CULTURAL STUDIES AND COMPARATIVE LITERATURE FACULTY
- Disability experience on individual, organizational and community levels, focusing
on socio-environmental barriers, empowerment/capacity-building, and health promotion.
- Disability studies, autism studies, assistive technology, foundations of OT, qualitative
research design, human subjects research ethics.
Dr. Block is Professor and Director of the Concentration in Disability Studies for
the Ph.D. Program in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Interim Chair of the Cultural Studies and Comparative Studies Department, as well
as Hispanic Languages and Literatures and European Languages Literatures and Cultures,
and Director of the Graduate Certificate in Disability Studies. She was a former President of the Society for Disability Studies (2009-2010), and a Fellow
of the Society for Applied Anthropology. She is also affiliated with the Stony Brook
University Departments of Occupational Therapy, Cultural Analysis and Theory, Women’s
Gender and Sexuality Studies, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
and the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics.
Dr. Block received her PhD in Cultural Anthropology from Duke University in 1997.
Her dissertation was entitled "Biology, Culture and Cognitive Disability: Twentieth
Century Professional Discourse in Brazil and the United States." She researches disability
experience on individual, organizational and community levels, focusing on socio-environmental
barriers, empowerment/capacity-building, and health promotion. Her qualitative research
combines historical analyses with community-based ethnographic and participatory approaches.
Dr. Block continues to study multiple marginalization and the intersections of gender,
race, poverty, and disability in Brazil and the United States. She has taught in the
areas of disability studies, autism studies, assistive technology, foundations of
OT, qualitative research design, human subjects research ethics, and grant writing.
Most recently, Dr. Block has been involved in supporting disability social entrepreneurship
through organizations such as EmpowerSCI – a nonprofit providing independent living
skills and secondary rehabilitation to individuals with recent spinal cord injury,
and VENTure – a policy and technology think tank on issues of concern to people who
use ventilators. Dr. Block organized the NIH-funded strand of the Society for Disability
Studies 2013 and 2014 meetings entitled "Translational Research in Disability Studies
and the Health Sciences," and received NIH Funding for the 2015 "Converging Sciences
Summit: Community Engagement and Population Health" at Stony Brook University.
Links to more of her work: