Children, Familes and Young People, Critical Theory, DRF News, Events and Conferences, Media and Culture

Reminder: Next DRF Seminar – Thurs. 13th Mar (2pm-4pm)

When: Thursday, 13th March 2014: 2pm-4pm – Arundel 10111 (SHU)

Where: Arundel Room 10111 (SHU) [the Arundel Building = 122 Charles Street, City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University, S1 1WB.  For a map of City Campus click here.]

Everyone welcome!

Slot 1: Cassie Ogden (Univ. of Chester, UK): Troubling Borders with Bodies that Seep: an critical sociological exploration into children’s experiences of leaky realities and how we can learn to accept our bodies in all its leaky glory.

Slot 2: Jenny Slater (SHU): School Toilet Chat: Exploring how Issues of Space, Access, Embodiment, Identity and ‘Normal’ Function in the the Lives of Young People

For George (2011), toilets are “the big necessity”; a mundane part of life that, until absent or inadequate, we rarely pay attention. One place these facilities are consistently found to be inadequate are in schools (Burton, 2013, Greed, 2010). Vernon, Lundblad and Hellstrom (2003) reported that 62% of boys and 35% of in the UK avoided using toilets whilst at school (citing reasons of lack of hygiene, privacy and bullying); and in 2013, a study in Scotland similarly highlighted the poor state of school toilet (Burton, 2013). Here I seek feedback on a proposal which hopes to utilise theorisations of disability, queer and fat activists and academics, to think hard about school toilets as transdisciplinary spaces to explore how issues of space, access, embodiment and normal function in the lives of young people.


Events and Conferences, Media and Culture

The Accentuate Symposium: Has there been a Cultural Shift? A Year on from the Paralympic Games

The Accentuate Symposium
Friday 5th July 2013
Sallis Benney Theatre, University of Brighton

Book tickets now

For further information on The Accentuate Symposium or to book a ticket to attend this event, please click on the following link:
One year on from the Paralympic Games – what is the positive legacy for the Cultural Sector and what are the challenges and opportunities ahead of us?

As an incubator for ideas and leader of cultural discussion within the disability context, Accentuate is keen to explore if there has been a cultural shift for disabled people one year on from the hugely successful Paralympic Games.  Therefore we are partnering with The University of Brighton to bring together leaders within the cultural sector to discuss what is working well, as well as the challenges being faced.  This event seeks to explore how we consolidate gains a year on from the Paraylmpic Games and map the new territory.

The Paralympic Games offered a platform to profile disabled athletes at a level that had never been seen before.  Public attitudes were noticeably shifted, along with the sort of media attention which moved us from “tragic and brave” towards genuine discussion about sporting talent.  There was also a spotlight on creative talent, through the Cultural Olympiad events along with the spectacular opening ceremony for the Paralympic Games.  The future looked bright.  So where are we now?  It seems there may have been a reversion of focus.  Very many disabled people have real concerns and fears. So how can we continue the positive sea change in attitudes towards disabled people, that we witnessed during Games time, as well as providing real access to opportunities for disabled people to develop career pathways within the creative and cultural industries?

At this critical juncture we must provide evidence of the success stories and celebrate, because without these, how can we regret their potential loss?

The Accentuate Symposium, in partnership with the University if Brighton, on 5th July 2013 at the Sallis Benney Theatre, Brighton, will bring together key academics, cultural leaders and disabled people to provide a platform to spark this discussion.   A headline panel debate will be followed by three further panels exploring Disability Heritage and the Built Environment, Artists working in the Public Realm and Disabled Young People Building Resilience.  Accentuate will also premier a new animated short lecture by Dr. Tom Shakespeare which will introduce some of the key themes for the headline panel.
All panels will encourage questions from the floor, or at the time of booking tickets.  There will also be opportunities for people to take part in the debate through live streaming and Twitter feeds.

Symposium Programme

Animated Lecture, Dr. Tom Shakespeare

Headline Panel: How do we consolidate the gains and map new territory, a year on from the Paralympic Games?

Chair: Esther Fox, Accentuate Programme Director

  • Liz Crow, Artist and Activist
  • Hannah Morgan, Lancaster University
  • Professor Nick Watson, Strathclyde Centre for Disability Research
  • Dr Alison Wilde, Bangor University
  • Hannah Morgan, Lancaster University
  • Jamie Beddard, Actor and Director
  • Rachel Gadsden, Artist and performer
  • John Harris, Paralympian

Case Study Panel 1:  Young Voices Challenge and Change.

Chair:  Kristina Veasey, Paralympian, Artist and Accentuate Ideas Hub Member

  • Kim Aumann, Director of ART Amaze and part of the University of Brighton’s resilience department
  • William Jessop, Writer and Filmmaker, Blue Apple Theatre
  • Adam Simmons, Young participant
  • Vicky Hope Walker, Driving Inspiration

Case Study Panel 2: Disability Heritage: Disabled People Shaping the Built Environment throughout the Ages.

Chair:  Colin Hambrook, Writer and Editor of Disability Arts Online and Accentuate Ideas Hub Member

  • Rosie Sherrington, Social Inclusion and Diversity Advisor, English Heritage
  • Dr David Bonnet, Architect and specialist in inclusive design
  • John D Walker, Senior Research Fellow, Deaf History, CUPP, University of Brighton
  • Mark Ware, Installation Artist

Case Study Panel 3: Disabled Artists Forging Careers in the Public Realm.

Chair:  Jon Adams, Artist and Accentuate Ideas Hub Member

  • Jonathan Banks, Chief Executive of Public Art Think Tank, Ixia
  • Wendy Mason, Director, AA2A, Artists Accessing Art Colleges
  • Carole McFadden, Drama & Dance Adviser for East Asia, China & Hong Kong, Middle East and North Africa, Arts Group, British Council
  • Zoe Partington

Closing remarks – Vidar Hjardeng MBE

We will also be showing a series of specially commissioned films which include contributions from: Dame Evelyn Glennie, Jenny Sealy MBE, Sophie Christiansen OBE, Dr David Bonnett RIBA FRSA, Nicholas McCarthy, Mat Fraser, Laurence Clark, Katherine Araniello, Hannah Cockroft MBE and David Proud.

There will be an opportunity for drinks and networking at the end of the event.

During drinks and networking you will also be invited to view the MA Inclusive Arts Practice Exhibition, which will be taking place in the Foyer next to the Sallis Benney Theatre.

The Accentuate Symposium is held in partnership with the University of Brighton.
Book tickets now

For further information on The Accentuate Symposium or to book a ticket to attend this event, please click on the following link:
For further information on The Accentuate Symposium email:

Critical Theory, Disability Studies and..., DRF News, Majority/Minority Worlds, Media and Culture, Publications

New Issue of JLCDS (5:2) is now available: Representing Disability and Emotion

The new issue of the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies (JLCDS) is now available.  Volume 5, Issue 2 is a special issue on Representing Disability and Emotion and is guest edited by Elizabeth J. Donaldson and Catherine Prendergast

Articles include: 

Comment from the Field

Book Reviews

The new issue is available in print and online formats to individuals and institutions who subscribe via Liverpool University Press; it is also part of the Project MUSE collection.

For more information, please contact: Dr. David Bolt:

Disability Studies and..., DRF News, Media and Culture

Lawrence Clark Returns to Edinburgh

Underbelly (The Wee Coo), Edinburgh – 3rd-28thAugust (not 16th) @ 6.40pm
Tickets from 0844 545 8252 or the Underbelly website.

What links Stephen Hawking, cardboard tube fights, Shane MacGowan, private health insurance, George Washington, Mussolini, a religious cult, the Queen, global Armageddon and the NHS?  Find out as highly acclaimed comedian Laurence Clark embarks on a one-man mission to help Obama sell the benefits of free healthcare to the American people.

“Intelligent and challenging… always a thought-provoking point behind the laughter.” **** Chortle

Following his critically acclaimed 2008 Edinburgh Fringe show which received an impressive total of eight 4 star reviews, Laurence Clark has taken a couple of years off from the Edinburgh Fringe to focus on his writing and creative development. He now gives talks and performances all over the world – including the US where he found inspiration for his show – and has a dedicated BBC1 documentary secured for Autumn / Spring broadcast. If you’re lucky you may see the crew following him round Edinburgh during the Fringe.

As an actor, presenter, commentator and comedian on BBC, ITV and C4, Laurence appears in documentaries, sitcoms, news shows and features and has also topped Shortlist magazine’s Britain’s Ten Funniest New Comedians. He is now returning to the Edinburgh Fringe to perform his brand new live show Health Hazard!

“Close to the bone and very funny… makes Chris Morris look lightweight.” **** The Scotsman

Inspired by his trips to the US, and the furore surrounding American health reforms, Laurence returned with camera-in-hand to find out for himself exactly how the American public view state-funded healthcare. Surely tales of Americans actually believing the NHS operates specialist death panels who decide whether you live or die are just propaganda and sensationalist press reporting … aren’t they? With personal tales, political exposés and an educational journey punctuated with bizarre incidents and amazing characters, Laurence Clark’s Health Hazard! is a show not to be missed.

“Any vaguely sentient being ought to leave this stupendously funny and thought-provoking show with their sides split and their minds buzzing. Laurence Clark has a wit drier than the Navajo desert, a control of timing that would put Seiko to shame and scores upon scores of fizzingly funny one-liners.” The Stage

Laurence has written 5 highly acclaimed solo shows, is a regular writer for BBC Ouch! and performs and writes sketches for comedy group Abnormally Funny People.  Across all his shows Laurence has had 18 x 4-star reviews and 3 x 5-star reviews.

“Remarkably funny… a damn fine comedian” **** Fest
“intelligent and incredibly mischievous” **** Metro
“nothing short of an excellent comedian” **** Three Weeks

Also visit Lawrence’s website at: 

Development funded by Arts Council England, DaDafest ’10, Liverpool Decade of Health and Well-Being and North West Training and Development Team

DRF News, Media and Culture, Publications

Disability, Humour and Comedy ~ a Special Issue of the Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies: Call for Papers

In recent years disability’s relationship with humour and comedy has begun to be theorised.  A special issue of the Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies seeks to provide a platform for these debates.

Guest edited by Dr. Tom Coogan (University of Leicester) and Dr. Rebecca Mallett (Sheffield Hallam University) the Call for Papers is as follows:

According to Morreall (2009), the Incongruity Theory “is today the most widely accepted theory of humour.” This theory holds that what makes a situation humorous is “that there is something odd, abnormal or out of place, which we enjoy in some way.” Add to this Mitchell and Snyder’s (2000) concept of narrative prosthesis, which identifies disability (and with it oddness, abnormality and “out of placeness”) as the crutch upon which narratives lean for their representational power, and a more fundamental relationship between disability and humour is suggested. As Moran (2003) has observed, humour is a term with a multitude of meanings. Among other things, she observes, it is a “cognitive style”; a term for a stimulus (e.g. a joke) or the response (e.g. laughter); a term for complex interactions between individuals; a “personality trait”; and an inherent characteristic.

Whatever the meaning, humour remains a multi-faceted thing. It can include as well as it excludes. It can both ease and exacerbate. What is clear is that humour creates many more questions than it answers. Who is allowed to make jokes about disability? If we are offended, should we just “get a sense of humour”? Is there a hierarchy of impairments, with some impairments being “fair game” and others “off limits”? Is there such a thing as “disability” humour? Does humour run the risk of attacking the seriousness, and thus the legitimacy, of disability rights? Or does it have a part to play in the struggle for such rights? How is disability playing out in the current vogues for satirical comedy and the comedy of embarrassment (e.g. “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “The Office”)?

This special issue of JLCDS will explore the interplay between humour, impairment and disability across all forms of culture and the media. Submissions might consider representations of disability in particular texts or specific forms. Alternatively, they might examine disability theory in relation to humour theory. Submissions on all topics related to disability, humour and comedy are very welcome. Considerations of the impact of “political correctness” – the policing of what can and cannot be made funny – as well as the impact of “critical correctness” (Mallett, 2007) – the policing of what can and cannot be said about humorous/comedic representations of disability -are encouraged. We urge submissions to think the unthinkable and address the difficult questions.

Proposals (400 word abstract and a short bio) should be emailed to the guest editors Tom Coogan (University of Leicester): or Rebecca Mallett (Sheffield Hallam University): by March 1st, 2011.  Final submissions will be due by October 2011.

Critical Theory, DRF News, Events and Conferences, Media and Culture, Policy and Legislation

2011 Pacific Rim Conference on Disability: “Humanity: Advancing Inclusion, Equality and Diversity” Call for Papers

The 2011 Pacific Rim Conference on Disability: “Humanity: Advancing Inclusion, Equality and Diversity” to be held in Honolulu, Hawaii (18th-19th April 2011) is now calling for papers.  More informaiotn on the conference can be found here.  This post is specifically about the Disability Studies Strand: Culture, Policy and Global Change.

Disability Studies approaches disability as a social and cultural phenomena in which localized and global interpretations include socio-cultural, historical, political and rights-based perspectives.  The Pacific Rim International Conference on Disabilities topic area, Disability Studies: Culture, Policy and Global Change, seeks to imagine and convey where Disability Studies is at present, how it is evolving, and what it entails for the immediate and more distant future.

They welcome proposals in any area of Disability Studies, including:

  • Current developments and national and global approaches to Disability Studies programs;
  • Historical and contemporary perspectives about Disability Studies;
  • Retrospectives and future directions in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the American’s with Disabilities Act;
  • Present and future impacts of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on Disability Studies
  • The role of the Internet and technology, including social networking, distance learning, Universal Design and online research tools, on Disability Studies research and dissemination
  • The intersections, including integration and collaboration, between Disability Studies and other disciplines
  • The ways in which Disability Culture has informed Disability Studies

Please see presentation formats on the Web site:

You may submit proposals online at: or send your proposals via email to

For more information about this topic area, contact the Disability Studies Co-Chairs:

DRF News, Events and Conferences, Media and Culture, Publications

POPCAANZ Conference 2011 and *New* Journal: Call for Papers on ‘Disability and Culture’

The Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand (POPCAANZ) is devoted to the scholarly understanding of everyday cultures. It is concerned with the study of the social practices and the cultural meanings that are produced and are circulated through the processes and practices of everyday life. Its conference and soon to be launched journal offer ideal opportunities for publishing work which could be said to fit into the remit of Cultural Disability Studies.

The POPCAANZ Conference 2011 will be New Zealand between 29th June – 1st July 2011.  Academics, professionals, cultural practitioners and those with a scholarly interest in popular culture are invited to be involved.  Panel chair, Donna McDonald, is encouraging a wide variety of abstracts around the theme of disability and popular culture and asks for 150 word abstracts to be sent to  Deadline for submissions is 30th January 2011. Other panels (with chair contact details) include:

Anime and Manga –
Fashion –
Film and TV –
Graphic Novels and Comics –
Music –
Popular Biography and Life Writing –
Popular Design – and
Popular Fiction –
Popular History –
Science –
Sports –
Visual Arts –

The Australasian Journal of Popular Culture, which is the association’s official journal, will be launched during the 2011 conference.  If you would like to submit an article please contact the editors: Toni Johnson-Woods ( or Vicki Karaminas ( For more information visit here.