Free Critical Sexology Seminar: Fat Sex, London, 23rd October

“Fat Sex”, 23rd October 2015

Critical Sexology seminars are free of charge and open to all. There is no need to register your intention to attend with the organizer(s). Unless otherwise stated, seminars take place between 2pm and 6pm. More info here

A guest-organized session by Dr Caroline Walters (Middlesex University), to be held in Room 2 (ground floor) of the Open University, Camden, London (Map here.)

Dr Francis Ray White (Senior Lecturer in Sociology, University of Westminster)
“Failures, Futures, and the Queerness of Fat Sex”

Frances Hatherley (PhD Student, Middlesex University)
“Against ‘Good Taste’: Class, Corpulence, and the Subversive Pleasures of ‘Unfit’ Femininities”

– Michelle Green (PhD Student, University of Nottingham)
– Laura Ellen Joyce (Lecturer in Film and Literature at Edinburgh Napier University)

The papers and discussion will be followed by a book launch of Fat Sex: New Directions in Theory and Activism, edited by Helen Hester and Caroline Walters (Ashgate 2015)

Seminars in 2016:

  • “Sex and Mental Health”, to be guest-organized by Nuno Nudin. Details to be announced soon.
  • “Anti-Post-Queer”, to be organized by Robert Gillett and Lisa Downing. Details to be announced soon.
  • “Sex Advice”, to be organized by Meg-John Barker.

Feminist Research Methodologies: Challenges and Negotiations. Free Postgraduate Research Conference. Sheffield, UK.

Friday, 30 October, 09:30 to 16:45, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK

Please note that this event is for current postgraduate students only.

For more information and to register, click here.

Feminist research has a distinct and political aim: to produce knowledge that will improve the situation of women. However, there are particular challenges involved in feminist research which researchers are required to negotiate. What are the implications of our chosen methodologies? What is our position in the research and what is the impact of this? How do we represent our participants?

How we negotiate these challenges, and how we reflect and write about these negotiations is a vital part of feminist research. Yet, the challenges implicit in doing this kind of research are not always adequately discussed or acknowledged by feminist researchers.

Sheffield Institute of Education is hosting a conference for postgraduate students who are undertaking research utilising feminist perspectives to engage in these discussions. We invite students from across disciplines to reflect on these issues and in a developmental and supportive environment.

This conference aims to:

1. Provide an opportunity for postgraduate researchers to share their experiences of doing feminist research
2. Generate discussions around feminist research across subject areas
3. Build a network of postgraduate students doing feminist research


CFP: Crip Futurities: The Then and There of Disability Studies, February 11-12 2016, University of Michigan


Crip Futurities: The Then and There of Disability Studies
February 11-12, 2016
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

** Keynote speakers: Ellen Samuels (UW-Madison) and Alison Kafer (Southwestern)

When we imagine future worlds, will they be accessible? What might crip future(s) entail? Following Alison Kafer’s “politics of crip futurity” outlined in Feminist, Queer, Crip, this conference centers the then-and-there of Disability Studies, wherein disability is not understood as lack or impediment, but as a “potential site for collective reimagining” (Kafer 9). We seek to nurture coalitions between scholars, artists, and activists who collectively aim to articulate the future of Disability Studies.

We also take this opportunity to honor the legacy of Tobin Siebers, whose foundational work in Disability Studies continues to enrich new scholarship.

We invite a broad range of proposals for individual presentations and for full 90-minute sessions in ANY format, from traditional papers to performances, collaborative panels to workshops. We welcome contributions from all disciplines and global/historical contexts that engage with the future of Disability Studies and/or Tobin Siebers’ legacy in literature, film, art, design, philosophy, performance, social science, and so forth. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • crip time and temporality
  • the beginning and end of life
  • disability and speculative fiction
  • disability and utopia
  • disability and new media or genres of inquiry
  • emerging interdisciplinary directions
  • global and transnational expansions of the field
  • redefinitions and revisions of concepts such as health and illness
  • bioethics, eugenics, and genetics
  • developing medical/scientific technologies
  • new design (i.e. assistive devices, universal design, architecture, etc. )
  • new pedagogies and platforms of scholarship
  • future visions of disability history and theory
  • Tobin Siebers’ life and legacy:
  • engagements with his academic scholarship or personal essays
  • the impact of his teaching
  • personal memories

We are also calling for 5-minute lightning talks presenting works-in-progress related to the conference theme; and poster presentations from faculty, staff, students, and community members, showcasing current, local projects and happenings. Conference participants are eligible to present a lightning talk or poster in addition to a main-session presentation.

Please submit a CV and 250-300 word proposal with title, institutional affiliation, and contact information as an e-mail attachment to CRIPFUTURE2016@gmail.com by November 15, 2015, and feel free to contact us at that address with any questions or concerns.

This 8th annual UMInDS (University of Michigan Initiative on Disability Studies) conference is hosted by members of the UM Disability Studies Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop, a Graduate Student Interest Group within the Department of English Language and Literature.


Anyone for Hawaii? CFP: Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity 2016

The 32nd Annual Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity will be held on 25-26 April 2016, at the Hawai’i Convention Center in Honolulu, USA.

This year they are featuring topic areas such as Putting Research into Practice and Disability Studies.

The Call for Proposals is NOW OPEN.

For more information, please visit www.pacrim.hawaii.edu, or feel free to e-mail at prinfo@hawaii.edu, or call at 1-808-956-7539.


Seminar: Reforming Additional Learning Needs Provision in Wales (Nov. 2015: Cardiff, UK)

What?: Reforming Additional Learning Needs Provision in Wales

When?: Thursday, 19th November 2015

Where?: Central Cardiff

Hosted by: Policy Forum for Wales

This Event is CPD Certified

Guest of Honour: Jassa Scott (Assistant Director, Estyn)

This seminar follows the recently released draft Additional Learning Needs (ALN) Bill, and will be an opportunity to examine key reforms included in the Bill ‐ including a new single support framework for learners with ALN up to the age of 25, and further strategies to identify and eliminate barriers to learning.

Sessions focus on how to facilitate greater cooperation and trust between schools, local authorities, and parents and carers; ways of providing a fairer and more transparent system of advice and information; and approaches to nurturing more effective partnerships between agencies, and schools and local authorities.

To view the full agenda or to book on please click here.


Registration open – ‘Dissecting the Page: Medical Paratexts’ conference (Sept 2015: Glasgow, UK)

From the conference organising committee…

Registration is open for ‘Dissecting the Page: Medical Paratexts’ conference, to be hosted by the University of Glasgow on  Friday 11th Sept 2015.

Thanks to funding from the Wellcome Trust, there is no fee to attend the conference, but if you wish to attend then please download the registration form and email it to the conference committee: atmedicalparatexts@gmail.com.

In the meantime do follow us on Twitter @ParatextMatters, and see our website.

This interdisciplinary conference draws together two emerging and complementary areas of research in the medical humanities: book history (as it pertains to medical texts), and the study of medical paratexts. We understand paratext as the apparatus of graphic communication: title pages, prefaces, illustrations, marginalia, and publishing details which act as mediators between text and reader. Discussing the development of medical paratexts across scribal, print and digital media, from the medieval period to the twenty-first century, the conference will take place on Friday 11 September 2015 at the University of Glasgow.

From Christina Lee and Freya Harrison’s discovery of the MRSA-combatting properties of an Anglo-Saxon recipe, to the increasing popularity of Ian Williams’ Graphic Medicine as a teaching tool for medical students, current research into the intersections between medicine, text, and image is producing dynamic and unexpected results (Thorpe: 2015; Taavitsainen: 2010; Couser: 2009; Cioffi: 2009; Díaz-Vera: 2009). With this conference, our keynote speakers will encompass collections-based approaches to medical humanities research (Prof. Jeremy Smith); the use of modern medical knowledge to inform medieval material research (Dr Deborah Thorpe); and creative approaches to medical humanities and contemporary medical practice. Recent years have seen several conferences and publications on paratextual research, and a range of events orientated around literature and medicine, but there is little crossover between the two fields. We propose that the breadth of research into medical book history in the medieval and early-modern period will prompt productive and innovative overlaps with work on modern medical paratexts and graphic novels. By focusing exclusively on medical paratexts, our aim is to establish an interdisciplinary network of scholars interested in graphic communication and medical practice. In addition to our keynote speakers and roundtable discussion, Glasgow’s Special Collections department have agreed to curate a display of medical marvels, medieval to modern, to coincide with the conference, introduced by Dr Bob McLean.

The conference venue, the Sir Alwyn Williams Building, is fully accessible. If you have any questions, please email the organising committee (Dr Hannah Tweed, Dr Diane Scott, and Dr Johanna Green) at medicalparatexts@gmail.com, or contact us via @ParatextMatters. We look forward to welcoming you to Glasgow!

DRF News

CFP: Disability and Impairment: a Technological Fix? (Nov. 2015: UK)

Event Title: Disability and Impairment: a Technological Fix?

Date: 27th November 2015

Location: London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, London, EC1R 0HB

Part of Disability History Month and supported by the King’s Fund, this conference will feature a range of speakers including community groups, heritage organisations and academics.


Papers are invited from across the heritage, cultural, academic and grassroots communities. Our aim is to generate a dialogue between these groups through a programme of presentations and shorts talks discussing the theme of technological change and the portrayal of disability then and now.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Assistive technology– the changing ways in which technology has been seen to act as an equaliser and a ‘fix’ for disability
  • Medical technology– the ways in which new medical technology has affected concepts of what is “normal”
  • A revolution?– comparisons of the portrayal of disability in the information age with agricultural and industrial societies.

We invite short abstracts of between 50 and 200 words for informal 10 minute presentations that share work-in- progress or provide an introduction to new projects or research that address these themes.  We also invite abstracts for 20 minute papers or presentations exploring them themes in more detail.

This conference is being delivered on a not for profit basis and the organisers are unable to cover speakers costs except in cases where speakers would otherwise be prevented from attending for financial reasons.

Abstract deadline: 1 October 2015

Abstracts to: tom.furber@cityoflondon.gov,uk

DRF News

Special Issue on ‘Disability and Television’ out now!!

This month the Journal of Popular Television is publishing an exciting special issue on ‘disability and television’ edited by Rebecca Mallett (Sheffield Hallam University) and Brett Mills (University of East Anglia).

More info can be found here: http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/journals/view-issue,id=2916/

Articles include:

  • Something special: Care, pre-school television and the dis/abled child ~ Amy Holdsworth
  • ‘It’s really scared of disability’: Disabled comedians’ perspectives of the British television comedy industry ~ Sharon Lockyer
  • From awww to awe factor: UK audience meaning-making of the 2012 Paralympics as mediated spectacle ~ Caroline E. M. Hodges,  Richard Scullion and  Daniel Jackson
  • Supersize vs. Superskinny: (Re)framing the freak show in contemporary popular culture ~ Allison Leadley
  • In their words: How television and visual media can raise awareness of dementia and other health conditions that carry stigma, including disabilities ~ Michelle Heward, James Palfreman-Kay and  Anthea Innes
  • Disability in television crime drama: Transgression and access ~ Katie Ellis

Reflection Pieces include:

  • Disability and television: Notes from the field ~ Sarah Barton
  • A ‘surprising and mature portrait’? Reflecting on representations of mental illness in Rookie Blue ~  Shane Brown
  • Is New Zealand ready for more diversity on-screen? ~ Philip Patston and  Barbara Pike

Enjoy 🙂