Katherine Sherwood, Vice President

Photo of Katherine SherwoodKatherine Sherwood’s acclaimed mixed-media paintings gracefully investigate the point at which the essential aspects of art, medicine, and disability intersect. In addition to showing regularly throughout the United States, she co-curated the exhibition “Blind at the Museum” at the Berkeley Art Museum, and organized an accompanying conference at UC Berkeley. Sherwood was a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship 2005-2006 and a Joan Mitchell Foundation grant 2006-2007. Katherine is a professor at UC Berkeley in the Art Department and the Disability Studies Program where she teaches Art, Medicine & Disability and Art & Meditation. She is the artist-in-residence at the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute and the co-founder of the art and disability collective- The Yelling Clinic.

Georgina Kleege, President

Photo of Georgina KleegeGeorgina Kleege joined the English department at the University of California, Berkeley in 2003 where in addition to teaching creative writing classes she teaches courses on representations of disability in literature, and disability memoir.  Her collection of personal essays, Sight Unseen (1999) is a classic in the field of disability studies.  Essays include an autobiographical account of Kleege’s own blindness, and cultural critique of depictions of blindness in literature, film, and language.  Many of these essays are required reading for students in disability studies, as well as visual culture, education, public health, psychology, philosophy and ophthalmology.  Blind Rage: Letters to Helen Keller (2006) transcends the boundaries between fiction and nonfiction to re-imagine the life and legacy of this celebrated disability icon.  Kleege’s current work is concerned with blindness and visual art: how blindness is represented in art, how blindness affects the lives of visual artists, how museums can make visual art accessible to people who are blind and visually impaired.  She has lectured and served as consultant to art institutions around the world including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Tate Modern in London.

Charlotte Smith, Treasurer

Photo of Charlotte SmithCharlotte Smith is a Lecturer in the Environmental Health Sciences Division, of the School of Public Health at the University of California Berkeley. Her primary research interests are the microbial ecology and control of waterborne pathogens, the access to safe water as a human right, and utilizing GIS to tell stories about water quality and access.  She has authored over 50 publications and presentations.  Dr. Smith holds a BS in Microbiology from the University of Michigan, an MA in Community Health from the City University of New York, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Health Sciences from the University of California – Berkeley.  Dr. Smith was a member of a committee of the National Academy of Sciences that assessed the risk of post-treatment (distribution system) water contamination.  She has several water industry awards including the 2001 Golden Spigot Award.


Karen Nakamura, Secretary

Karen Nakamura with MomoKaren Nakamura is the Haas Distinguished Chair in Disability Studies at the University of California Berkeley. Her research as a cultural and visual anthropologist is on disability, sexuality, and other minority social movements in contemporary Japan. In 2006, she published Deaf in Japan: Signing and the Politics of Identity, an ethnography of sign language and deaf social movements. Her second project on psychosocial disabilities resulted in two ethnographic films and a book titled, A Disability of the Soul: An Ethnography of Schizophrenia and Mental Illness in Contemporary Japan (2014). Her books, films, and articles have resulted in numerous prizes including the John Whitney Hall Book Prize, the SVA Short Film Award, and David Plath Media Award. She is currently working on the intersections of sexuality, disability, and eugenics.