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Extended deadline CfP: The Crip, the Fat and the Ugly in an Age of Austerity: Resistance, Reclamation, and Affirmation

The deadline to submit to the special issue of the Review of Disability Studies, The Crip, the Fat and the Ugly in an Age of Austerity: Resistance, Reclamation, and Affirmation has been extended until  17th July 2017.

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 July 17, 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 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 Healthisation
  • 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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Funded PhD Opportunity: Contextualising bullying and ‘vulnerability’ in the lives of LGBT and/or disabled young people

Sheffield Hallam University is currently offering funded PhD places. One in particular is ‘disability’ related (co-supervised by the DRF’s Jen Slater). See below and follow this link for more information:

Contextualising bullying and ‘vulnerability’ in the lives of LGBT and/or disabled young people

Anti-bullying practice and advocacy often understands certain ‘types’ of young people, including lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans (LGBT) and disabled young people, as being ‘at risk’ or ‘vulnerable’ to bullying. At the same time, youth work provision and other support services are increasingly subject to ‘targeted’ (rather than universal) work. Such approaches essentialise and individualise ‘vulnerability’ as something ‘within’ a person, rather than a product of socio-cultural-political contexts. Combining our backgrounds in critical disability studies, critical psychology, and sociology, we are interested in proposals that examine and critique the notion of ‘vulnerability’, and how it is constructed and enacted in education and (youth) service provision. The suggested research approach is qualitative, within which artsbased and/or participatory methods could be adopted.

For further information, or informal discussion, please contact Eleanor Formby (e.formby@shu.ac.uk)

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CfP: ‘Queer/Crip Contagions’ for Special Issue of ‘Feminist Formations’

Queer/Crip Contagions
Call for Papers for a Special Issue of Feminist Formations

Edited by Kelly Fritsch and Anne McGuire
Full Papers due February 1, 2017
https://www.feministformations.org/submit/calls-for-papers

This special issue charts the limits and possibilities of queer/crip biosocial politics by examining the ways these intersect and co-mingle with the narratives, practices, and temporalities of contagion. Feminist scholars have long theorized “queer” and “crip” as unsettling, strange, twisted, or disruptive. Moreover, feminists have demonstrated how a queer/crip refusal of closure invites a range of discursive and embodied forms of contestation and coalition, offering radical alternatives to assimilationist or reformist politics. The coming together of queer and crip is an unstable yet fruitful site of interdisciplinary and multispecies exposure and exchange. Building upon and extending these insights, this special issue will trace the multiple and unexpected ways “queer” and “crip” influence and infect one another. Drawing on the etymology of contagion as “a touching, contact” or “touching closely,” how do queer and crip come into contact? What is absorbed? What is exchanged? And, what is or might yet be produced at this site? We solicit a diverse collection of articles emanating from a range of interdisciplinary fields and areas of study, but that are also united by a shared commitment to queer and crip the discourses and practices of contagion itself.

Bound by neither body nor border, contagion has become an emergent area of interest among scholars working at the intersections of critical race, transnational feminisms, queer theory and disability studies. Indeed, contagion frequently incites medical and moral crisis and panic through its historical, transnational, colonial, and imperial links to racial, sexual, and ability formations and violence. Jasbir Puar argues that the lexicon of contagion and disease “suture” together “etymological and political links” connecting racist/orientalist fears of border penetration and infiltration with cultural anxieties around queer, sick and/or disabled bodies (2007, 52). Mel Chen describes a queer/crip contagion that “de-territorializes,” exhibiting a unique flexibility to move “through and against imperialistic spatializations of ‘here’ and ‘there’” (2012, 167). Neel Ahuja marks contagion through projects of public health intervention and US empire that embed national defense and imperial interests in the racialized, gendered, sexualized, and ableist materializations of bodies (2016, xvi). Scholarship on the ongoing histories and logics of eugenics demonstrates how cultural ideologies of disability-as-threat contaminate and co-mingle with sexually and racially-coded narratives of biological in/security, thus legitimizing a range of neo/colonial and imperial health and hygiene practices in the name of individual, social, and economic development. By tracking contagion through contemporary discourses on viral diseases (i.e., Zika, HIV/AIDS, SARS, West Nile, Avian Flu, H1N1, or the range of diseases and illnesses associated with bioterrorism and biosecurity) and through the “epidemicization” of such phenomena as obesity, autism, smoking, poverty, violent crime, or toxic lead poisoning, we can develop a better sense of the cross-contamination between categories of race, gender, sexuality, and disability. Moreover, we can better understand how these categories have become essential to the organization of modern conceptualizations of human worth/value and to the authorization of an array of paternalistic, clinical, and imperial and colonial interventions.

Contagion most often comes to be associated with danger and undesirability – a racialized, pathological threat to be neutralized, eliminated, or cured. As contagion replicates and spreads through the expanding folds and ever-widening spectrums of illness, threats to our health and to our communities remain elusive and transitory, always eclipsed, always on the future horizon. Yet, contagion moves in indeterminate ways. Working to reorganize and manage both spatial/temporal relations, contagion de-regulates categories of health and disorder, while also and at the same time, anticipates the increased regulation and surveillance of bodies, minds and movements; contagion stimulates temporalities of speed, urgency and emergency, while also producing moments of stillness and suspended animation. Traveling along non-linear, transnational circuits spanning “then” and “now,” “here” and “there,” the queer/crip site of contagion provides a unique vantage for interrogating the violence of global capitalism, imperialism, colonialism, and its biosocial economies of human/nonhuman worth and precarity. Unbounded, intimate, and indeterminate, contagion also provides the grounds for provocative encounters and exchange: novel alliances between patients, scientists, politicians, doctors, biotech companies, community groups, and many others, that give rise to new kinds of biosocial relations. Contagion suggests a site of exposure, a vector of change, or a transgressive mixing that does not stay still. Theories of queer/crip contagion ask: which forms of embodiment are incorporated into life and which are put into quarantine or driven out of this vital fold? (Ahuja 2016; Puar 2012; McRuer 2010).

This special issue asks: how are queer/crip contagions – conceived of as unbounded convergences of bodies, minds, and meanings – working to open up new sites of, and for, social and political exchange? How are crip/queer contagions replicating, and spreading in ways that avoid the pitfalls of what Priscilla Wald (2008) has referred to as “outbreak narratives”? In other words, how are queer/crip narratives refusing social, political, medical, and moral containment by pushing back against 21st century tools and techniques aimed at controlling, capturing, arresting, or otherwise limiting the possibilities of and for biosocial politics: risk management, for example, neoliberal demands for flexibility, homo/able nationalism, clinical and state interventions and occupations, racialized violence, and/or ongoing colonial or imperial development projects?

This issue will build upon, enliven, and complicate emergent scholarship at the nexus of queer and crip. The editors encourage the submission of transnational feminist and intersectional work that engages queer/crip in relation to ethnicity, race, gender, disability, sexuality, age, citizenship, class and other socially produced categories of difference.

We welcome submissions related to, but not limited to the following questions: 

How are crip and queer theory shaped by the discourses and practices of contagion? What new kinds of epistemological and political frameworks emerge out of cross-contaminations between “queer” and “crip”?

What social and political meanings underpin the issue’s key terms ‘queer’, ‘crip’ and ‘contagion’? How are these categories produced by and responsive to ongoing histories of racism/ableism/heteronormativity/sexism?

How are transnational feminist perspectives penetrating queer/crip knowledge production? What new kinds of knowledge might yet be produced by attending to transnational issues and perspectives?

How do the lived experiences of queerness, disability, and chronic illness change across boundaries of race, ethnicity, class, and gender?

How do queer and crip challenge and reconfigure received understandings of kinship relations and imaginaries?

What are the limits and possibilities of thinking crip/queer as fluid, graded spectrums anchored by such binaries as homo/hetero, sickness/health, normal/abnormal?

How do changing forms of securitization impact queer/crip contagions? How do the discourses of contagion figure crip/queer bodies as threats to national security?
How does contagion influence disabled/queer/trans/race mobility across borders? What is the relationship between discourses of contagion and state or national practices of containment such as arrest/detention/delay?

How do increases in biometrics, biosecurity, and bioterrorism impact queer/crip contestations and coalitions?

What is the temporality of the contagion? How does contagion mediate our movements? Impact chronicity?

How are epidemics produced? What does and does not get framed as an epidemic? As non-contagious social “problems” like autism and obesity get narrated in terms of spreading epidemics, what work is and is not accomplished via contagion as metaphor?

What does social and moral panic over widespread/spreading diseases, disabilities and illnesses caused by viruses (e.g., Zika) or contaminants (e.g., lead, mercury, exposure to plasticizers, dirty water) reveal about cultural understandings of disability? How might a queer/crip reading of such events enrich/complicate our understandings of social advocacy (e.g., environmental activism, racial justice or reproductive rights)?

What is the relation between queer/crip contagions and immunization?

What might a queer/crip critique of epidemic/pandemic preparedness (e.g., evacuation plans, triage policies, etc.) look like?

How might a queer/crip framework of contagion critique or engage the exportation of health/hygiene techniques from the global north to global south? How would a queer/crip analysis of contagion both complicate and enrich analyses of global healthcare imbalances and political debates about unequal access to treatments/immunizations/cures in the Global South?

How do queer/crip contagions contest or mark the failure of imperialist, colonialist, and/or capitalist practices of biosecurity, biometrics, or governance?
As we track and follow the patterns/trajectory of contagions, where will it take us? What new forms of inter/transdisciplinary alliances might open up?

And/or that engage the following key topics:

Virality; Immunity; Epidemics; Public health; Crip/queer time, temporalities, futures, futurities; Chronicity, chronic conditions; Capitalism, neoliberalism, austerity, precarity; Bioeconomies, biocapitalism, economization or financialization of life; Toxicity; Hybridity; Trans-ability; Intra-species relations; Health, hygiene, healthism;  Nature/Culture;  Disability, illness, impairment, madness, Deafness, neurodiverity; Making kin;  Ecologies, environments; Affect; Cripistemologies; Trauma, memory;  Nation, colonialism, imperialism; Biosecurity and racialization/pathologization; Bioterrorism

Guest Editors:

Kelly Fritsch, Banting Postdoctoral Fellow, Women & Gender Studies Institute and Technoscience Research Unit, University of Toronto kelly.fritsch@utoronto.ca
Anne McGuire, Assistant Professor, Equity Studies Program, University of Toronto anne.mcguire@utoronto.ca

Submission Process: Full papers (between 8,000- 11,000 words including references) should be sent by February 1, 2017 to Kelly Fritsch (kelly.fritsch@utoronto.ca)   and Anne McGuire (anne.mcguire@utoronto.ca). Please include “Queer/Crip Contagions Submission” in the subject line of your submission.

Author(s) should include three files as attachments:

1. Cover page with identifying information including name, title, institutional affiliation, address, phone numbers, and email;
2. Abstract and keywords;
3. Complete manuscript, with all identifying information removed. Files must be in Word (.doc) or Rich Text Format (.rtf).

All submissions must follow the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) author-date system with parenthetical citations. All text, including quotations, must be double-spaced.

Following the deadline, guest editors will review the manuscripts and determine those to be sent for full anonymous review.

Feminist Formations style guide is available at: https://feministformations.org/sites/default/files/FeministFormationsStyleGuide2.pdf

Please contact either of the co-editors with questions or concerns about the submission process.
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Desiring Disability Research Symposium, Sheffield, 23rd November

Desiring Disability Symposium, University of Sheffield, 23rd November 2016, 12.00-17.00

Location: Room 8.07, Husband Building (Education Building), University of Sheffield, 388 Glossop Road, Sheffield, S10 2JA

Note: There is construction outside of the building, which is still accessible, but it is advised to give more time to find your way in

Programme

Introductory speech from:

Professor Dan Goodley:  Desiring Dis/ability

Presenters:

Holly Burkinshaw & Antonios Ktenidis: The Desire of Disability to the Study of Spatiality

Marek Mackiewicz: “Life Feels Good”

Vicky Mann: Students’ Lived Experience as a Learning Resource to Transform Learning

Lindsay Miller: Cripping Disability: Unsettling Positionality and the Rituals of Categorization

Michael Miller: CripQueering the Classroom: Smashing the Social Construction of Desire

Abstracts

Holly Burkinshaw & Antonios Ktenidis

The Desire of Disability to the Study of Spatiality

 Spatiality and human Geography has been a part of Disability Studies since the formation of UPIAS (Abberly, 1987; Oliver, 2009) but to what extent has Disability Studies scholars engaged with spatial theories? Drawing on the intersectionality of Critical Disability Studies (Goodley, 2011), this presentation unpicks some of the nuances of spatial geographies as set out by Procter (2015); Hackett (2015) and Curtis, (2015) to examine if, and how, Critical Disability Studies scholars can benefit from considering a spatial lens. Lefebvre’s (1994) ‘Spatial Triad’ is utilised to help to make sense of the perceived, conceived and lived spaces of disability alongside Kitchin’s (1998) ideas around the ‘power of space’ that ‘keep disabled people in place’. We highlight the enforcement of normalcy in space (Davis, 1995) and spatial design in relation to dis/placing or Dis/playing non-normative bodies before introducing our concept of ‘Dis-spatiality’. These ideas are drawn together by considering the dis/placed and dis/criminatory landscapes of dis/ability and embodiment (Michalko and Titchkosky, 2001) in order to challenge dominant ablest scriptures of space and place. Finally, we utilize Kraftl’s (2013) ideas to consider how children and young people move ‘beyond voice’ and ‘beyond agency’ to resist dominant spatial scriptures and, in doing so, actively resisting and re-constructing the landscapes of Dis-spatiality.

Marek Mackiewicz

“Life Feels Good”

The departure point for this presentation is the assertion that to understand a phenomenon, one needs to look at its social and cultural contexts (e.g. Berger & Luckmann, 1967; Gergen, 1985; Snyder & Mitchell, 2006). This means that attending to these social and cultural aspects is essential for a broad, wholesome understanding of any problem that one might research. The particular aim of this chapter is to explore what does Pieprzyca’s (2013) ‘Life feels good’ say about the socio-cultural construction of disability in Poland.

Employing the cultural model of disability (e.g. Garland Thomson, 2002) and Snyder and Mitchell’s (2006) ‘cultural locations of disability’, I deliberate on the problematic depiction of desire and disabled person’s desirability in the critically acclaimed film.

My argument is that the film sustains and / or reproduces the ideology of ‘personal tragedy theory’ (Oliver, 1996, p. 119) and neoliberal ableism  (Goodley, 2014). It does so, in part by exploiting the trope of disability to evoke emotions (Snyder & Mitchell, 2006) and if it is so the representation of disability in it, is invariably tainted.

Vicky Mann

Students’ Lived Experience as a Learning Resource to Transform Learning

This session considers how the lived experiences of students with disabilities can inform both practice and research. It shows how these experiences can be harnessed to improve inclusivity in teaching and develop innovative teaching practices, for example, developing inclusive assessments and teaching strategies. Further, it discusses how these experiences can inform research. It uses the case study of how a student who had experienced cancer related fatigue used this experience to develop a new way of thinking about fatigue, and had his research accepted at an international cancer conference (the NRCI).

Lindsay Miller

Cripping Disability: Unsettling Positionality and the Rituals of Categorization

Is disability undesirable? Is disability desirable? In order to get at the material-discursive underpinnings that produce the experience of un/desire, why must we first queer, subvert, destabilize and crip the category of ‘disability’ itself? While cripping is said to problematize and resist able-bodied/-minded assumptions of what constitutes ‘normal,’ this presentation will instead crip disability in order to problematize and resist some of the taken for granted assumptions of what constitutes disability/abnormality. Relatedly, meaning-making and the impossibility of rendering positionality, location, or context irrelevant to content will be attended to as a way to unsettle the tendency to delink our epistemic location from the various ways we actively produce knowledge (Alcoff, 1991; Scott, 1992). This presentation will also explore categorization as a ritual of sorts, with rituals being carriers of cultural codes symbolically transmitting ideologies that shape our perceptions, ways of understanding, and experiencing which are inextricably linked to relationships of power (McLaren, 1986). It is through becoming aware of how we shape and are shaped by the precarity involved in the performativity of ritual that we can embrace this precarity to further disrupt dominant, oppressive and often imperialistic structures (both external and internal) (McCormarck, 2014; Grech, 2012).

Michael Miller

CripQueering the Classroom: Smashing the Social Construction of Desire

The focus of this paper is on disability in the education system and the forms of violence that occur when an environment (classroom) doesn’t challenge dominant conceptions of ‘normal’ and its necessary, and necessarily undesirable opposite, ‘abnormal’ – simultaneously reinforcing ‘normal’ and punishing ‘abnormal’ (behaviors, desires, bodies, etc.). This paper will present potential opportunities to ‘cripqueer the classroom’ by offering ideas and challenges for dissenting from the systems of ‘compulsory heterosexuality’ (Rich 1980), ‘compulsory able-bodiedness’ (McRuer 2006) and ‘compulsory able-mindedness’ (Kafer2013) that serve to justify legal and social surveillance/exclusion/control and other forms of violence in (and out of) the classroom.

By (co)creating space where the mandated normative structure of the classroom (e.g. design, curriculum, student/teacher and student/student dynamics) is cripqueered, opportunities to first expose and challenge indoctrinated desires are opened up to later consider one’s own non-normative desires. Breaking down the power dynamic between teacher/student through the incorporation of something as (seemingly) simple as conversation (in the various ways that manifests) rather than the standard ‘banking model of education’ (Freire 1970) poses challenges and opportunities that a prefigurative approach will necessarily be emphasized.

Content Note: This presentation will include some talk of violence, as well as what some may consider coarse language.

 

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Disability Studies Reading Group, Sheffield, November 17th

After the success of the first Disability Studies Reading group 2016/17 at Sheffield Hallam University, I am happy to announce that meeting two will be taking place on November the 17th.

The informal discussion will be at Charles Street Building, Sheffield Hallam University, City Campus, Howard Street, Sheffield S1 1WB in room12.4.03 at 12pm.

The article to be discussed is:

Macleod, A., Lewis, A., Robertson, C. (2013) Why Should I Be Like Bloody Rain Man?! Navigating the Autistic Identity, British Journal of Special Education, 40(1), 41-49.

The following questions have been proposed to be thinking about, whilst you read:

  1. What is the importance of first-hand accounts?
  2. What could a constructive ‘autism identity’ look like?
  3. What are the positives and negatives of a diagnosis? A label? A group identity?

Please contact me at 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 drop me a line!

Hope to see you soon,

Stephanie Hannam-Swain

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CfP: Queer/Crip Contagions

Queer/Crip Contagions
Call for Papers for a Special Issue of Feminist Formations

Edited by Kelly Fritsch and Anne McGuire
Full Papers due February 1, 2017
https://www.feministformations.org/submit/calls-for-papers

This special issue charts the limits and possibilities of queer/crip biosocial politics by examining the ways these intersect and co-mingle with the narratives, practices, and temporalities of contagion. Feminist scholars have long theorized “queer” and “crip” as unsettling, strange, twisted, or disruptive. Moreover, feminists have demonstrated how a queer/crip refusal of closure invites a range of discursive and embodied forms of contestation and coalition, offering radical alternatives to assimilationist or reformist politics. The coming together of queer and crip is an unstable yet fruitful site of interdisciplinary and multispecies exposure and exchange. Building upon and extending these insights, this special issue will trace the multiple and unexpected ways “queer” and “crip” influence and infect one another. Drawing on the etymology of contagion as “a touching, contact” or “touching closely,” how do queer and crip come into contact? What is absorbed? What is exchanged? And, what is or might yet be produced at this site? We solicit a diverse collection of articles emanating from a range of interdisciplinary fields and areas of study, but that are also united by a shared commitment to queer and crip the discourses and practices of contagion itself.

Bound by neither body nor border, contagion has become an emergent area of interest among scholars working at the intersections of critical race, transnational feminisms, queer theory and disability studies. Indeed, contagion frequently incites medical and moral crisis and panic through its historical, transnational, colonial, and imperial links to racial, sexual, and ability formations and violence. Jasbir Puar argues that the lexicon of contagion and disease “suture” together “etymological and political links” connecting racist/orientalist fears of border penetration and infiltration with cultural anxieties around queer, sick and/or disabled bodies (2007, 52). Mel Chen describes a queer/crip contagion that “de-territorializes,” exhibiting a unique flexibility to move “through and against imperialistic spatializations of ‘here’ and ‘there’” (2012, 167). Neel Ahuja marks contagion through projects of public health intervention and US empire that embed national defense and imperial interests in the racialized, gendered, sexualized, and ableist materializations of bodies (2016, xvi). Scholarship on the ongoing histories and logics of eugenics demonstrates how cultural ideologies of disability-as-threat contaminate and co-mingle with sexually and racially-coded narratives of biological in/security, thus legitimizing a range of neo/colonial and imperial health and hygiene practices in the name of individual, social, and economic development. By tracking contagion through contemporary discourses on viral diseases (i.e., Zika, HIV/AIDS, SARS, West Nile, Avian Flu, H1N1, or the range of diseases and illnesses associated with bioterrorism and biosecurity) and through the “epidemicization” of such phenomena as obesity, autism, smoking, poverty, violent crime, or toxic lead poisoning, we can develop a better sense of the cross-contamination between categories of race, gender, sexuality, and disability. Moreover, we can better understand how these categories have become essential to the organization of modern conceptualizations of human worth/value and to the authorization of an array of paternalistic, clinical, and imperial and colonial interventions.

Contagion most often comes to be associated with danger and undesirability – a racialized, pathological threat to be neutralized, eliminated, or cured. As contagion replicates and spreads through the expanding folds and ever-widening spectrums of illness, threats to our health and to our communities remain elusive and transitory, always eclipsed, always on the future horizon. Yet, contagion moves in indeterminate ways. Working to reorganize and manage both spatial/temporal relations, contagion de-regulates categories of health and disorder, while also and at the same time, anticipates the increased regulation and surveillance of bodies, minds and movements; contagion stimulates temporalities of speed, urgency and emergency, while also producing moments of stillness and suspended animation. Traveling along non-linear, transnational circuits spanning “then” and “now,” “here” and “there,” the queer/crip site of contagion provides a unique vantage for interrogating the violence of global capitalism, imperialism, colonialism, and its biosocial economies of human/nonhuman worth and precarity. Unbounded, intimate, and indeterminate, contagion also provides the grounds for provocative encounters and exchange: novel alliances between patients, scientists, politicians, doctors, biotech companies, community groups, and many others, that give rise to new kinds of biosocial relations. Contagion suggests a site of exposure, a vector of change, or a transgressive mixing that does not stay still. Theories of queer/crip contagion ask: which forms of embodiment are incorporated into life and which are put into quarantine or driven out of this vital fold? (Ahuja 2016; Puar 2012; McRuer 2010).

This special issue asks: how are queer/crip contagions – conceived of as unbounded convergences of bodies, minds, and meanings – working to open up new sites of, and for, social and political exchange? How are crip/queer contagions replicating, and spreading in ways that avoid the pitfalls of what Priscilla Wald (2008) has referred to as “outbreak narratives”? In other words, how are queer/crip narratives refusing social, political, medical, and moral containment by pushing back against 21st century tools and techniques aimed at controlling, capturing, arresting, or otherwise limiting the possibilities of and for biosocial politics: risk management, for example, neoliberal demands for flexibility, homo/able nationalism, clinical and state interventions and occupations, racialized violence, and/or ongoing colonial or imperial development projects?

This issue will build upon, enliven, and complicate emergent scholarship at the nexus of queer and crip. The editors encourage the submission of transnational feminist and intersectional work that engages queer/crip in relation to ethnicity, race, gender, disability, sexuality, age, citizenship, class and other socially produced categories of difference.

We welcome submissions related to, but not limited to the following questions: 

How are crip and queer theory shaped by the discourses and practices of contagion? What new kinds of epistemological and political frameworks emerge out of cross-contaminations between “queer” and “crip”?

What social and political meanings underpin the issue’s key terms ‘queer’, ‘crip’ and ‘contagion’? How are these categories produced by and responsive to ongoing histories of racism/ableism/heteronormativity/sexism?

How are transnational feminist perspectives penetrating queer/crip knowledge production? What new kinds of knowledge might yet be produced by attending to transnational issues and perspectives?

How do the lived experiences of queerness, disability, and chronic illness change across boundaries of race, ethnicity, class, and gender?

How do queer and crip challenge and reconfigure received understandings of kinship relations and imaginaries?

What are the limits and possibilities of thinking crip/queer as fluid, graded spectrums anchored by such binaries as homo/hetero, sickness/health, normal/abnormal?

How do changing forms of securitization impact queer/crip contagions? How do the discourses of contagion figure crip/queer bodies as threats to national security?
How does contagion influence disabled/queer/trans/race mobility across borders? What is the relationship between discourses of contagion and state or national practices of containment such as arrest/detention/delay?

How do increases in biometrics, biosecurity, and bioterrorism impact queer/crip contestations and coalitions?

What is the temporality of the contagion? How does contagion mediate our movements? Impact chronicity?

How are epidemics produced? What does and does not get framed as an epidemic? As non-contagious social “problems” like autism and obesity get narrated in terms of spreading epidemics, what work is and is not accomplished via contagion as metaphor?

What does social and moral panic over widespread/spreading diseases, disabilities and illnesses caused by viruses (e.g., Zika) or contaminants (e.g., lead, mercury, exposure to plasticizers, dirty water) reveal about cultural understandings of disability? How might a queer/crip reading of such events enrich/complicate our understandings of social advocacy (e.g., environmental activism, racial justice or reproductive rights)?

What is the relation between queer/crip contagions and immunization?

What might a queer/crip critique of epidemic/pandemic preparedness (e.g., evacuation plans, triage policies, etc.) look like?

How might a queer/crip framework of contagion critique or engage the exportation of health/hygiene techniques from the global north to global south? How would a queer/crip analysis of contagion both complicate and enrich analyses of global healthcare imbalances and political debates about unequal access to treatments/immunizations/cures in the Global South?

How do queer/crip contagions contest or mark the failure of imperialist, colonialist, and/or capitalist practices of biosecurity, biometrics, or governance?
As we track and follow the patterns/trajectory of contagions, where will it take us? What new forms of inter/transdisciplinary alliances might open up?

And/or that engage the following key topics:

Virality; Immunity; Epidemics; Public health; Crip/queer time, temporalities, futures, futurities; Chronicity, chronic conditions; Capitalism, neoliberalism, austerity, precarity; Bioeconomies, biocapitalism, economization or financialization of life; Toxicity; Hybridity; Trans-ability; Intra-species relations; Health, hygiene, healthism;  Nature/Culture;  Disability, illness, impairment, madness, Deafness, neurodiverity; Making kin;  Ecologies, environments; Affect; Cripistemologies; Trauma, memory;  Nation, colonialism, imperialism; Biosecurity and racialization/pathologization; Bioterrorism

Guest Editors:

Kelly Fritsch, Banting Postdoctoral Fellow, Women & Gender Studies Institute and Technoscience Research Unit, University of Toronto kelly.fritsch@utoronto.ca
Anne McGuire, Assistant Professor, Equity Studies Program, University of Toronto anne.mcguire@utoronto.ca

Submission Process: Full papers (between 8,000- 11,000 words including references) should be sent by February 1, 2017 to Kelly Fritsch (kelly.fritsch@utoronto.ca)   and Anne McGuire (anne.mcguire@utoronto.ca). Please include “Queer/Crip Contagions Submission” in the subject line of your submission.

Author(s) should include three files as attachments:

1. Cover page with identifying information including name, title, institutional affiliation, address, phone numbers, and email;
2. Abstract and keywords;
3. Complete manuscript, with all identifying information removed. Files must be in Word (.doc) or Rich Text Format (.rtf).

All submissions must follow the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) author-date system with parenthetical citations. All text, including quotations, must be double-spaced.

Following the deadline, guest editors will review the manuscripts and determine those to be sent for full anonymous review.

Feminist Formations style guide is available at: https://feministformations.org/sites/default/files/FeministFormationsStyleGuide2.pdf

Please contact either of the co-editors with questions or concerns about the submission process.
Uncategorized

We’re back! Return of the DRF…

The rumours are true, after a short break of the DRF, we’re pleased to announce that the dates for 16-17 seminar series schedule is now available, along with details of the first seminar. We’re pleased to welcome Dr. Kirsty Liddiard (University of Sheffield) and Dr. Esther Ignagni (Ryerson University, Toronto) to speak on their groundbreaking, internationally acclaimed work, “Thinking with ‘Chemical Stories'”.

Monday, 28th November 2016, 11am-1pm, Arundel 10311

All people encounter chemicals – legal and illicit, helpful and harmful – in myriad and complicated ways.  This is particularly true for disabled people who rely on prescribed and generic chemicals for everyday functioning. Framing ‘chemicals’ as an open category, we are interested in everyday encounters with substances ranging from pharmaceuticals, street drugs, environmental pollutants, cosmetics and beyond. Narrative studies of chemical lives include the ‘storied lives of chemicals’; stories of chemical use within identified populations and ‘toxic tales’ of involuntary chemical exposure. These lines of inquiry position disability as an undesirable outcome of our chemical lives, and consequently a site of a precarious, dangerous or obliterated future.

Animated by initial findings from exploratory inquiries in Canada (Ignagni; Eliza Chandler) and the UK (Liddiard, China Mills) centered on people’s stories of their chemical lives, this workshop will begin with a brief description on this project’s framework, a brief review of how ‘chemical stories’ have been taken up in the fields of disability studies, feminist theory, and Indigenous Studies, and an account of the chemical stories we have engaged so far. The workshop will bring a focused discussion on the role of chemicals in our lives, specifically how chemicals both energize and deplete the future. Questions for workshop attendees will include:

  • Broadly speaking, how do you interact with chemicals in your everyday life?
  • How do interactions with chemicals capacitate some and incapacitate others (Erevelles, 2011; Fritsch, 2013)?
  • What kind of (crip) futurity do chemicals allow for (Kafer, 2012)?

Throughout this workshop, we will consider how ‘chemicals’ form and manifest disabling environments, shaping and maintaining particular subjectivities, embodiments and lives marked by difference, debility and exclusion through both mundane and extreme interactions. In this way, we will draw on and contribute to growing disability studies literature that interrogates how disability and impairments are socially produced within the environment by and through interactions with toxins, workplace hazards, and war .

Uncategorized

New Disability Reading Group Starting at Sheffield Hallam University, UK

A message from Stephanie Hannam-Swain who is starting a Disability Reading Group at Sheffield Hallam University:

Hello all,

This year I am taking the lead in running the Disability Reading Group at Sheffield Hallam University. It is an informal, supportive group session, where we have a look at some current and/or key literature within Disability Studies, and come together to discuss the article. We aim to meet once a month for an hour. Each session I ask a member of the group to choose the article and lead the discussion, although there is no pressure to do so.

This month the session is being held at Charles Street Building, Sheffield Hallam University, City Campus, Howard Street, Sheffield S1 1WB in room 12.2.19 at 1pm Tuesday 11th October.

I have chosen an article which I thought was appropriate with the recent Paralympics in Rio.

Schalk, S.(2016). Reevaluating the Supercrip. Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies. 10(1). pp71-86 DOI: 10.3828/jlcds.2016.5

This can be accessed at: http://online.liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk.lcproxy.shu.ac.uk/doi/pdf/10.3828/jlcds.2016.5

Please contact me at srhannam@my.shu.ac.uk for further information or if you have any questions about accessibility. If you can’t make this months session but you are interested in future sessions and want to be added to the email list please also drop me a line!

Hope to see you soon,

Stephanie Hannam-Swain

 

Uncategorized

Research Participants Wanted: PAs at Work Study

Personal Assistants at Work Study

Do you employ PAs to support you at work?
Or are you a PA who supports a disabled person in their workplace?
 
We are looking for people to take part in the first study exploring the role of workplace personal assistants/support workers for physically disabled people.  
 
We would like to speak to you if you are:
 
  • A personal assistant who supports someone with a physical or sensory impairment in their workplace
  • A person with a physical, sensory impairment or long term condition who works in a paid job which involves some work outside your home and you employ a PA to support you at work
  • An employer of someone with a physical or sensory impairment who has workplace PAs.
To find out more about the project and how to take part please contact Jenni Brooks j.brooks@shu.ac.uk
 
We look forward to hearing from you.
 
This study is being run by researchers at the University of York, and is funded by the NIHR School for Social Care Research
Events and Conferences

Event: Accessing the City: Rethinking Toilet Architecture

This is a free event but please reserve a place here

This is a public open event marking the conclusion of ‘Servicing Utopia’, a four-month research collaboration  between the University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam Univeristy and University of Leeds with planners, architects and designers exploring and rethinking accessible toilet architecture. ‘Servicing Utopia’ interrogates what utopia in the 21st century might mean, in the context of architecture and design, for different people and communities. The project starts from the position that adequate toilet provision enables all people to access and participate fully in public and civic life.

The event will open with a panel of speakers, including Sheffield Civic Trust members, planners and architects, on the topic ‘Design Opportunities and Challenges When Thinking About Access’. This will be followed by a launch of the digital Toilet Toolkit, a key output of the project which has been developed in collaboration with Live Works at the University of Sheffield. There will be opportunities for audience members to trial the tookit and provide feedback and critical input. Wine reception and refreshments to follow.

The final Toolkit will be launched 24th – 26th June 2016 at the Utopia Fair, Somerset House, London.

Access information

  • More information on getting to the venue here:http://www.arthousesheffield.co.uk/contact/
  • A wine reception and refreshments will begin at 5 pm
  • Tea, coffee, juice and water will be provided throughout the event
  • There is step-free access to the building and the exhibition space, which is on the ground floor
  • There is access to a disabled toilet
  • A quiet cafe space, next to the exhibition space, can be accessed throughout the event
  • We want to make this event as accessible as possible. Please let us know if you have any more access questions or requirements.

A PROGRAMME WILL BE ADDED SHORTLY

See more information about the project on our website: https://aroundthetoilet.wordpress.com/

Follow us on twitter @cctoilettalk

WHEN
Wednesday, 8 June 2016 from 15:00 to 18:00 (BST) Add to Calendar
WHERE
The Art House – 8 Backfields, Sheffield, S1 4HJ – View Map