Tyler Jared Zoanni
Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationNew York U.
Grant numberGr. 9286
Approve DateApril 18, 2016
Project TitleZoanni, 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
TYLER J. ZOANNI, then a graduate student at New York University, New York, New York, received a grant in April 2016 to aid research on “In the Image of God?: Christianity and Disability in Uganda,” supervised by Dr. Faye Ginsburg. Based on nearly two years of ethnographic and archival research, this dissertation examines Christian engagements with disability in Uganda. Uganda has high rates of disability due to five decades of political violence, limited medical care, and poverty. In this context, a range of Ugandan Catholic and Protestant groups have become the major providers of disability care and support. Across their differences these groups share the notion that people with disabilities are created in the “Image of God.” The dissertation explores the varying non-secular, non-liberal engagements with disability that arise among Ugandan Christians in light of the notion of the “Image of God.” It answers why Christian disability efforts have become prominent while secular, liberal efforts have not, and it tracks the forms of sociality, politics, and ritual that arise around non-normative minds and bodies in Ugandan Christian settings. In so doing, the dissertation advances the emergent anthropology of disability and the interdisciplinary field of Disability Studies, both of which tend to focus on secular, Euro-American cultures, histories, and literatures.