Sam de Schutter
In the second half of the 20th century, disability became a ‘global’ concern, driven by the attention it received from international organizations. This also created an interest for disability within development practices. In my research, I will study how this transnational attention translated into programs and interventions by the UN specialized agencies (WHO, ILO, UNESCO) aimed at the so-called ‘developing countries’. This means analyzing both a global flow of ideas, methods and experts on disability and development, as well as the localized interventions by these UN agencies in Africa. In order to do this, I have selected two case studies: Tanzania and Kenya. My research is part of the ERC project “Rethinking Disability: The Global Impact of the International Year of Disabled Persons (1981) in Historical Perspective".
I studied history (BA and MA) at Ghent University, Belgium, where I graduated with a thesis on Congolese study migration to Belgium since independence. I also obtained an MA in social and cultural anthropology at Leuven University, Belgium, with a thesis on migration imaginaries in the city of Kinshasa, Congo. Before starting my PhD at Leiden University, I was a teaching assistant in the history department at Leuven University. My fields of interest are African (postcolonial) history, the history of development, disability history, and historical anthropology.