DRF News, Events and Conferences

Disability-research events in December

Just a little reminder that, weather permitting, the next DRF seminar will be held on Tuesday 14th December 2010 (12pm-2pm) in Room 10111 (First Floor) Arundel Building, Charles Street, City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University, S1 1WB.


  • Becoming, Developing, Actualisation: Words from the heart of revolution or nineteenth-century ableism? ~ John Rees (Department of Education, Childhood and Inclusion, Sheffield Hallam University)
  • Exploring the Equality Act 2010 ~ Katherine Runswick-Cole (Department of Education, Childhood and Inclusion, Sheffield Hallam University) 

Coming soon: the *Critical Autism Seminar Day* will be held at Sheffield Hallam University on 18th January 2011 and will be followed by the launch of Dan Goodley’s much anticipated new text, Disability Studies: An Interdisciplinary Introduction.  We invite you to enjoy refreshments with us after the seminar from 4.30-6.00pm. 

Finally, don’t forget to have a look at the ’5 ways to get more involved’ in DRF which can be found here.

DRF News

Course seeks to empower disabled leaders (UK)

In 2009, 425,063 students enrolled in higher and further education colleges in the UK. 5.8% of these students were disabled.  Many disabled students realise their full potential, enjoy their education experience and pursue careers and leadership roles in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. For some, the barriers are too great.

Part of this is the current lack of representation on boards and within senior management teams where the voice of disabled people is silent – because they are simply not represented or given the chance to lead.

Common Purpose’s campaign and leadership development course for young disabled leaders aims to change this.

The course: Starting in 2010, Common Purpose will help 240 higher and further education students in the UK develop the skills and knowledge to pursue leadership roles throughout their studies and beyond. Common Purpose will run a three-day leadership development course in the winter and summer of each year. Forty disabled university students will participate in each three-day course.

Common Purpose will also develop an online resource of information and inspiration for disabled students throughout the United Kingdom and around the world.

Common Purpose will also run an annual one-day workshop for students graduating from higher and further education to help them identify and actively pursue potential leadership roles.

For more information please visit the Common Purpose website.

DRF News, Events and Conferences

AfriNEAD Symposium 2011 announced

The bi-annual AfriNEAD Symposium is taking place between 28th – 30th November 2011 at the Elephant Hills Hotel, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. The proposed theme for the conference is “Building Communities of Trust: Evidence-to-Action on Disability Research”.  As Victoria Falls in one of the 7 wonders of the world it seems an ideal place for a conference!

For more information about the AfriNEAD, please visit www.afrinead.org

More information about registration, bookings, and call for papers will follow in the near future.  Please make regular visits onto the website for these updates. 

The 2009 AfriNEAD Symposium conference report and presentations are also available on the site.

[Info from DRF member: Tsitsi Chataika]

DRF News, Events and Conferences

Love, Work and Ordinariness – 1st UK Disability Film Festival Day is announced (Friday 3rd December 2010)

The 1st UK Disability Film Festival Day takes place on Friday 3rd December across a range of venues. The event in Manchester will be hosted by Cornerhouse and is curated by Lucy Burke (Department of English, MMU) and Chris Hammond (Full Circle Arts).

Our programme includes a number of award winning short films: animation by the Canadian film-maker Shira Avni, John and Michael (2004) and Tying Your Own Shoes (2009), Liz Crow’s Frida Kahlo’s Corset (2000), and a selection of films made by people with learning disabilities from the Oska Bright film festival. There will also be an opportunity to see archive newsreel and documentary footage from the 1930s through to the 1970s and to discuss what you see with other participants.

The event is organised into three themed sessions:

  • 1.30pm – 2.30pm: Extra/ordinariness
  • 2.45pm – 3.45pm: Work
  • 4.00pm  – 5.00pm: Love

Tickets Places are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment.

The cost of the event is £5.00 waged and £2.50 unwaged/student or £2.00 per session waged and £1.00 per session unwaged/student.

To book your place, please contact Cornerhouse Box Office on 0161 200 1500

For specific access requirements, please contact Simon Fisher on 0161 200 1500 or by email: simon.fisher@cornerhouse.org

Any questions about the programme itself, should be directed to Lucy Burke, l.burke@mmu.ac.uk

The address for Cornerhouse is: 70 Oxford Street, Manchester, M1 5NH, www.cornerhouse.org

Critical Theory, DRF News, Events and Conferences

Critical Disability Studies *FREE* Conference *Theorizing Normalcy and the Mundane* 2011

A little reminder about the Critical Disability Studies *FREE* Conference *Theorizing Normalcy and the Mundane* 2011

Dates and Venue: Wednesday 14th and Thursday 15th September 2011 ~ 10am-4.30pm each day held at Manchester Metropolitan University.

A FREE! conference co-hosted by the Research Institute of Health and Social Change at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), University of Chester, University of Iceland, the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto and Sheffield Hallam University.

This two day conference builds upon the first, and hugely successfully, ‘Theorising Normalcy and the Mundane’ conference held in May 2010.  It brings together an international group of researchers and calls for papers which will address diverse issues including:

  • exploring the cultural and political production of normalcy
  • addressing our obsession with reason and rationality
  • connecting ableism with other hegemonies including heterosexism, racism and ageism
  • analysing the barriers and possibilities of the mundane and extraordinary
  • deconstructing new pathologies and ‘abnormalities’

Confirmed keynote speakers include Anat Greenstein (MMU, UK) and Fiona Kumari Campbell (Griffith University, Australia).

Our aim is for this conference to be as inclusive as possible. We welcome activists, undergraduate and postgraduate students, practitioners and academics to join us.

In the spirit of an eco-friendly conference, registered delegates will be sent an e-pack. Details of accommodation near the venue will also be sent to delegates.

As the conference is FREE!, lunch and refreshments will be available for purchase at the University, if you wish.  Please let us know if you have any dietary requirements so we can make the restaurant aware of delegate requirements.

  • Deadline for paper abstracts: 4th April 2011 [since extended to 22nd May]
  • Deadline for attendance: 22nd August 2011

For the sake of ease, we are keeping the original email so please email abstracts and attendance to: normalcy2010@hotmail.com

If you are interested in this you may also be interested in the call for papers the *Critical Autism Seminar Day* at Sheffield Hallam University (18th January 2011: 9.45am-4,30pm) to be followed by the launch of Dan Goodley’s much anticipated new text, Disability Studies: An Interdisciplinary Introduction (4.30 – 6.00pm, with refreshments).

Critical Theory, DRF News, Events and Conferences, Publications

Book Launch Announced: ‘Disability Studies: An Interdisciplinary Introduction’ by Dan Goodley

Following the previous call for papers for the *Critical Autism Seminar Day* at Sheffield Hallam University (18th January 2011). We are thrilled to be able to announce the launch of Dan Goodley’s much anticipated new text, Disability Studies: An Interdisciplinary Introduction.  We invite you to enjoy refreshments with us after the seminar from 4.30 – 6.00pm where there will be a chance to meet the author.

Dan Goodley (Professor of Psychology and Disability Studies, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK) presents a book which “injects new energy into disability studies.  He breaches disciplinary walls embracing, inter alia, sociology, critical psychology, cultural studies, inclusive education and psychoanalysis” (Bill Hughes, Glasgow Caledonian University).

This is a FREE! seminar day co-hosted by Sheffield Hallam University, Manchester Metropolitan University and the Disability Research Forum.  It will be held on Tuesday, 18th January 2011 (9.45am-4.30pm with the book launch 4.30pm-6.00pm) and will address diverse issues including:

  • deconstructing pathologies and ‘abnormalities’
  • exploring neurodiversity
  • autism as/and celebrity
  • ‘autism industries’ and the commodification of impairment

The confirmed keynote speaker is Anne McGuire (Department of Sociology and Equity Studies in Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto, Canada). 

  • Deadline for paper abstracts: 1st December 2010 ~ to submit abstracts, please contact:  k.runswick-cole@mmu.ac.uk
  • Deadline for attendance: 6th January 2011   

The event will take place in the Arundel Building, 122 Charles Street, City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University, S1 1WB.   For information on the Arundel Building click here.  For a map of City Campus click here.

If you are interested in this you may also be interested in the call for papers for the Critical Disability Studies Conference *Theorizing Normalcy and the Mundane* 2011 – a *FREE* two-day conference at MMU between 14th – 15th September 2011.

DRF News, Media and Culture, Publications

Disability, Humour and Comedy ~ a Special Issue of the Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies: Call for Papers

In recent years disability’s relationship with humour and comedy has begun to be theorised.  A special issue of the Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies seeks to provide a platform for these debates.

Guest edited by Dr. Tom Coogan (University of Leicester) and Dr. Rebecca Mallett (Sheffield Hallam University) the Call for Papers is as follows:

According to Morreall (2009), the Incongruity Theory “is today the most widely accepted theory of humour.” This theory holds that what makes a situation humorous is “that there is something odd, abnormal or out of place, which we enjoy in some way.” Add to this Mitchell and Snyder’s (2000) concept of narrative prosthesis, which identifies disability (and with it oddness, abnormality and “out of placeness”) as the crutch upon which narratives lean for their representational power, and a more fundamental relationship between disability and humour is suggested. As Moran (2003) has observed, humour is a term with a multitude of meanings. Among other things, she observes, it is a “cognitive style”; a term for a stimulus (e.g. a joke) or the response (e.g. laughter); a term for complex interactions between individuals; a “personality trait”; and an inherent characteristic.

Whatever the meaning, humour remains a multi-faceted thing. It can include as well as it excludes. It can both ease and exacerbate. What is clear is that humour creates many more questions than it answers. Who is allowed to make jokes about disability? If we are offended, should we just “get a sense of humour”? Is there a hierarchy of impairments, with some impairments being “fair game” and others “off limits”? Is there such a thing as “disability” humour? Does humour run the risk of attacking the seriousness, and thus the legitimacy, of disability rights? Or does it have a part to play in the struggle for such rights? How is disability playing out in the current vogues for satirical comedy and the comedy of embarrassment (e.g. “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “The Office”)?

This special issue of JLCDS will explore the interplay between humour, impairment and disability across all forms of culture and the media. Submissions might consider representations of disability in particular texts or specific forms. Alternatively, they might examine disability theory in relation to humour theory. Submissions on all topics related to disability, humour and comedy are very welcome. Considerations of the impact of “political correctness” – the policing of what can and cannot be made funny – as well as the impact of “critical correctness” (Mallett, 2007) – the policing of what can and cannot be said about humorous/comedic representations of disability -are encouraged. We urge submissions to think the unthinkable and address the difficult questions.

Proposals (400 word abstract and a short bio) should be emailed to the guest editors Tom Coogan (University of Leicester): tac7@le.ac.uk or Rebecca Mallett (Sheffield Hallam University): r.mallett@shu.a.uk by March 1st, 2011.  Final submissions will be due by October 2011.

Critical Theory, DRF News, Events and Conferences, Media and Culture, Policy and Legislation

2011 Pacific Rim Conference on Disability: “Humanity: Advancing Inclusion, Equality and Diversity” Call for Papers

The 2011 Pacific Rim Conference on Disability: “Humanity: Advancing Inclusion, Equality and Diversity” to be held in Honolulu, Hawaii (18th-19th April 2011) is now calling for papers.  More informaiotn on the conference can be found here.  This post is specifically about the Disability Studies Strand: Culture, Policy and Global Change.

Disability Studies approaches disability as a social and cultural phenomena in which localized and global interpretations include socio-cultural, historical, political and rights-based perspectives.  The Pacific Rim International Conference on Disabilities topic area, Disability Studies: Culture, Policy and Global Change, seeks to imagine and convey where Disability Studies is at present, how it is evolving, and what it entails for the immediate and more distant future.

They welcome proposals in any area of Disability Studies, including:

  • Current developments and national and global approaches to Disability Studies programs;
  • Historical and contemporary perspectives about Disability Studies;
  • Retrospectives and future directions in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the American’s with Disabilities Act;
  • Present and future impacts of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on Disability Studies
  • The role of the Internet and technology, including social networking, distance learning, Universal Design and online research tools, on Disability Studies research and dissemination
  • The intersections, including integration and collaboration, between Disability Studies and other disciplines
  • The ways in which Disability Culture has informed Disability Studies

Please see presentation formats on the Web site: http://www.pacrim.hawaii.edu/submissions/presenters/formats/.

You may submit proposals online at: http://www.pacrim.hawaii.edu/callforpapers/ or send your proposals via email to prcall@hawaii.edu.

For more information about this topic area, contact the Disability Studies Co-Chairs:

DRF News, Events and Conferences, Media and Culture, Publications

POPCAANZ Conference 2011 and *New* Journal: Call for Papers on ‘Disability and Culture’

The Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand (POPCAANZ) is devoted to the scholarly understanding of everyday cultures. It is concerned with the study of the social practices and the cultural meanings that are produced and are circulated through the processes and practices of everyday life. Its conference and soon to be launched journal offer ideal opportunities for publishing work which could be said to fit into the remit of Cultural Disability Studies.

The POPCAANZ Conference 2011 will be New Zealand between 29th June – 1st July 2011.  Academics, professionals, cultural practitioners and those with a scholarly interest in popular culture are invited to be involved.  Panel chair, Donna McDonald, is encouraging a wide variety of abstracts around the theme of disability and popular culture and asks for 150 word abstracts to be sent to d.mcdonald@uq.edu.au.  Deadline for submissions is 30th January 2011. Other panels (with chair contact details) include:

Anime and Manga – Craig.Norris@utas.edu.au
Fashion – Vicki.Karaminas@uts.edu.au
Film and TV – rebecca.beirne@newcastle.edu.au
Graphic Novels and Comics – paul.mountfort@aut.ac.nz
Music – Edward.montano@mq.edu.au
Popular Biography and Life Writing – Giselle.Bastin@flinders.edu.au
Popular Design – derham@unimelb.edu.au and prudenceblack@gmail.com
Popular Fiction – t.johnsonwoods@uq.edu.au
Popular History – hsuming.teo@mq.edu.au
Science – b.lott@qut.edu.au
Sports – c.wical@uq.edu.au
Visual Arts – adam.geczy@sydney.edu.au

The Australasian Journal of Popular Culture, which is the association’s official journal, will be launched during the 2011 conference.  If you would like to submit an article please contact the editors: Toni Johnson-Woods (t.johnsonwoods@uq.edu.au) or Vicki Karaminas (Vicki.karaminas@uts.edu.au). For more information visit here.