Thesis Proposal: Part V – Meeting Notes & Abstract 3

I just realized that I forgot to mention one of the biggest rules that my advisor gave me for the abstracts: they had to be under 250 words.  I was to treat them like I would a conference proposal.  That is terminology and logic I could understand, so I tried that.  The word limit made it really difficult.  However, I gave it a catchy name: the proposal proposal, or the PP and that is what I called it in our meetings.

I felt like I was stuck, so I went back to talking with him.  And an interesting thing came up: Bruno Latour’s Black Box.  I talked about it in a previous post, but it became a very important piece in the overall thing (that has since been downplayed a tad in my final proposal, but will be an important piece in the final thesis.).

So, here are some of my notes from several meetings


  • blackbox – machine that is too complex to understand (Bruno Latour)
    • we don’t look into the blackbox
    • single window
  • Only their input and output matters
    • stuff that happens the in between doesn’t matter
  • blackbox and autism Speaks
    • Don’t question autism research because it would undermine their goals
  • bauer
  • Blackbox
    • output is theory of mind
    • blackbox’s single window is ableism
    • input – way of being
    • Input – theory of mind
    • blackbox – science
    • output – Autism Speaks
  • warrant as exigency
    • new observation looked at from cultural lens
    • something radical to our culture
  • Input – different way of being
    • blackbox – ableism
    • output – Other
  • Input – Other
    • blackbox – Social Sciences
    • Output – Theory of Mind
  • Input – Theory of Mind
    • Blackbox – ableistic Sciences
    • Output – Autism
  • Input – Autism
    • Blackbox – Ableistic Science
    • Output – Autism Speaks
  • Input – Autism Speaks
    • Blackbox – “Autism Speaks”
    • Output – Advocating for Autistics
  • warrant
    • assumptions
  • deductive
    • general to specific
  • inductive
    • specific to general
  • autism is the terministic screen masking Other
    • theory of mind is the scientific term for Other

What we did

  • AS – initial impressions
  • rhetoric
  • different way of being
    • Yergeau
  • influence of ToM on AS
  • discourse – conclusion
  • counterexample

Ideas for how to write up

  • AS looks like
  • chink in armor
  • closer look
  • popular discourse
  • incidents

shitty attempt at a write-up

  • something that happened
    • On February 25, 2013, a group of autistics came together to blog online as a protest of Google’s autofill search results “autistic people should…be killed; die; and be exterminated.”  A few days after the event, Google changed the search.  Autism Speaks, the self-described  “world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization” posted praised Google for changing the autofill, but left out the autistic activists.
  • chink in AS armor
    • If AS claims to be advocating for autistic people, then why did they erase those autistic activists who participated in the protest?
  • heeding popular discourse call
    • Heilker and Yergeau put forth a call in their article “Autism as Rhetoric” that says “all public discourse surrounding autism is demanding to be rhetorically analyzed,” and what public discourse is more public than Autism Speaks?
  • looking at discourse and science – advocacy is built
  • a closer look at advocacy that there are blackboxes/warrants that restrict/reduce conclusions made about circumstances that they don’t like or understand or appreciate or tolerate.  This is how it is pathologized
  • a different way of being in the world is reduced to lack of humanity
  • how can one advocate for a group of people are aren’t human?
  • ASAN
  • reclaiming a different way of being in the world

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