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CFP: Special Forum of Review of Disability Studies, ‘The Crip, the Fat and the Ugly in an Age of Austerity: Resistance, Reclamation, and Affirmation’

The Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal (RDS) seeks proposals for a special forum on the Crip, the Fat, the Ugly. We are currently soliciting papers of up to 7500 words in length, including references and tables. The deadline for submission of papers is June 1, 2017. Papers should be submitted to the Special Guest Editors Dr. Jen Slater, Sheffield Hallam University j.slater@shu.ac.uk, and Dr. Kirsty Liddiard, University of Sheffield k.liddiard@sheffield.ac.uk . Upon submission, please indicate that your paper is for consideration of the special forum on the Crip, the fat, and the ugly in an age of austerity.

Papers considered for inclusion may take the form of academic and creative works, as well as reflections on international disability-specific policies, practices, pedagogies and developments.

Submissions to this special issue will undergo a process of multiple editors peer-review. Authors will be notified of whether their papers will be included in the forum by September 1, 2017. Accepted authors will then be asked to submit their papers online to RDS. Prospective authors are encouraged to consult the RDS website at http://www.rds.hawaii.edu for more information about the Journal and its formatting guidelines. Authors are encouraged to review previous issues of RDS in preparing their paper and to subscribe to the Journal. All submissions must follow the RDS publication guidelines posted on the website. Please note that acceptance of an article does not guarantee publication in RDS.

‘The magnificence of a body that shakes, spills out, takes up space, needs help, moseys, slinks, limps, drools, rocks, curls over on itself. The magnificence of a body that doesn’t get to choose when to go to the bathroom, let alone which bathroom to use. A body that doesn’t get to choose what to wear in the morning, what hairstyle to sport, how they’re going to move or stand, or what time they’re going to bed. The magnificence of bodies that have been coded, not just undesirable and ugly, but un-human. The magnificence of bodies that are understanding gender in far more complex ways than I could explain in an hour. Moving beyond a politic of desirability to loving the ugly. Respecting Ugly for how it has shaped us and been exiled. Seeing its power and magic, seeing the reasons it has been feared. Seeing it for what it is: some of our greatest strength’. (Mingus, 2011)

Global austerity has a far reach, often into, around, behind, beyond and alongside the body. Global austerity routinely categorises bodies in terms of productivity, value, cost, ability and aesthetics. The body is positioned vis-a-vis global austerity as a site for social order, economic possibility, progression, and big business. Whereas “[a]n able body is the body of a citizen; deformed deafened, amputated, obese, female, perverse, crippled, maimed and blinded bodies do not make up the body politic” (Davis, 1995, pp. 71-72).

Through global austerity, then, the crip, the fat and the ugly are typically Othered and denigrated bodies, identities, minds and selves, implicated and co-constituted by one-another (Bergman, 2009; Kafer, 2013). Within a context of coloniality, transnational capitalism, patriarchy, cissexism and white supremacy, the Crip, the fat and the ugly are rendered unintelligible (Butler, 1999), made in/visible and vilified locally, nationally, and globally. As Garland-Thompson (2002, p. 57) reminds us, “as a culture we are at once obsessed with and intensely conflicted about the disabled body. We fear, deify, disavow, avoid, abstract, revere, conceal, and reconstruct disability – perhaps because it is one of the most universal, fundamental of human experiences”.

Notwithstanding the harsh political backdrop, Clare (2015, p. 107) reminds us that “[w]ithout pride, individual and collective resistance to oppression becomes nearly impossible”. In this special issue we therefore seek to explore affirmatory meanings and pleasurable engagements with the Crip, the fat and the ugly. By this we mean to critically resist and play with normative understandings of what bodies should do and be, to reimagine that – as Mingus (2011) emphasises – the Crip, the fat and the ugly are ‘our greatest strength’. How are Crip, fat and ugly embodiments both resisting and resistant? How might they offer new ways of interrogating global austerity and neoliberal ways of life? How might the Crip, the fat, and the ugly generate new, diverse and polymorphous pleasures? What are the relationships, entanglements and connections between the austere and the aesthetic? What communities do the Crip, the fat, and the ugly build and how are these critical for survival, love and life?

Submissions to this journal could include, but are not limited to, critical interrogations of the relationship between the crip, the fat and the ugly, with:

  • Aesthetic labour
  • Activism and resistance
  • Beauty industries and economies
  • Biopolitics and biopedagogies
  • Bodily esteem, confidence, self-worth and self-love
  • Colonisation and first nations communities
  • Emotion and affect
  • Extensions of Mia Mingus’ work on ugliness
  • Globalisation and globality
  • Health and healthisisation
  • Identity, imagery and representation: masculinities, femininities, queer trans and intersex identities
  • Impairment and embodiment
  • Industrial complexes, institutions and systems
  • Madness and Mad politics
  • Other forms of privilege and oppression (class, ‘race’, gender, sexuality, age etc.)
  • Popular culture and The Arts
  • Queer bodies, identities and selves
  • The politics of staring (Garland-Thomson, 2009)
  • The sexual body: Pleasure, sensuality and desire

RDS is a peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary, international journal published by the Center on Disability Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. The Journal contains research articles, essays, creative works and multimedia relating to the culture of disability and people with disabilities.

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Wednesday’s Disability Reading Group / Disability Research Forum session

The joint session will be held at the 22nd of February in Arundel 10211.

This month’s Disability Reading Group session will take pace at 12:30-13:30 and will look at the following article:

Runswick-Cole, K. (2011) “Time to end the bias towards inclusive education?”, in: British Journal of Special Education, vol. 38, no. 3: 112-119.

Please contact srhannam@my.shu.ac.uk for further information, access to the article, or if you have any questions about accessibility. If you can’t make this month’s session but you are interested in future sessions and want to be added to the email list, please also contact us.

After a 30-minute break, we will continue with a Disability Research Forum session from 14:00 to 16:00. Our two speakers are:

Emily Redmond from the charity Good Things Foundation

Disabled people crossing the digital divide: Supporting independence with digital skills in the community

This presentation focuses on research undertaken with community organisations which support disabled people, to find out about the barriers to digital inclusion facing this audience. The research, carried out by Sheffield charity Good Things Foundation, has informed a practical handbook to help such organisations get disabled people online.

12.6 million UK adults lack basic digital skills and 5.3m have never been online. Research shows that disabled people are among the most digitally excluded groups in the UK, with 25% of disabled adults having never used the Internet, compared to 10.2% of UK adults. These statistics indicate there is a need for further resources to support organisations with the knowledge and best practice to help more disabled people benefit from digital skills and the Internet.

The Doing Digital Inclusion: Disability Handbook is a practical online resource which outlines common barriers disabled people face to learning basic digital skills and getting online, and presents advice on overcoming these barriers, including tips for engaging, recruiting and supporting disabled people in the community to gain digital skills.

Good Things Foundation (formerly Tinder Foundation) is a charity that supports digitally and socially excluded people to improve their lives through digital. It brings together thousands of community partners to make up the Online Centres Network, reaching deep into communities to help people across the UK gain the support and skills they need to change their lives and overcome social challenges.

And Ria Cheyne who is based at Liverpool Hope University

Disability, Sexuality and Romance (Novels)

As a popular media form that frequently depicts disabled characters finding love and living happily ever, romance novels are a key site of investigation for Disability Studies.  In a cultural context in which disabled people are rarely positioned ‘as either desiring subjects or objects of desire’ (Anna Mollow and Robert McRuer), popular romance texts which explore and celebrate disabled sexuality are multiply significant.  This presentation focuses on the depiction of disabled sexuality in a range of contemporary romance novels, exploring what such texts have to offer both disabled and non-disabled readers.

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Call for abstracts: The New Disability Activism

Call for abstracts:

The New Disability Activism: Current Trends, Shifting Priorities and (Uncertain) Future Directions

 

The onslaught of neoliberalism, austerity measures and cuts, impact of climate change, protracted conflicts and ongoing refugee crisis, rise of far right and populist movements have all negatively impacted on disability and created more suffering, impairment and deaths in the global north and south. At the same time we are witnessing the watering down of many rights, legal entitlements and policies that sustained disability lives as well as the ability and willingness of academia, non-governmental organisations, multinationals and institutions to get involved in fighting back politically, economically, culturally and socially to ensure change. Yet, disabled people are fighting back and we urgently need to understand how, where and what they are doing, what they feel their challenges are and what their future needs will be.

 

We are thus putting together a book proposal for Routledge illustrating disability activism in its current forms and needed future directions. We will provide a dedicated space to disability activists to give them a platform to illustrate their current practices and a platform to do this in a format of their choosing. We also want to illustrate some of the ways in which academics are engaging in activist practice to understand why and how this occurs. Lastly, we feel we need to learn from the ways in which disability activism is forming and will change or needs to change to combat the coming challenges of the 21st Century.  How do you define activism? Does disability activism need to decolonise? What are the differing roles of pioneer and emerging activists in the north and south? What kinds of issues are of concern?

 

*Topics of interest include but are not limited to:*

-The links between models and theories to social changes as seen and understood by activists and academics: what works?

-The effects of neoliberal austerity measures and role of disabled people’s activism in the global north and south and links to influencing international and national policy

-Disability activism and links to academia, non-governmental organisations, multinationals and ensuring funding, restitution or reparations

-Perspectives from pioneer disability activists from the global north and south

-Decolonising disability activism, protesting ableism and rethinking human rights in the global south and north

-The experiences of disability activisms or emerging activisms that are not regularly given attention such as those of women, children and the elderly

-New tactics, issues and advocacy movements, emancipations and liberations

-Cyber-activism, the deep web and social media

-New health activisms around issues such as dementia or infectious diseases and links to ‘disability’, biological (dis)ableism and the new futures of genomics for disability lives

-Psychiatry, mad pride, mad studies, neurodiversity and survivor activism

-Rebellion, emancipation, political revolt and the roles of disability in peace movements and reconciliation

-Forced migration, refugee experiences and combating a disabling humanitarianism

-Involvement in accessibility, independence and inclusion movements in Indonesia, intersectionality to protests against university fees in South Africa or movements such as Black Lives Matter in the United States

-Far right movements, fascism and living under (dis) ableist dictatorships

-Interventions in disabled people’s lives and role of activism

-Disability activism incarcerated and imprisoned (i.e. prisons, day centres, orphanages, care homes etc.)

-Art, culture, tourism and disability activism

-Political engagement, voting (‘Cripping’ the vote or making it accessible) and occupation of public spaces

-Different styles of activism: ‘confrontational vs non-confrontational disability activism’

 

 

Editors:

Dr. Maria Berghs (De Montfort University), Dr. Tsitsi Chataika (University of Zimbabwe) and Dr. Yahya El-Lahib (University of Calgary)

 

We will be supported by an advisory board of activists who will ensure oversight of the activist contributions.

 

Please send your abstract submissions to: disabilityactivism@gmail.com

 

Abstracts should contain a title, a short paragraph (300 words) and some key words.

 

*Deadline:* 31st of March 2017

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Dis/Cinema screening of Sins Invalid, 1st of March

Dis/Cinema’s second screening will be of the film Sins Invalid: An Unshamed Claim to Beauty, facilitated by Dr Kirsty Liddiard, Research Fellow in the School of Education at the University of Sheffield.  All screenings are FREE and everyone is welcome to attend.
DETAILS:
Screening of Sins Invalid: An Unshamed Claim to Beauty
Wednesday, 1 March, 2017
The Diamond, room G.04, University of Sheffield
Screening at 6:00pm
Free to attend
Sins Invalid is a performance project that incubates and celebrates artists with disabilities, centralizing artists of color and queer and gender-variant artists. The film explores themes of sexuality, beauty, and the disabled body. Watch a trailer
Dr Kirsty Liddiard is a Research Fellow in the School of Education and Co-Leader of the Institute for the Study of the Human (iHuman), University of Sheffield. Kirsty’s research explores disability, gender, and sexual and intimate citizenship in contemporary dis/ableist cultures. Visit Kirsty’s website
 
*For accessibility enquiries, contact us at discinemasheffield@gmail.com
 
**See the attached flyer and the dis/cinema wordpress for more details.
dis/cinema is a new initiative put in motion by PhD students at the University of Sheffield, which offers film and documentary screenings with themes of disability, mental health, and related stigma. In subsequent series, dis/cinema plans to show screenings that address further themes of ‘otherness’ as disruptions to the status quo. Screenings will always be followed by a Q&A which will be facilitated by either a director/producer of the film and/or an individual who does work within the context of the specific film being screened. dis/cinema aims to create a space to discuss and more clearly identify issues and stigma around ableism, or discrimination against people with disabilities.
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Disability Reading Group session on Katherine Runswick-Cole, 22nd of February

This month’s DRG is being held in conjunction with the DRF session on the 22nd February. The session is going to be from 12.30-1.30pm at Arundel 10211 Sheffield Hallam University, City Campus, Howard Street, Sheffield, S1 1WB
 
This month we will be taking a look at:
Runswick-Cole, K. (2011). Time to end the bias towards inclusive education? British Journal of Special Education. 38(3). 112-119.
 
Please contact srhannam@my.shu.ac.uk for further information, access to the article, or if you have any questions about accessibility. If you can’t make this month’s session but you are interested in future sessions and want to be added to the email list, please let us know.
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Reminder for the joint Disability Reading Group / Disability Research Forum session

The joint session will be held at the 22nd of February in Arundel 10211.

This month’s Disability Reading Group session will take pace at 12:30-13:30 and will look at the following article:

Runswick-Cole, K. (2011) “Time to end the bias towards inclusive education?”, in: British Journal of Special Education, vol. 38, no. 3: 112-119.

Please contact srhannam@my.shu.ac.uk for further information, access to the article, or if you have any questions about accessibility. If you can’t make this month’s session but you are interested in future sessions and want to be added to the email list, please also contact us.

After a 30-minute break, we will continue with a Disability Research Forum session from 14:00 to 16:00. Our two speakers are:

Emily Redmond from the charity Good Things Foundation

Disabled people crossing the digital divide: Supporting independence with digital skills in the community

This presentation focuses on research undertaken with community organisations which support disabled people, to find out about the barriers to digital inclusion facing this audience. The research, carried out by Sheffield charity Good Things Foundation, has informed a practical handbook to help such organisations get disabled people online.

12.6 million UK adults lack basic digital skills and 5.3m have never been online. Research shows that disabled people are among the most digitally excluded groups in the UK, with 25% of disabled adults having never used the Internet, compared to 10.2% of UK adults. These statistics indicate there is a need for further resources to support organisations with the knowledge and best practice to help more disabled people benefit from digital skills and the Internet.

The Doing Digital Inclusion: Disability Handbook is a practical online resource which outlines common barriers disabled people face to learning basic digital skills and getting online, and presents advice on overcoming these barriers, including tips for engaging, recruiting and supporting disabled people in the community to gain digital skills.

Good Things Foundation (formerly Tinder Foundation) is a charity that supports digitally and socially excluded people to improve their lives through digital. It brings together thousands of community partners to make up the Online Centres Network, reaching deep into communities to help people across the UK gain the support and skills they need to change their lives and overcome social challenges.

And Ria Cheyne who is based at Liverpool Hope University

Disability, Sexuality and Romance (Novels)

As a popular media form that frequently depicts disabled characters finding love and living happily ever, romance novels are a key site of investigation for Disability Studies.  In a cultural context in which disabled people are rarely positioned ‘as either desiring subjects or objects of desire’ (Anna Mollow and Robert McRuer), popular romance texts which explore and celebrate disabled sexuality are multiply significant.  This presentation focuses on the depiction of disabled sexuality in a range of contemporary romance novels, exploring what such texts have to offer both disabled and non-disabled readers.