CFP: Abnormality and the Abnormal in the Nineteenth Century, Durham

Date: 7th May 2015

Location: Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies, Durham University, UK (in association with Newcastle University and Northumbria University, supported by British Society for Literature and Science)

Contact: cncs@durham.ac.uk

Keynote address: Professor Martin Willis, Chair of Science, Literature and Communication, University of Westminster

‘Neither moral philosophy nor poetry condescends to the monstrous or the abnormal,’ Thomas De Quincey, 1848.

The words ‘abnormal’ and ‘abnormality’ first emerged in the nineteenth century; contemporary usage reflects their pejorative connotations.

The first recorded use, in 1817, contrasts ‘abnormal’ with ‘healthy,’ suggesting that ‘abnormality’ was initially a medical term. In medical discourse it became an ostensibly objective descriptor – in 1847 The Lancet defined abnormality as ‘something that is abnormal; an instance of irregularity.’ However, the term eventually came to mean an aberration from any kind of ‘normal’ concept, behaviour, expectation, or way of being: indeed, the construction of ‘normal,’ and the values associated with normality, is itself implicated in nineteenth century constructions of the abnormal.

This one-day interdisciplinary conference aims to explore categorisations, explanations, and implications of abnormality in the long nineteenth century, asking what the abnormal can tell us about long nineteenth century constructions of aberration, deviancy, and normality.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Measuring and/or quantifying (ab)normality
  • Abnormality as/and spectacle
  • Decadence, deviance and abnormal tastes
  • Degeneration of behaviour and race
  • Imperialistic perceptions of the ‘other’
  • Locating & segregating the abnormal

We invite proposals for 20-minute individual papers, or for 1 hour three-paper themed panels, from postgraduates of all disciplines and stages. Please send abstracts (individual papers 300 words / panels 500 words) including the title, all names, affiliations and a contact email address, as a Word or .pdf document, to the conference organisers at cncs@durham.ac.uk with the subject heading ‘CNCS PG Conference: Abnormality’.

The deadline for submission is 16th January 2015.

This conference is organised by the Postgraduate Representatives for the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies at Durham University. For more information about CNCS, please visit our website or follow us on Twitter (@durhamcncs).

CFP: Rethinking Disability on Screen Symposium, York

Date: Thursday 14th May 2015

Location: Humanities Research Centre, University of York

Website: rethinkingdisabilityonscreen.com

Twitter: @rdos2015

Deadline for abstracts: 16th January 2015

Keynote speakers: Stuart Murray, Professor of Contemporary Literatures and Film and Director of the Leeds Centre for Medical Humanities and Justin Edgar, Filmmaker and Founder and Creative Director of 104 Films (www.104films.com)

Cinema’s visual interest in disability registered almost from the moment of its invention. The historical tendencies of fiction film to show disabled subjects as objects of pity or comedy, as ‘monstrous’, as ‘resentful’ or as segregated from mainstream society have been critically documented from the 1980s onwards, but more recently, a number of international films featuring disability – Les IntouchablesAmourRust and BoneThe Sessions – have enjoyed both critical and commercial success.

Alongside TV coverage of the London-hosted 2012 Paralympics on Channel 4, UK terrestrial programming has addressed disability across a range of genres, from drama (Best of Men, BBC2) through comedy-sitcom (Derek, Channel 4) and social documentary (The UndateablesBodyshock, Channel 4), to mixed receptions. Such developments call for a re-examination of representations of disability on screen and their contribution to ongoing cultural, social, economic and political debates surrounding disability. This one-day interdisciplinary symposium at the University of York aims to unite postgraduates, early career researchers, established scholars and industry practitioners working across a range of fields and disciplines – including film studies, history, literature, cultural studies, gender studies, sociology and health sciences – to explore the ways in which cinema and television have reflected, and shaped, subjective and objective experiences of impairment and disability throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

We invite contributions in the form of 20-minute papers on a range of topics and genres, encompassing both fiction and non-fiction materials, as well as analyses of disability in production and reception contexts. The event will be underpinned by a number of key critical questions:

  • How visible is disability throughout the history of cinema and television? In what screen contexts is disability present? When has it been occluded, marginalised or suppressed?
  • What specific forms of disability has cinema embraced? Which has it neglected or rejected?
  • To what extent have cinema and television engaged with the emotional, physical and social implications of impairment and disability?
  • What forms of spectatorship do screen representations of disability construct/ presume?
  • How have representations of disability on screen changed over time? How much progress has been made, and what further directions should this take?

Our aims are to facilitate constructive, interdisciplinary conversations on existing scholarship, to discuss new avenues of enquiry and to promote interest and growth in this important but relatively under-studied area.

Presentation topics could include, but are not restricted to:

  • disability, sexuality and romance
  • disability and exceptionality
  • isolation and integration
  • dependence, independence, interdependence
  • disability and genre (comedy, satire, romance, melodrama, thriller, documentary  soap, reality, children’s film and TV, animation, science-fiction, period drama, medical film)
  • disability and film-making (able-bodied and disabled actors, directors and producers, disability activism in the entertainment industry)
  • commercials, advertising and promotional material
  • spectatorship and reception
  • discursive exchanges between the fields of disability studies and film studies, past, present and future.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be emailed to rethinkingdisabilityonscreen@gmail.com by Friday 16th January, together with a brief biographical note (100-150 words).

A number of travel bursaries, primarily for postgraduate students and ECRs from the White Rose Consortium and the Northern Network for Medical Humanities (nnmh.org.uk), may be available. Details of how to apply will be announced in due course.

 

CFP: ‘Fictions of Corporeal Diversity: A Symposium on Literary Disability Studies’, Lancaster

Charles Carter Building, Lancaster University

Thursday 4th June 2015

Keynote Speaker: David Bolt (Liverpool Hope University)

In ‘Literary Disability Studies: The Long Awaited Response’ (2007), David Bolt illustrated the absence of critical work on disability in literary studies. The subsequent establishment of The Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies, in addition to the continuing expansion of the University of Michigan Press’s landmark Corporealities series, and Palgrave Macmillan’s introduction of a new Literary Disability Studies series, all contribute to the promotion of an informed engagement with the presence of various configurations of disability in literary texts. Despite the emergence of Literary Disability Studies as a recognised field of scholastic enquiry, however, the representation of mental and physical difference remains a largely neglected aspect of literary scholarship. This one day symposium will seek to continue the consolidation of the presence of Literary Disability Studies by exploring a spectrum of literary representations of disability. It will recognise disability’s conventional cultural construction as corporeal and psychological manifestations of deficiency or deviance, while simultaneously acknowledging the presence of figures of literary disability which present disabled people as valuable emblems of diversity and difference. Issues that papers might consider could include, (but are not limited to) literary representations of:

  • Amputation
  • Blindness
  • Cognitive Impairments
  • Deafness
  • Disabilities as Exceptionalities
  • (Dis)Empowerments of the Disabled Body
  • Extraordinary/Spectacular Bodies
  • Gothic/Monstrous Disabled Bodies
  • (Im)Mobility
  • Intellectual Disability
  • The Medicalisation of Disability
  • Phantom Limbs
  • Physical Difference
  • Prostheses
  • Stigmatised Bodies

Abstracts of approximately 300 words, complete with a 50 word biography, should be submitted to Dr Alan Gregory at a.gregory5@lancaster.ac.uk by Friday 16th January 2015.

 

Free exhibition: ‘How We Read: A Sensory History of Books for Blind People’, London

Date: 17th-23rd November 2014

Location: Peltz Gallery, School of Arts, Birkbeck, London WC1H 0PD

We’re delighted to invite you to our upcoming exhibition, “How We Read: A Sensory History of Books for Blind People”.

This will be a free exhibition exploring the history of assistive technologies that have been designed to help blind peopleread. From raised print to talking books and optophones, a fascinating array of historic artefacts will be on display from museums and other centres dedicated to preserving the heritage of blindness. There will also be a series of hands-on activities, interactive workshops, and live performances allowing visitors to try out for themselves alternative ways of reading.

The exhibition runs from 17th-23rd November 2014, with a special reception and other events planned for Saturday 22nd November. Full details can be found on the website. The exhibition is part of the Being Human Festival, the UK’s first national festival of the humanities.

Please contact Heather Tilley (Birkbeck, University of London) and Matt Rubery (Queen Mary, University of London) for more information: h.tilley@bbk.ac.ukm.rubery@qmul.ac.ukh.

CFP: Postgraduate Medical Humanities Conference, University of Exeter

Postgraduate Medical Humanities Conference

University of Exeter, 20th-21st July 2015

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

  • Professor Stuart Murray, University of Leeds
  • Dr Roberta Bivins, University of Warwick

Building on the success of last year’s Postgraduate Medical Humanities Conference, this conference aims to bring together researchers from a variety of disciplines in a manner that reflects the broad scope of exciting research being carried out in the field of the medical humanities at present. We therefore welcome abstracts on any aspect of the medical humanities from postgraduates working in all disciplines, including but not restricted to English Literature, History, Film, Classics, and Art History. We also strongly encourage proposals from students training in a medical discipline (including trainee doctors, carers, psychiatrists, and other practitioners) who are interested in the medical humanities.

While this call is open to papers on all topics within the wide medical humanities remit, we would specifically like proposals on themes of contemporary importance within the field, such as the development of medicine and/or the medical humanities in India and China; representations of medicine in graphic novels; and ageing.

The conference will provide a forum for postgraduate scholars to exchange ideas and share their research in a friendly and engaging environment. The event will also allow delegates to discuss their work with senior academics in the field, including keynote speakers and other members of the Exeter Centre for Medical History.

The event will close with a roundtable discussion, featuring our keynote speakers and other esteemed members of the Centre for Medical History. This session will draw together the themes arising from the conference and reflect on future directions of research in the medical humanities.

There will also be a workshop led by Ryan Sweet and Betsy Lewis-Holmes (co-organisers of the forthcoming event Exewhirr) on public engagement.

We invite applicants to submit abstracts of up to 300 words (for 20-minute previously unpublished papers) to pgmedhums@exeter.ac.uk by Friday 19th December 2014 with “PGMH 2015 Conference Abstract” written in the subject line of the email. We also welcome panel and workshop proposals. Such proposals should include 300-word abstracts for up to four speakers in addition to a 500-word overview that explains the aims and rationale for the session.

We hope to be able to offer a small number of travel bursaries, which will be announced closer to the event.

CFP: special edition of Girlhood Studies, ‘Disability and Girlhood: Transnational Perspectives’

Special Issue of Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal

Disability and Girlhood: Transnational Perspectives

For a special issue of Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, ‘Disability and Girlhood: Transnational Perspectives’ we invite manuscripts (no longer than 6,500 words including the abstract, article, bio, acknowledgements and notes (if any), and references) that explore the critical intersections and tensions between the two contemporary fields, girlhood studies and disability studies; thus far this has been inadequately explored in both theoretical literature and empirical studies. This exploration is necessary because disability studies can actively disrupt normative notions of girlhood in transnational contexts mediated by the intersectional politics of identity and constituted through ableist social, political, and economic hierarchies that have concrete implications for developing transformative social policy.

We encourage the submission of manuscripts that engage the following questions: How does the politics of disability have an impact on and inform the actual conditions/experiences of disabled girls within transnational contexts? How do dominant discourses framing the subjectivities/identities of disabled girls at the intersections of race, class, gender identity, and sexuality become normalized and institutionalized in contemporary transnational contexts? What are the impacts of multinational institutions such as the World Bank, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and Human Rights Watch in shaping the life experiences of disabled girls in the context of various international disability rights movements of the twenty-first century? What are the theoretical and empirical challenges that inform social constructions of girlhood and disability within the complex web of other intersectional identities?

To transform traditional boundaries between disability studies and girlhood studies within the context of the global North and South, we also invite scholarship that engages the politics of research in both hemispheres in relation to disabled girls. We are interested in exploring how scholarship that examines the intersection of disability and girlhood can disrupt exclusion in the face of neo-colonial, neo-imperialist, and neo-liberal ideologies. In what ways can a transnational politics of activism trouble the neo-liberal discourse of inclusion for disabled girls? What theoretical and empirical interventions can have an impact on the advancement of social justice for disabled girls in local, national, and transnational contexts? In addition to these theoretical and empirical questions, we also invite the submission of alternative formats/methodologies that expand the fields of both girlhood studies and disability studies such as personal narratives, visual methodologies, poetry, fiction, and artwork.

Contributions to this themed issue may address the following topics:

  • Theoretical constructions of identity/subjectivity as constituted at the intersection of girlhood and disability in the local, national, and transnational contexts
  • Alternative formulations of citizenship rights for disabled girls in the context of global neocolonialism, neo-liberalism, and transnational capitalism
  • Violence against disabled girls in the global North and global South
  • The politics of educational, social, and sexual access for disabled girls
  • Alternative methodologies that include but are not limited to intersectional analyses that engage the politics of decolonization, race, ethnicity, gender identities, sexuality, and ableism
  • Participatory visual methodologies
  • Critical policy analyses in relation to social change
  • Personal narratives, short stories, poetry, visual essays, and artwork that engage the normative framing of disability and girlhood

 

Guest Editorial Team

Nirmala Erevelles is Professor of Social and Cultural Studies in Education at the University of Alabama. Her teaching and research interests lie in the areas of disability studies, critical race theory, transnational feminism, sociology of education, and postcolonial studies. Her book, Disability and
Difference in Global Contexts: Towards a Transformative Body Politic was published by Palgrave in November 2012.

Xuan Thuy Nguyen is an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Education at Mount Saint Vincent University, Canada. Her areas of research and teaching include inclusive education, disability studies, policy studies, international development and visual methodologies. She is the author of the
forthcoming book The Journey to Inclusion, to be published by Sense Publishers.

Please send expressions of interest and abstracts to the guesteditors by 15th January 2015. The date for submission of full manuscripts is 30th June 2015.

Inquiries and submissions may be sent to:

  • Girlhood Studies (girlhood.studies@mcgill.ca)
  • Nirmala Erevelles (nerevell@bamaed.ua.edu)
  • Xuan Thuy Nguyen (xuan.thuy.nguyen@msvu.ca)

Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal is published and distributed in print and online by Berghahn Journals. Visit GHS online for further details, including submission guidelines: www.journals.berghahnbooks.com/ghs 

CFP: ‘Fictions of Corporeal Diversity: A Symposium on Literary Disability Studies’, Lancaster University

Charles Carter Building, Lancaster University

Thursday 4th June 2015

Keynote Speaker: David Bolt (Liverpool Hope University)

In ‘Literary Disability Studies: The Long Awaited Response’ (2007), David Bolt illustrated the absence of critical work on disability in literary studies. The subsequent establishment of The Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies, in addition to the continuing expansion of the University of Michigan Press’s landmark Corporealities series, and Palgrave Macmillan’s introduction of a new Literary Disability Studies series, all contribute to the promotion of an informed engagement with the presence of various configurations of disability in literary texts. Despite the emergence of Literary Disability Studies as a recognised field of scholastic enquiry, however, the representation of mental and physical difference remains a largely neglected aspect of literary scholarship. This one day symposium will seek to continue the consolidation of the presence of Literary Disability Studies by exploring a spectrum of literary representations of disability. It will recognise disability’s conventional cultural construction as corporeal and psychological manifestations of deficiency or deviance, while simultaneously acknowledging the presence of figures of literary disability which present disabled people as valuable emblems of diversity and difference. Issues that papers might consider could include, (but are not limited to) literary representations of:

  • Amputation
  • Blindness
  • Cognitive Impairments
  • Deafness
  • Disabilities as Exceptionalities
  • (Dis)Empowerments of the Disabled Body
  • Extraordinary/Spectacular Bodies
  • Gothic/Monstrous Disabled Bodies
  • (Im)Mobility
  • Intellectual Disability
  • The Medicalisation of Disability
  • Phantom Limbs
  • Physical Difference
  • Prostheses
  • Stigmatised Bodies

Abstracts of approximately 300 words, complete with a 50 word biography, should be submitted to Dr Alan Gregory at a.gregory5@lancaster.ac.uk by Friday 16th January 2015.

CFP: special issue of History of Psychiatry (2016)

Special Issue: ‘New and emerging research on the history and geography of Scottish “madness”, asylums and psychiatry’

Guest Editors:

  • Jonathan Andrews (School of History, Classics and Archaeology, Newcastle University)
  • Chris Philo (School of Geographical & Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow)

Notwithstanding notable contributions from scholars such as Jonathan Andrews, Mike Barfoot, Alan Beveridge, Gayle Davies, Rab Houston, Gavin Miller, Iain Smith and others, it arguably remains the case that Scottish psychiatry has tended to be the ‘Cinderella’ in the existing historiography of British psychiatry. While the journal History of Psychiatry has carried ‘country reports’ on both the historiography of and substantive histories of psychiatry (expansively understood) in different parts of the world, furnishing a rich vein of ‘regional’ surveys, nothing of this kind has yet occurred in the journal specifically for Scotland.

The purpose of this proposed theme issue will be to rectify this absence, and in so doing to profile new and emerging research in the field of work on Scottish ‘madness’, asylums and psychiatry, particularly through giving a platform to a new generation of researchers (PhD students, postdoctoral researchers or other early career researchers) now starting to contribute new empirical evidence – linked to fresh conceptual and methodological agendas – to our understanding of ideas, practices, institutions and patient experiences in this Scottish history. By bringing together a sample of their work, together with an introductory essay contextualising their contributions, the ambition will be to create a theme issue that is more than the sum of its parts: one allowing – through covering a diversity of time periods, types of ‘lunacy’ reforms and asylum/clinical provisions, species of mental disorder, forms of treatment, experiences ‘from below’ of patients, etc. – to paint a reinvigorated overall picture of the turbulent history and changing geography of the Scottish ‘mad-business’.

The envisaged temporal focus of the theme issue will be early-1700s through to mid-1900s, although the editors would be prepared to consider contributions tackling both earlier and later periods. The ambition is that, while papers will report detailed empirical research on particular situations, events, individuals, institutions, etc., there should be an attempt in every paper to see its empirical focus within the context of a broader narrative of key transitions within the past of Scottish ‘madness’, asylums and psychiatry. Moreover, some comparative sense, alert to the possible istinctiveness of the Scottish case relative to what has occurred elsewhere in the British Isles and beyond, would be welcomed. It will be essential that authors demonstrate an awareness of existing scholarship in the history of Scottish psychiatry, as well as thoroughly explaining the nature and provenance of archival (or other primary) sources employed in the empirical studies reported.

Potential Contributors:

Given the focus on ‘new and emerging research’, the anticipation is that contributors will be PhD students and postdoctoral/early career researchers (whose own PhD awards will likely have been in the last 10 years). Nonetheless, the editors would be prepared to hear from other scholars who might not ‘fit’ these categories, provided that a case is made about the novelty of the contribution being made to scholarship on the history of Scottish psychiatry. No a priori preference will be given to potential contributors from any particular institution or part of the world, and the baseline criteria for inclusion will be the quality of the paper submitted.

Process

A call for papers (the present document) will be sent out by the end of October 2014.

Individuals interested in contributing should sent a proposal to Jonathan Andrews (jonathan.andrews@ncl.ac.uk) and Chris Philo (Christopher.Philo@glasgow.ac.uk) by end of November 2014, with suggested title, abstract (max. 200 words) and your contact details. It is possible at this stage that we may deem a potential contribution unsuitable or make suggestions about how it might usefully be recast to be suitable. The go-ahead at this stage can be no guarantee that a paper will be published in the journal (which will depend entirely on how it fares in the usual refereeing process).

Papers should be submitted by end of June 2015 via e-mail as WORD attachments simultaneously to both the journal editor, German E. Berrios (gebll@cam.ac.uk), and the theme issue guest editors, Jonathan Andrews (jonathan.andrews@ncl.ac.uk) and Chris Philo (Christopher.Philo@glasgow.ac.uk). Andrews and Philo will coordinate the refereeing of the papers, with oversight from Berrios. In the event that more papers successfully negotiate the refereeing process than can be accommodated in the theme issue itself, the journal would undertake to publish ones not selected for the theme issue in subsequent general issues of the journal. It should be underlined that the decisions to publish or not will be based squarely on the referees’ reports and approved by Berrios.

Submissions

Papers should be prepared according to the Notes for Contributors provided in the journal, and the absolute maximum length should be 10,000 words (including notes and references).

JA and CPP

20/10/2014

Medical Humanities Doctoral Fellowship (WiSER, South Africa)

WiSER (Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research) has over the last twelve years established itself as the leading South African interdisciplinary research institute in the Humanities and Social Sciences, promoting local and international debate on the complexities of change in South Africa and Africa, understood from comparative and global perspectives.

A strong commitment to doctoral training and supervision is a critical part of WiSER’s mission. Funding for the Medical Humanities project from the Mellon Foundation has enabled us to extend our long-standing doctoral fellowship programme.

We call for applications for 3 year fellowships to be awarded to outstanding students in the field of Medical Humanities.

Candidates should have a distinguished academic record in a discipline appropriate to the study programme imagined for a PhD in this emerging field and related to the WiSER research themes within this. We encourage applicants from sociology, history, philosophy, anthropology, literary studies, cultural studies, art, drama, politics, law, linguistics, research areas of health sciences such as medicine, nursing, therapeutic disciplines, anatomy and so on, as well as from applicants with a research background in education, social work, public health, human geography, economics and related fields.

This is a full-time programme and is not compatible with other employment. Doctoral fellows will work within the Institute, and be expected to participate fully in the intellectual life of the Institute and to work to develop the field at Wits University.

Fellows will receive funding for three years; up to R150 000 per annum. This will cover university fees, research expenses including travel and a living allowance. Fellows will be required to undertake up to 5 hours work a week for WiSER.

The Medical Humanities research focus at WiSER is arranged around five themes: Cultures of Ageing and Dying – and here a special interest in Silicosis is emerging with Sciences Po in France; Sex and Sexuality; Transgendering and Intersexuality; The Meanings of Evidence; Body Parts – with a special interest in organ transplant and skin; and the wide area of Neuro related work.

To apply, please submit the following by email to Ms. Najibha Deshmukh by 15th December 2014

  • A detailed and up to date CV, which shows clearly your undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and component courses of study.
  • A recent publication or piece of written work, drawing on your past research.
  • Names and contact details (including email addresses) of three academic referees.
  • Certified copies of degrees and diplomas.
  • A detailed covering letter explaining clearly and carefully your interest in WiSER, your proposed area of doctoral research and how it might fit into one of the WiSER research themes.

More information about the Mellon supported Medical Humanities at Wits University based at WiSER and its research themes are available here.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.