CFP: Special Issue of Journal of Lesbian Studies, ‘Lesbian Lives, Disabled Lives’

Deadline for proposals: March 1, 2019

Guest Editor: Stefanie Snider, PhD, Assistant Professor of Art History, Kendall College of Art and Design, Grand Rapids, MI

Email: Snider.Stefanie@gmail.com

This special issue of The Journal of Lesbian Studies seeks contributions on the overlapping identities and theories of lesbian and disabled lives. Here the terms lesbian and disabled are broadly defined and include physically disabled, chronically ill, neurodiverse, and mad queer, two-spirit, trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people.

Topics might include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Aesthetics of lesbian disability and disabled lesbianism
  • Interdependence and care work (Piepzna-Samarasinha, 2018) in disabled and lesbian lives
  • Issues of embodiment as related to lesbian and disabled lives
  • Physical and theoretical relationships between lesbian sexualities and disability
  • Pedagogical approaches across age groups for lesbian and disabled subjects
  • Literary analysis of fiction, personal essays, and memoirs by disabled lesbian folks
  • Being disabled and lesbian in the workplace; in school; in the arts; in politics
  • Interconnections between critical race, trans, lesbian, queer, and disability studies and theories
  • Links between feminist disability, mad studies and lesbian studies

Please send your 250-500 word article proposal and current CV to the journal’s guest editor, Stefanie Snider (Snider.Stefanie@gmail.com), by 1st March 2019. Contributors will be notified of the status of their proposal by 30th March 2019 and full manuscripts (4,000-6,000 words) will be due by 1st August 2019.

CFP: Special Issue of Literacy, ‘Literacies and Disability’

Guest Editors: Owen Barden & David Bolt

Disability, in the field of education, is often conceptualised along the lines of accessibility and/or so-called Special Educational Needs. When we think of disability in relation to literacy, too often the focus seems to be on notions of access, support, and interventions that seek to make learners conform to (or at least approximate) curricular literate norms.  While these issues are of great importance, and critical engagement with them is to be encouraged, they only represent part of what we are interested in here. Envisaging a more profound version of inclusion, our focus in this special issue is on acknowledging ontologies and epistemologies of disabled people, and specifically how these are mediated through interactions with texts.   Through doing so, we seek to explore more complex understandings that recognise disability in terms of indifference, difficulties, and qualities, in accordance with the tripartite model. We aim to help shift the debate from regarding inclusion merely as a legal and moral imperative, to valuing it as an educational opportunity. As David Mitchell and Sharon Snyder argue in The Biopolitics of Disability (2015), until disability is recognised in the context of alternative lives and values that neither enforce nor reify normalcy, we cannot fully appreciate the material and ethical alternatives disabled people’s lives manifest. We take the view that students, scholars, educators and other professionals interested in literacies should celebrate diverse bodies and minds as forms of expertise, meaning that disability can become an active, unabashed, and less stigmatised part of educational discourse. The aim of this special issue, then, is to encourage appreciation of disability through presenting examples of such alternative literacies expertise.

We welcome reports of recent empirical research on intersections of disability and literacies; informed and analytical accounts of innovative practice which fosters appreciation of diverse bodies and minds; critiques of recent policy developments and examination of their impact; and theoretical explorations that contribute to our understanding of the relationships between disability and literacy. Submissions should conform to the standard author guidelines for Literacy.

Potential topics for submission might include, but are not limited to:

  • Literacies, voice and disability
  • Literacy policy and disability
  • Disability, literacies and literature
  • Disability and new/digital literacies
  • Disability and multimodality
  • Literacies in disability lifewriting
  • Methodological issues/approaches in researching disability and literacies
  • Conceptualising/theorising disability and literacies
  • Literacies and normalcy
  • Embodiment and literacies; how literacy practices are mediated through diverse bodies and minds
  • Literacies and stigma
  • Disabled identities and literacies
  • Representations of disability in curricular texts

Timeframe:

  • Call issued May 2019
  • Deadline for submissions January 2020
  • Publication January 2021

CFP: Edited Collection, ‘The Lighthouse: Blackness, Disability, and State Violence between the US and Canada’

In his recent work, Black on Both Sides, critical scholar C. Riley Snorton (2017) offers an analysis “particularly attentive to the possibilities of valorizing—without necessarily redeeming—different ways of knowing and being” in the world. Fundamentally, his work is invested in “reviving and inventing strategies for inhabiting unlivable worlds.” The Lighthouse attends, similarly, to propose sets of relation and being between blackness and disability from slavery to the present. This collection also, foundationally, seeks language and strategies for addressing a more present state of things. Namely, it intends towards a love wide enough to pull us to the center. Who, amongst us, has been left unattended in the world? Or to rephrase this more blackly: How can we make our lives—as Black, disabled, neurodiverse, living under conditions of scarcity and debility—more legible in the world, by better attending to one another and by our own design? Listening closely, still, to Toni Morrison’s old and ever-present warning (1975) about the distractive nature of white supremacy, here lies the metaphor of the collection’s namesake: Black disabled life is a lighthouse—historically, a rippling warning outward, and now, a beacon calling us home to the shoreline in these times of urgency. This collection is our work, our reason for being.

This edited collection, supported by Duke University Press, brings together critical essays that connect the subjects of blackness, disability, and state violence within the US and Canada. Since the American Revolution, the US and Canada have been bound by a histories of enslavement, forced migrations of free and enslaved Black populations, and dispersal throughout the Atlantic world. As Canadian poet M. NourbeSe Philip reminds in her astrological choreopoem Black with Holes (1998), “You cannot talk about space/ As it relates to Black people/ To African people/ Without talking about movement/ Or moving through space/ And once you talk about moving through space/ As it relates to Africans/ Then you must confront the forces/ That prohibit or restrict that moving.”

For Black peoples in the US and Canada, the border historically served as a site of oscillating violence that both seduced and betrayed Black families fleeing northward for a better life. Over the last century, Black Canadians and Black Americans have similarly experienced exponential increases in state violence and incarceration within their communities. These experiences affirm the persistence and transnationality of anti-Black violence produced by settler colonialism in Canada and the US. Yet, these Black geographies are seldom discussed in relation to one another. Recently, Canadian activist and scholar Robyn Maynard (2017) published the first book centering the realities of Black Canadian life in the context of state violence. Building, in part, upon this crucial area of scholarship, this collection seeks to bring more fully into conversation, the realities of Black life throughout North America.

Divided into a number of centrally themed areas, this collection begins with a living annotated bibliography paying homage to Black disabled writers and scholars whose work has been both foundational and disruptive within the fields of disability and critical disability studies, and has provided a broader understanding of the experience of disability and anti-blackness in North America.

The editors welcome essays of 3,000-6,000 words on the following themes:

  • Disability and enslavement in North America, and theorizing its history to contemporary policies and acts of state violence
  • Comparative histories of slavery between the US and Canada and disability. For example, how do the distinct systems of slavery between the US and Canada account for the kinds of anti-blackness that shape the terrain of both nations in the present?
  • Enslavement, the body, and the history of industrial capitalism
  • Black womanhood, reproductive labor, and Black motherhood as uninterrogated sites of disability, past and present
  • “Debility,” capitalism, and anti-blackness
  • Disability, institutions, and state violence
  • Blackness, disability, and police violence
  • Schooling, disability, and anti-blackness
  • Motherhood, mental health, and community support
  • Black women, gender violence, and mental health
  • Blackness and neurodiversity/Blackness as neurodiversity
  • Disability and sexual violence

Importantly, the final section addresses the prevalence and great dilemma of disability stigmatization within the workplace, including spaces of Black community organizing, and specifically calls for critical disability trainings and a greater ethics of care within community-based work as one way of addressing lateral violence within grassroots and not for profit organizations. Welcome topics include:

  • Organizations, ableism, and change
  • Lateral violence, disability, and accountability
  • Transformative justice and disability: How can transformative justice practices better attend to the conditions that shape the experiences of disability in the lives of Black people?

Timeframes:

  • 1st May 2019: Deadline for 500 word abstract proposal
  • 1st September 2019: Draft essay due
  • 1st March 2020: Final draft due

Contact: thelighthousecollection@gmail.com

Editors:

Rachel Zellars is a lawyer, professor, former executive director, and longtime organizer living in Montreal, QC. Her scholarly work focuses on Black migration through Canada after the Revolution, its connection to the Atlantic world, and the history of gender violence within Black radical traditions. Her community work is focused on gender violence, Black women and children, and accountability. Currently, she is a postdoctoral fellow in History at the University of Vermont and a visiting scholar at Concordia University.

Gift Tshuma is an activist, music composer, and a motivational speaker, with a background in Sociology and a minor in Law and Society from Concordia University. Over the past decade, he has been heavily involved in advocacy for disability rights and accessibility issues in Montreal. As a co-founding member of a grassroots group: Accessibilize Montreal, he has been involved in numerous initiatives targeting discriminatory infrastructure, both physical and social, that excludes people with diverse bodies and minds from public spaces and stigmatizes them. He currently holds positions at the Office for Students with Disabilities at McGill University and at Centre for Gender Advocacy at Concordia University. Gift carries a wealth of experience in the non-profit, health, public, technical and service sectors; he is committed to social justice issues and in the empowerment of marginalized communities. For the past 5 years, Gift has been working as an Advisor in accessibility and universal design.

CFP: Special Issue of JLCDS, ‘Chronic Illness and Representation’

Guest editors: Ana Bê (Liverpool Hope University) and Emma Sheppard (City, University of London)

This special issue of the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies will consider the representation of chronic illness.

Disability studies has for a number of years engaged closely with understanding chronic illness as a category of impairment (Thomas, 2008). Significant early contributions have been made by authors such as Carol Thomas and Susan Wendell and books such as Dissonant Disabilities: Women with Chronic Illnesses Explore Their Lives(2008). It is also important to recognize the relevance of more recent contributions such as those of Alyson Patsavas and Mel Chen in the context of cripistemologies (2014), as well as those offered by Alison Kafer in problematizing the role of pain and fatigue (2013), and Hillary Gravendyk’s concept of ‘chronic poetics’ (2014).

There has been increasing discussion, representation, and awareness of chronic illness in recent years – as part of, and distinct from, disability. Celebrities and public figures such as Lady Gaga have candidly discussed their experiences of chronic illness and been open about the obstacles they have faced, while Jennifer Brea’s documentary Unrest (2017) ignited further discussion. Bitch magazine’s In Sickness series (2017) presented complex and intersectional analysis of chronic illness and feminism. Social media has helped develop a culture of activism around chronic illness, from support groups to activist pages and the creation of memes. Recent films, such as Love and Other Drugs and The Big Sick, have provided audiences with popular representations of chronic illness.

However, there remains a substantial gap in this part of the field of disability studies, and we would like to make a start on filling it by inviting contributions that focus on cultural representations of chronic illness in a range of different cultural mediums–from literature to film, to TV and social media. We aim to take stock of how representations of chronic illness might have developed and what these are telling us about how we understand this experience.

Chronic illnesses are sometimes also designated as long-term health conditions or chronic diseases. For the purposes of this issue, we use the term chronic illness as it tends to resonate in activist circles. Our understanding of chronic illness is underpinned by Susan Wendell’s definition: ‘Usually, they [chronic illnesses] are understood to be illnesses that do not go away by themselves within six months, that cannot reliably be cured, and that will not kill the patient any time soon’ (Wendell 1996:20). Within this definition, we include experiences of undocumented illness (Mollow, 2014)–illnesses that have no recognised or agreed upon classification, whose cause is debated, and the experience of which is often dismissed. Therefore, the definition is quite open, and fits a wide range of experiences, but we emphasize that our understanding of chronic illness is also based on a shared disability studies politics that sees this experience as being framed by both social oppression and impairment effects.

Possible topics for papers include, but are not limited to:

●        Documentary film

●        Fictions and stories of chronic illness

●        Social media representations and cultures of chronic illness

●        Intersections of race, gender, sexuality and chronic illness

●        Chronic illness and celebrity

●        Cripping and queering chronic illness

●        Crip time and chronic illness

●        Representations of chronic illness in art

●        Global perspectives on cultures of chronic illness

●        Masculinities and chronic illness

●        Cripistemologies of chronic illness

●        Historical perspectives on chronic illness

●        Activism and cultural representations

●        Theater, performance and chronic illness

●        Poetry and chronic illness

●        Representations of chronic pain and fatigue

●        Music and chronic illness

Timetable:

15th April, 2019: submission of a 500-word proposal for articles or a 150-word proposal for reviews and a short bio (150 words) to both the guest editors Ana Bê (pereira@hope.ac.uk) and Emma Sheppard (Emma.Sheppard@city.ac.uk).

28th June, 2019: prospective authors notified of proposal status.

1st December, 2020: Full versions of selected papers due to editors.

June, 2020: Finalists selected.  Decisions and revisions on submissions sent to authors.

September, 2020: Final, revised papers due.

Book Review (Pollitt): ‘Disclosures: Rewriting the Narrative about HIV’, ed. Spoto

Book: Disclosures: Rewriting the Narrative about HIV, edited by Angie Spoto (Scotland: Stewed Rhubarb Press, 2018). (96 pp). £10.99. ISBN: 987-1-910416-10-5

Reviewer: Beverley Pollitt, Liverpool Hope University

Stigma. A highly prevalent concept many of us are familiar with and one which is indisputably associated with HIV. Disclosures: Rewriting the Narrative about HIV is constructed as an informative anthology, offering an enlightening insight into the diverse community who experience this stigma and consequential isolation first-hand. The collective challenges the stigma and common (mis)perceptions of living with HIV by upholding the power and importance of personal narratives. These narratives, belonging directly to those touched by HIV, deliver an open and honest insight into the reality of living with the condition whilst simultaneously offering an alternative understanding which disputes society’s ingrained notion of HIV. Disclosures advocates these narratives as a means of creative activism, an activism which it does undeniably well.

When HIV first arose, a lack of education within society was apparent. Many carried the damaging (mis)conception it was a killer disease contracted through ‘dirty’ behaviour. Society treated those who were diagnosed as ‘lepers’ and who were to be avoided at all costs. This landscape is now vastly different, society has evolved, education surrounding HIV has improved and this steadfast attitude contested. However, the stalwart stigma associated with HIV has been so profoundly ingrained within the core of society, more work still needs to be done. Although medical developments and interventions have contributed widely to lived experiences, an attitudinal gulf between HIV and the ‘norm’ is still at large. It is at this crucial point where Disclosures and its poignant ethos successfully emerges. It comes at a time when other marginalised groups and disabled people are revolting against the autocratic effects of hostile stigmas whilst advocating for self-empowerment and liberation. By providing a platform, Disclosures allows those with HIV the opportunity for their voices to be heard and to join this revolution.

The narratives contained within Disclosures emanate from a vastly intersectional and diverse collective, touching on the lives of men, women, transsexuals, homosexuals, heterosexuals, young, old and even nuns. The singular commonality between the collective (besides HIV) is they all reside in Scotland and as such, have personal experience of Scottish HIV services and facilities. Furthermore, the collection draws on a captivating variety of contributions including poetry, imagery and protagonist narratives, all of which rewrite the narrative of HIV by providing unique, personal insights contesting society’s entrenched stigmas. Recitals from friends and families are also included, contributing to a deeper dimension of awareness. Each piece of work is delicately interwoven, creating a powerful yet emotive anthology which enriches the understanding of HIV from multiple perspectives.

By including an extensive array of material and views editor Angie Spoto has ensured she has been successful in disputing the pervasive historic opinion that HIV affects “only gay men or drug users” (p.vii). Spoto joined HIV Scotland, a leading policy organisation, as their artist in residence with the view of reshaping the narrative through storytelling and thus, the collection was born. She has strategically designed Disclosures so it is periodically punctuated with information relating to the key areas of public policy for which HIV Scotland advocate. This arrangement draws attention to significant areas of development whilst shrewdly revealing those with HIV encounter troublesome barriers extending beyond attitudinal stigmas.

A common theme appearing within the contributions is the influence/dominance of medical interventions. This extends to a gaze which deems those with HIV as objects of curiosity who now belong to the sciences. NJ Millar so poignantly captures this in “Jormungandr”,stating “I do feel like a lab rat in a trap” (p.5), a sentiment in her prose which would evoke empathy from even the most hardened reader. Meanwhile Michael Nugent, in “It Couldn’t be Me”, recounts speaking with a doctor: “Wait a fucking minute here, doc. This is my life”; the implication is that once diagnosis occurs, people are stripped of their humanity with their bodies becoming medical specimens. Whilst there is a requirement for medication to render the virus undetectable, these accounts give further gravitas as to why the prehistoric stigmas of HIV need to be rewritten.

Another unmistakable tenet of the collection is the way it sensitively approaches the stigma associated with sexual deviance and promiscuity. Interlaced between the varying accounts is the impassioned offering “Texan Condoms”in which Kevin Crowe subtly tackles the taboo of homosexuality and promiscuous sex. Crowe’s prose draws not only on his experience of supporting a friend with the diagnosis but is also reminiscent of the awareness of HIV as a sexually transmitted infection within the gay community. RJ Arkhipov’s account “afterwards atop the bedsheets” considers post-coital euphoria and uses the intimate image of entwinement within the bedcovers as a metaphor for a shroud, generating a stark reality of the sinister tombstone HIV represents to many. James Stewart’s poem “Our First breath is In”, quite simply likens the sexual transmission of HIV as being as innocent and natural as breathing in and out. A tender comparison which reminds the reader we are all at risk of HIV, regardless of sexual preference. In contrast to this gentle offering, Stephen Duffy’s hard-hitting piece “Play it Again, SAM” takes the reader on an emotional journey considering the everlasting effects of rape which emerge long after the physical scars have healed. The collection navigates its way round this controversial but complex topic with sophistication and elegance; for this it must be applauded.

Whilst Disclosures successfully offers the reader a moving alternative to the archaic understanding of HIV through protagonist narratives, it also effectively highlights the lack of service and support available post-diagnosis. Michael Nugent’s “It Couldn’t be Me”recounts the start of his diagnostic journey and having to fight to see a doctor, then how following diagnosis he was left in a state of uncertain limbo pending specialist appointments. He recalls being handed leaflets as a source of information, an impersonal approach at a point in time where people require human interaction for emotional guidance and support. This recital is evidence of the unjust support service available in Scotland leaving the reader to question the services available throughout the United Kingdom and beyond. Disclosures takes the reader on a subconsciously emotional journey, culminating in anger at the lack of services and support which should be available at an undoubtedly turbulent time. Feelings of empathy are evoked throughout the entire anthology, but it is during this story the political implications of HIV become apparent. People with HIV require a higher level of support owing to the hostile and unfavourable stigma associated with the condition, a support which Disclosures uncomfortablyreveals they are being denied. This emotional rollercoaster gives only a snippet into the lived reality of HIV, yet it is enough to make the reader reconsider the archaic, damaging HIV narrative which is still rooted within contemporary society. This therefore renders Disclosures a further success.

Matthew Lynch draws attention to HIV and mental health in his unique offering. Lynch’s piece is a stimulating singular image, noticeably the only image contained within the collection (aside from accompanying artwork) and remains untitled. His representation movingly depicts a darkly coloured head silhouette set against a dull grey backdrop where colourful medication can be seen travelling down the oesophagus. Most strikingly, the image illustrates a maze of scribbles and chaotic lines representing the brain and is successful in its aim of drawing the reader’s attention to HIV and mental health. The image is a passionate reminder of the dark places encountered on a journey with HIV, a journey which would unquestionably be affected by negative stigmatisations. Whilst the impact of the anthology would have benefited from the inclusion of several more images and depictions, Lynch’s contribution effectively encompasses a multitude of salient concepts and one which indisputably challenges the readers’ present understanding. Moreover, he effectively refutes dominant narratives of HIV by using his powerful inimitable portrayal to present a lived experience which serves to rewrite the narrative of HIV and justifies why Disclosures is an essential contribution to this process.

The collection is a valuable influence in the understanding of HIV. In order to develop the aim and ethos of Disclosures further, it would benefit by extending to include narratives from other geographical locations. Whilst the book focuses solely on the services and experiences of the Scottish demographic, it provides an honest, valuable insight regardless of geographical location. These experiences are only a snapshot yet can be understood to be representative of the entire HIV community. The book is effective in reaching this segregated community who may pick it up out of curiosity and a sense of solidarity alongside being appealing to the general public. It is compiled and written in a manner accessible by many, promoting an ease of understanding and by doing so, widens its intended audience to encompass all areas of society. This deliberate methodology allows Disclosures to capitalise on its maximum audience potential thus ensuring HIV stigma is contested on a widespread basis. The greater the access to the anthology, the greater in its success Disclosures will be.

There is a noticeable respect for the experiences detailed, an admiration which the contributors rightly deserve for their honesty and willingness to share their stories, and for this, Angie Spoto must be commended. Disclosures must be cherished as an alternative form of education which focuses on exploring the lived reality of HIV rather than how it can be contracted, contained and medicated. This alternative education enlightens others by providing captivating replacements to the inherent understanding of HIV and serves to remove the stalwart stigma surrounding HIV effectively. It is my contention this anthology has been successful in its determined aim, it is highly enjoyable and everyone should buy a copy!  

CFP: Special Issue of C21, ‘Surveilling the Body: Ableism and Anglophone Literature’

C21 Call for Papers

Special Issue: “Surveilling the Body: Ableism and Anglophone Literature”

Guest edited by Dr Susan Flynn and Dr Antonia Mackay

Deadline for articles: 1st May 2019

Surveillance Studies has made a substantial contribution to interrogations of human rights offences by helping to document instances of discrimination in recent times. Indeed, examinations of the ‘culture’ of surveillance have been useful in examining the myriad occasions of human rights offences in issues such as race (Browne 2012; Flynn and Mackay 2018), yet surveillance practices via literature, especially those associated with the discourse of ableism, have been largely ignored. This special issue aims to initiate new discussions of ableism in the discourses of surveillance through literature and engage with the issues of the non-normate body, particularly as surveillance uses the normalizing technologies of power to monitor, control and regulate behaviours and mobilities of certain bodies.

In contemporary literature, the forms of agency and subjectivity available to those who are outside the hegemonic ‘norm’ are often limited; literature is most often written with a mainstream readership in mind and thus can be read as deeply ‘ableist’. Interrogating instances of ableism in characterisation and in narrative arcs calls for an examination of how (unearned) privilege attaches to those who can conform to the supposed norm. Such a lens interrogates the status quo as opposed to seeking the ‘inclusion’ of persons with disabilities within extant social structures. This special issue is particularly concerned with twenty-first century writing and its complex relationship both with surveillance and with representations of disability. We are aware of the tendency for dominant groups to project their own experiences as representative of all humanity thereby excluding other groups – we hope to preclude this by providing a broad range of readings and approaches from a diverse authorship. We are interested in readings of new texts which engage with the surveillance of disability or with radical readings of texts dealing with either intellectual, physical or acquired disability.

Papers might include topics such as:

  • The role of surveillance in (dis)abling bodies in contemporary fiction, poetry, short stories and drama
  • The complexity of the representation of the corporeal body in Twenty-First Century Anglophone writings
  • The manner in which surveillance can affect the marginalisation of groups of peoples in Anglophone literary discourse
  • The hypervisibility of the body with disability in poetry, drama and written narratives
  • Representations of surveilled spaces which impact upon the able and disabled characterisation of identity from within contemporary settings
  • Consideration of how the lens contributes to definitions of types of bodies in Anglophone writings
  • Hypertextual readings of contemporary literature which contribute to the enabling of otherwise marginalised bodily movement through narratoglical means
  • The impact of gender/race/sexuality on surveilling the body
  • The implications of ableist forms of surveillance in literature in our contemporary political climate
  • Digital storytelling and the visibility of disability rights and culture
  • Digital platforms as a means to re-vision the body with disability

Articles of 6000 – 8000 words along with a short bio (150 words) should be sent to Dr Susan Flynn (s.flynn@lcc.arts.ac.uk) and Dr Antonia Mackay (antoniamackay@brookes.ac.uk) by 1st May 2019.

CFP: Special Issue of JLCDS, ‘Learning Difficulties: Histories and Cultures’

Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies

Special issue: Learning Difficulties: Histories and Cultures

Guest editors: Owen Barden and Tina Cook

Deadline for abstracts: 5th April 2019

Until the late 20th century, intellectual disability history was subsumed or neglected within accounts from the psycho-medical professions, educational and mental health services, sociologists, and historians. More recently, input from a broad range of disciplines has helped to challenge the assumed truths generated about learning difficulties generated by medics, scientists, and medical historians.  Learning difficulties have also emerged as a field of inquiry in their own right within disability studies, following recognition that this aspect of disability has frequently been overlooked in both the initial turn to the social model and the subsequent re-turn to impairment. The overall objective of this special issue will be to make a significant contribution to this growing field of interdisciplinary and emancipatory research about learning difficulties.

Disabled people generally, and people labelled with learning difficulties specifically, have often been excluded not only from research but from culture and history more broadly. This has made people labelled with learning difficulties almost invisible. Where representations do exist, they are often skewed by the label and tropes of learning difficulties. We seek contributions evidencing the generation of new knowledge about learning difficulties and their histories, and which bring a variety of perspectives to bear not only on historical material and accounts, but also on the lived experience of learning difficulties today. 

We encourage histories which foreground the role of culture, and the impact people labelled with learning disabilities have had on culture, rather than medicalized accounts. A cultural approach to history addresses the discursive practices and formations surrounding learning difficulties; it is concerned with the way people said to have learning difficulties are conceptualized, spoken about, and interacted with, and with the relational and environmental factors contextualizing and shaping these practices and formations. We welcome both histories of lives of people labelled with learning difficulties and historical analyses of cultural representations of learning difficulties.

Possible topics might include:

  • Representations of learning difficulties in historico-cultural artefacts.
  • Explorations of identity and intersectionality in relation to learning difficulties.
  • Analyses of the cultural work done by the organizing concept of learning difficulties.
  • Cultural histories, including ‘histories of the present’, which reveal important yet hidden aspects of contemporary experience.
  • Local, personal and insider histories, knowledges and perspectives.

Timetable:

5th April 2019: submission of a 500-word proposal for articles or a 150-word proposal for reviews and a short bio to the guest editors Owen Barden bardeno@hope.ac.uk and Tina Cook cookt@hope.ac.uk.

3rd May 2019: prospective authors notified of proposal status.

30th Nov 2020: Full versions of selected papers due to editors.

May 2020: Finalists selected.  Decisions and revisions on submissions sent to authors.

August 2020: Final revised papers due.

CFP: Edited Collection, ‘Disability and the Media: Other Bodies’

Deadline: Friday 21st December 2018

Call for chapter proposals for the edited collection Disability and the Media: Other Bodies on the themes of disability, bodies, media and representation in Asia.

Disability and the Media is edited by Diana Garrisi (JC School of Film and Television Arts, Xi’an Jiaotong Liverpool University) and Jacob Johanssen (Communication and Media Research Institute, University of Westminster). It is under contract with Routledge and due to be published 2019 in the Routledge Research in Disability and Media Studies series.

Using a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches this volume  encompasses an array of media forms including cinema, newspapers, television, advertising and social media. This book has several purposes. It critically discusses the relationship between self-representation and representations in either reinforcing or debunking myths around disability and othering. It explores the cultural, political and commercial basis for why media can negatively portray some people as intrinsically different. Finally, it suggests that the dynamic relationship between traditional and new media and the blurred lines between forms of representation and self-representation in new media can make it more difficult to continue framing ability and disability as mutually exclusive categories, and therefore cast the latter as unwanted. The book presents instances of a possible, slow cultural shift in favour of non-dichotomic views on ability and disability increasingly represented as fluid and necessary conditions characterizing the essence of each human being.

We are specifically interested in chapters that focus on Asia and its different countries in relation to the themes of the book.

Possible themes include but are not limited to:

  • Affective labour of bodies
  • Auto-ethnographic accounts of the body in / through digital media
  • Celebrity bodies and the spectacles of transformation
  • Cinema and disability
  • Contemporary coverage of disability in print/online/television/radio
  • De-colonizing and de-westernising the mediated body
  • Disability and advertising
  • Disability and race
  • Disability and the media: historical perspectives
  • (Dis)Empowerments of the disabled body
  • Journalism and practices of othering the body
  • Neoliberalism, policy and austerity politics
  • Reality television and the body
  • Representing wounds and scars
  • Researching bodies and the media: frameworks and methodologies
  • Stigma and the body
  • Posthumanist and non-representational frameworks
  • The abject body
  • The body and trauma
  • The mediated body as spectacle
  • The medicalised body in the media
  • The objectification of the disabled body in the media

We invite submissions of 200-250 words chapter proposals.

Deadline: Friday 21st December 2018.

Submissions should also include:

  • Title of chapter
  •  Author name/s, institutional details
  • Corresponding author’s email address
  • Keywords (no more than 5)
  • A short bio

Please send chapters to diana.garrisi@xjtlu.edu.cn and j.johanssen@westminster.ac.uk. 

Commissioned chapters are around 5,000 words. The fact that an abstract is accepted does not guarantee publication of the final manuscript. All chapters submitted will be judged on the basis of a double-blind reviewing process.

Call for Creative Writing: ‘Hearing and the Medical Humanities’, eds. Derek Hoare and Bonnie Millar

Call for Creative Writing: 

Whether you are trying to come to terms with your hearing or looking for a way to help loved one/ a patient come to terms with their hearing ability, writing can be a helpful outlet. To accompany a special edition of the journal Medical Humanities, edited by Dr Derek Hoare and Dr Bonnie Millar, we invite poems and prose about hearing from patients, their partners and /or family members, and clinicians. Contributions are welcome from those with hearing aids, cochlear implants, tinnitus, and hyperacusis; parents of children affected with otitis media; audiologists and physicians.

How do we respond when we meet people who do not hear as we do? What happens when our own hearing function changes? What tools do we have when attempting to communicate about our hearing? By inviting those who hear differently, their partners, and/or family members, together with clinicians to share poems and short pieces of writing it is hoped to foster exchange and understanding between different groups.

Submissions might include, but are not restricted to, the following topics

  • Deaf culture
  • Deafened
  • Sensitivity to sound
  • Listening differently
  • Auditory transformations
  • Hearing and language
  • Hearing and technology
  • Hearing and the media
  • Hearing and emotions

All are welcome to submit pieces and please share this invitation with interested colleagues. Please send submissions to Bonnie.Millar@nottingham.ac.uk.

CPF: Critical Disability Discourses

Critical Disability Discourses is a graduate student journal based out of York University that provides a platform for new and emerging scholars, community researchers, and artists who practice and present critical approaches to disability issues and experiences.

For this ninth installation of the journal, our Editorial Team is casting a wide net to gather research and artwork from a variety of disability perspectives emanating from academic study, personal experience, and community-based projects and advocacy. Full-length articles, short films, audio-based works, and photographic essays are among the diverse range of mediums that contributors may wish to explore.

To challenge established paradigms around the location of knowledge, we aim to prioritize submissions from authors and artists whose identities, stories, communities, and contexts have been excluded or insufficiently represented in dominant disability cultures.

Interested contributors are also invited to propose book and film reviews, or select from a list of suggested titles.

Submission Process and Deadline:

Please send your completed submission or review proposal to CDD Managing Editor, Natalie Spagnuolo, at cdsj@yorku.ca by November 20th 2018.

Please ensure your article follows APA style guidelines and includes both an abstract and list of keywords.

We ask that contributors submitting visual or audio work provide captions, transcripts, and any other content that will help ensure your work can be accessed by our readership.

Authors are responsible for familiarizing themselves with CDD’s submission guidelines, which can be accessed online at

https://cdd.journals.yorku.ca/index.php/cdd/about/submissions#authorGuidelines

Any inquiries can be sent to cdsj@yorku.ca.