Events and Conferences

Disability Studies @ University of Sheffield Seminar: Meanings of an ‘autistic’ sexual subjectivity

Disabilityuos Seminar
12 – 1.30, April 17th 2013
Room 7.02, Education Building, University of Sheffield 388 Glossop Road

Hanna Bertilsdotter-Rosqvist
Umeå UniversitySE-901 87 Umeå, Sweden

Meanings of an ‘autistic’ sexual subjectivity- narratives of love, sexuality and couplehood on people with autism´s own terms within the Swedish autistic self-advocacy movement

Abstract: In research on sexuality and developmental disabilities three discourses dominates: the sexual restriction/regulation discourse, the sexual education discourse and a sexual political discourse. Perspectives on sexuality, couplehood and autism are gradually changing in Sweden. Through this change people with autism are gradually being included within a discourse of “good enough sexuality” on certain conditions (sexuality based on twosome, monogamous love). The present paper explores discourses within the Swedish autistic self-advocacy movement of an ‘autistic’ sexuality and couplehood (sexuality and couplehood on people with autism´s own terms). The analyses is based on articles in a Swedish magazine, Empowerment, published between 2002-2009, produced by and aimed at adults with autism. The stories in the magazine Empowerment can be seen as expressing an emergent counter-hegemonic conditional discourse of “good enough sexuality” which regards some people with autism as “good enough” sexual subjects and possible sexual and romantic partners.

Hanna Bertilsdotter Rosqvist is an Associate Professor in Sociology and Research Fellow in Sociology and Gender studies at Umeå University, Sweden. She now holds a position as senior lecturer at the Department or Social Work, Umeå university. Her research interests include autism politics and identity constructions among adults with autism. Other areas of interest are homonormativity, representations of bisexuality, and intersecting notions of age, space and sexuality.

DRF News

Call for Papers: ‘Disability and the Gothic’ Edited Volume

The relationship between disability and the Gothic, as Martha Stoddard Holmes rightly observes, has been undertheorized by scholars of the genre. This is surprising, given the intensity with which the Gothic has historically explored and exploited the prejudices associated with human difference as manifested in physiological and mental deviations from a perceived norm.

The proposed volume, which will be presented within the established International Gothic Series, published by Manchester University Press, will explore the uses and abuses of disability in Gothic fiction from the eighteenth century to the present, and will advance a genuinely international and multicultural analysis of this neglected aspect of Gothic stylistics. We particularly welcome papers that discuss Gothic textuality beyond the established European and American canon.

Issues which might be explored by contributors could include (but are not limited to):

  • Abject bodies                                           
  • Human vivisection
  • Amputation                                            
  • Leprosy
  • Birth defects
  • Mental illness
  • Body Integrity
  • Phantom limbs
  • Body modification                                  
  • Pigmentation variations
  • Branding and scarification                    
  • Post-apocalyptic bodies
  • Conjoined siblings                                  
  • Prostheses
  • Corrective surgery                                  
  • Queer bodies
  • Degeneration                                          
  • Ritual disfigurement
  • Hermaphroditism                                  
  • Supernumerary limbs
  • Hospital culture                                      
  • Zoomorphism

Proposals of approximately 500 words should be sent to the editors by 30 September 2013.  The editors are: William Hughes (Department of English, Bath Spa University, UK) email and Andrew Smith (School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics, University of Sheffield, UK) email


If you are interested in this, you might also be interested in…

Call For Papers for Precarious Positions ~ Encounters with Normalcy – 4th Annual International Conference ***Theorising Normalcy and the Mundane*** 3rd + 4th September 2013 at Sheffield Hallam University can be found here.


Disability Studies and..., DRF News, Events and Conferences

Reminder: next DRF seminar 14th March starring Mitzi Waltz and Jonathan Harvey

A quick reminder that the next DRF will be on Thursday 14th March, 2pm-4pm in Arundel 10111. After the seminar many of us will be making our way up to the University of Sheffield for Dan Goodley’s inaugural lecture at The University of Sheffield (more details here – please note the separate locations of these two events). Presenting this month will be:

Slot 1: Mitzi Waltz (Sheffield Hallam University, UK): Autism and Economic Disempowerment

Slot 2: Jonathan Harvey (The Open University, UK) Insider/outsider status: negotiating the complexity of life

See here for more details (and scroll down to March).

Venue: The seminar will be held in the Arundel Building, 122 Charles Street, City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University, S1 1WB.  For a map of City Campus click here.

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 you’d like to facilitate a round table discussion on.

Even if you do not intend to present, feel free to come along, listen and share your thoughts.   For lunchtime slots, please feel free to bring your own food and drink.

We aim to be accessible and have produced some guidelines of which we would like presenters to be mindful – these can be accessed here: Accessible Presenting

To offer to present, facilitate a discussion or for more detailed access information please contact: Rebecca Mallett: or 0114 225 4669 or Jenny Slater: or 0114 225 6691.


New Publication: Corporeality: The Body and Society, Edited by Cassandra A. Ogden and Stephen Wakeman

Please click on the link to find the flyer for a new book entitled Corporeality: The Body and SocietyThis volume, edited by (DRF member) Cassie Ogden and Stephen Wakeman, brings together work by established experts alongside new voices to provide an accessible and stimulating snap-shot of the role of the body in society in the early-twenty first century. The new essays collected in Corporeality: The Body and Society demonstrate some of the unique advantages attainable through studying the body theoretically. Focusing in on a series of embodied fields related to lifestyle media, war, disability, drugs and mental health, the book re-states the fundamental importance of a body-centred approach in the social sciences. Available now for purchase from: