DRF News

Details of next DRF Seminar ~ November 2011 (Sheffield, UK)

DRF Seminar Series: Seminar #2

Date/Time: 16th November 2011 (Weds) 2pm-4pm 

Venue: Room 10111 in the Arundel Building, City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University (More information on the venue can be found here.)

  • Manny Madriaga (Sheffield Hallam University): Is seeking the disabled person voice really necessary in empancipatory research?

Abstract: This paper calls for a renewed thinking on emancipatory research when seeking the disabled student ‘voice’ in the arena of higher education.  Drawing on the work of critical race theory, particularly whiteness, disability studies in the United Kingdom recently has been foregrounding the social processes of normalcy.  Normalcy highlights the (re)production of disability in everyday life.  This, of course, raises uncomfortable questions, particularly on the significance of seeking the voice of disabled people. These questions are explored here, reflecting on research that encompassed stories of university support staff and their support of disabled students.

  • Erin Pritchard (Department of Geography, University of Newcastle): Space and time strategies of dwarfs in public space: Body size and rights of access to the built environment

Abstract: In this paper, I aim to explore the experiences of women dwarfs and their encounters with others within the built environment and how space and time affect their experiences and right to access spaces. I argue that a dwarf’s right to access different spaces is affected by both social and spatial barriers which occur during different times and within different spaces. It is argued within this paper that negotiations of everyday spaces – including avoidance due to fear of name-calling – affect a person’s basic rights. More specifically, attention is drawn to the reasons why dwarfs avoid certain areas because of their disability (which in this case is their size) and the ways they respond to particular situations within these spaces. I look at both how the built environment can be inaccessible and also how an attitudinal environment can create inaccessible spaces. Drawing upon recent work by Rosemary Garland Thomson (2011) I intend to show how having a small body results in people becoming ‘misfits’ within society through not fitting the norm both socially and spatially and therefore causing exclusion in various public spaces. This work draws upon ongoing qualitative research with women dwarfs in order to examine their social and spatial experiences and how they negotiate the built environment. The findings from this paper suggest that dwarfs do negotiate the built environment differently often though avoidance of particular spaces and this therefore limits their rights to access spaces.

Next Seminar: 6th December 2011 (Tues) 12pm-2pm

Harriet Cooper (Birkbeck College, University of London): Othering and Ordinariness in Representations of the Physically Impaired Child in Anglo-American Culture in the period 1870-1911

Jenny Slater (Department of Psychology, Manchester Metropolitan University): Time travelling with young disabled people: developing a queer, crip, critically young, futurist methodology

There are still slots available in early 2012, so if you, or anybody you know, would like to present at a DRF seminar please do get in touch.  Alternatively, let us know if there is an issue/article/book on which you’d like to facilitate discussion.  Please email Rebecca Mallett: r.mallett@shu.ac.uk

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