in Uganda via the circulation of secular Euro-American law, policy, biomedicine, and activism. Yet paradoxically it is Christian groups rather than the state or secular non-governmental organizations that are most active around disability issues today. Christian groups are now central to the provision of care, advocacy, and material assistance for Ugandans with disabilities. In varying and contested ways, partnerships involving Ugandan and European Catholics, Ugandan Pentecostals, and American and European evangelicals contend that disability is divinely ordained and that people with disabilities should be embraced as such. I will undertake 12 months of ethnographic fieldwork in order understand how these Christian disability ministries foster emergent understandings of disability and disabled personhood and new forms of disability politics in Uganda.