Next Disability Research Forum session, 28 September

The next DRF session will take place on 28 September at 3.30-5.30pm in Arundel 10111. 


Hannah Ebben will host a paper by Antonios Ktenidis who is a PhD student at the University of Sheffield. 

Height As “The Elephant In The Room”: (Un)Learning The ‘Growing’ Body

While the ‘ideal’ body and/or the ‘corporeal standard’ (Kumari-Campbell, 2008) has/have been discussed in relation to dis/ability (ism) (Goodley, 2017; Slater, 2015), health (ism) (Shilling 1993; 2010), weight (ism) (Lebesco, 2004; Bordo, 2003), sex (uality) (ism) and race (ism) (Rice et. al., 2016; Slater, 2015) and beauty (ism) (Garland-Thomson, 2009), an unacknowledged feature of it/them is height (ism) (Feldman, 1975). Usually implied in terms such as body size and shape and .utilized in various measurements, such as the Body Mass Index (BMI) (Fletcher, 2014), height is still treated as ‘the elephant in the room’ -there, but not there.

With this presentation, I aim to explore the identification of height with ‘growth’, as materialized in arborescent structures of knowledge(s) (Deleuze&Guattari, 1987), such as the World Health Organizations’s normative growth charts (de Onis et al., 2012), and performed through constant height measurements from infancy to adulthood (National Health System Digital, 2016). I further consider the biopolitical technologies of surveillance (Foucault, 1984) e.g. the Red Book, which serve to secure the normative ways of ‘growing up’ and (re)produce ‘hierarchies of shortness’. Finally, I argue that such technologies act as affectivebiopedagogies (Wright, 2009; Harwood, 2009), teaching one how to live and feel their own body as well as how to perceive other bodies (Rice et al., 2016; Ahmed, 2004; Shilling, 1991).

I am Antonios Ktenidis and I am an ESRC PhD researcher at the School of Education, University of Sheffield. I am supervised by Professor Dan Goodley and Dr Kirsty Liddiard. My PhD explores the educational experiences (secondary education) of people with Restricted Growth in the United Kingdom. Among my research interests are: critical qualitative inquiry (with a focus on narrative inquiry & embodied methodologies), non-normative bodies and ‘their’ stories and intersectionality.

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