Book Launch: <br> Disabled Ecologies by Sunaura Taylor

Book Launch:
Disabled Ecologies by Sunaura Taylor

May 23, 2024
5:00 - 7:00 PM

Join us for a book launch for Disabled Ecologies: Lessons from a Wounded Desert by Sunaura Taylor. The book is a powerful analysis and call to action that reveals disability as one of the defining features of environmental devastation and resistance. Following a reading from Disabled Ecologies, Taylor will be in conversation with writer and historian Dr. Lydia Otero

Deep below the ground in Tucson, Arizona, lies an aquifer forever altered by the detritus of a postwar Superfund site. Disabled Ecologies tells the story of this contamination and its ripple effects through the largely Mexican American community living above on Tucson’s southside. Drawing on her own complex relationship to this long-ago injured landscape, Sunaura Taylor takes us with her to follow the site’s disabled ecology—the networks of disability, both human and wild, that are created when ecosystems are corrupted and profoundly altered.

What Taylor finds is a story of entanglements that reach far beyond the Sonoran Desert. These stories tell of debilitating and sometimes life-ending injuries, but they also map out alternative modes of connection, solidarity, and resistance—an environmentalism of the injured. An original and deeply personal reflection on what disability means in an era of increasing multispecies disablement, Disabled Ecologies is a powerful call to reflect on the kinds of care, treatment, and assistance this age of disability requires.


About Sunaura Taylor

Sunaura Taylor is an artist and writer. She is the author of “Beasts of Burden: Animal and Disability Liberation” (The New Press, 2017), which received the 2018 American Book Award. Taylor has written for a range of popular media outlets and her artworks have been exhibited widely both nationally and internationally. She works at the intersection of disability studies, environmental justice, multispecies studies, and art practice. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at the University of California, Berkeley. Her latest book is “Disabled Ecologies: Lessons from a Wounded Desert” (University of California Press, 2024). She lives in the Bay Area with her daughter Leonora, husband David, and their two cats, Rosie and Pirate.


About Lydia Otero

Lydia R. Otero received a Ph.D. in History in 2003 and is an Emeritus Associate Professor in the Department of Mexican American Studies at the University of Arizona. Their scholarship employs space as an analytical tool to explore urban redevelopment and contested landscapes in Tucson, Arizona related to and legitimized by history and white dominance. They specialize in Public History, Latinx Urbanization and Placemaking in Latinx Communities. Otero’s essays on (Re)claiming Place and History, Heritage Conservation and Collective Memory have appeared in various book anthologies and scholarly journals. In 2011, La Calle: Spatial Conflicts and Urban Renewal in a Southwestern City (2010) won a Southwest Book Award from the Border Regional Library Association. Otero released In the Shadows of the Freeway: Growing Up Brown & Queer in 2019 which merges personal memoir and the historical archive. Otero released their second memoir, L.A. Interchanges: A Brown & Queer Memoir on July 31, 2023. More information at


Accessibility Information 

Live audio to text captioning will be available. Please contact MOCA to reserve seating most accessible to captioning. Accessible parking near a ramp is available on the south side of McCormick St., in front of MOCA’s main entrance. MOCA has an accessible restroom in the lobby and all exhibition spaces are ADA compliant. MOCA is committed to providing access to the arts for everyone; for additional information or for accessibility requests, please call MOCA’s front desk at 520.624.5019 or email


Program partners are Los Descendientes de Tucson and the Mexican American Heritage and History Museum.