DRF Events 2017-2018

This page provides the specific details of upcoming DRF events.

In case you are interested in contributing to one of our future sessions, please contact Stephanie Swain: srhannam@my.shu.ac.uk. Please do have a look at our guidelines about accessible presentations.

DRF Seminar Schedule 2017-2018

1. Thursday, 28 September 2017, 3.30-5.30pm, Arundel 10111

Antonios Ktenidis, 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 affective biopedagogies (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).

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

2. Thursday, 2 November 2017, 1:30-3:30pm, Arundel 10111

Katharine Terrell, Sheffield Hallam University.

“How white supremacy and audism influence discourses around language and education in the USA: a critical comparison of Black English and Black American Sign Language (ASL)”

In Audre Lorde’s words, “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not lead single-issue lives” (1984), and this is true in considering the way Black Deaf children’s language has been, and continues to be, a source of oppression and struggle. This paper considers how discourse around language contributes to naturalising white supremacy; that is, the concept that white language, culture, and “ways of knowing” are superior (Mills, 1997). A significant but understudied area is Black American Sign Language (BASL), a variation of American Sign Language (ASL), the language of the North American Deaf community. BASL lies at the intersection between white supremacy and audism, “the hearing way of dominating, restructuring, and exercising authority over the deaf community” (Lane, 1992). Just as “African American studies critiques white supremacy, Deaf Studies critiques … audism.” (Bauman, 2008). I draw from scholars of “race” and Deaf studies to critically consider and compare the ways in which white supremacy and audism both have their bases in assumptions of the moral, intellectual and aesthetic superiority of the dominant white and hearing (non-deaf) cultures. The history of public policy and discourse around language in the education of Black and Deaf children has revolved around concerns that students are taught to communicate “properly” and “normally”, as exemplified in the Oakland Ebonics debate. Perhaps less well known is the history in segregated Deaf schools of paternalism and oralism (a system of education that uses only lip-reading and forbids sign language). I will argue that concern about students communicating “properly” is more than misguided benevolence, but rather a way to suppress Black and/or Deaf “ways of knowing” (such as in the concept of “Deafhood”) in order to reinforce the supremacy of white and hearing (non-deaf) thought, culture and language. I consider how both Black and Deaf bodies and language have been dehumanised, pathologised and problematised in similar but historically distinct and unique ways in educational systems (Lane, 1992; Jackson, 2006). I draw on researchers who critically consider their position within hegemonic discourses and integrate Black and Deaf epistemology into their work, which Rodney sees as essential in “race” studies (1972).

Stephen Connolly, Sheffield Hallam University.

Not ‘research on’, not ‘research with’ but research by emanci-participatory approach to autism research.

[The following abstract was written with no input from my spelling person, iv tried as much as possible to use correct grammar but I imagine that there is still a large amount of grammatical mistakes why have I not had any input from my spelling person? youll find out with the presentation of course.]

There is a growing movement within the autism research world. I say growing as it has been there for some time, even before the now leaders of this charge took up arms over the past few years there has always been elements of this movement. In the early 90’s the likes of Rita Jorden worked with autistic professionals to deliver training as she could see the benefit to the audience. Yet where this movement was just simmering it feels like now it’s on a full-blown rolling boil. The movement I speak of is that of emancipation through participation, leadership and ultimately ownership. This summer there was the Critical Autism conference, the National Autistic Society’s The Autism Show, the Suicidality in Autism conference series and Autism and Mental Health conference to name a few. The one question Actually Autistic’s asked was, are the speakers autistic? With heavy criticism laid upon those conferences that lack an autism presence in the key note speaker list. The same is true with the litany of papers around autism that are published throughout the year.

This question is an important one not only so that autistic researchers get work though this is a plus but rather it is a question of power and voice. The autism community has often in the past been used as a resource much the same as other minority communities, used by researchers to further a sense of wonderment and a career. But there is some good news (kinda), there has been a shift in how autistic participants are seen and used, Tregaskis and Goodley (2005) highlighted that disability literature is moving away from research ‘on’ disabled individuals and towards research ‘with’ disabled individuals which has resulted in the promotion of the ‘disabled voice’ within research. Building on this in the past four or five years has been the move towards participatory research and the ‘gold standard’ that is emancipatory research. However I challenge how much this voice is still allowed to be heard. I put forward that power still resides with the non-autistic lead researcher and that the concept of voice is being used to give a guise of progressive inclusiveness in a one-upmanship of ‘gold standard’ inclusive and accessible research. Rather than just having a token autistic researcher involved or the use of an autistic working group I put forward a concept of complete community control using my method of emanci-participatory research. This method is a simple one reduce the power imbalance as much as possible by giving those involved (note the non-use of participant or the fallacy of co-researcher) as much choice as possible and as a result remove how much their voice can be restrained or influenced to truly promote the ‘disabled voice’. Yet there are still issues particularly around how ethics does not allow for emergent research and how institutional governance has the ultimate power especially when the research is part of a PhD.

Now I appreciate this abstract is rather reductionist positioning anything but research conducted by autistic researchers that empowers the autistic community as less than (feeding into that one-upmanship I highlight as a negative) but this abstract aims to get people to the DRF (even if that isn’t in person). The presentation itself puts forward an argument that there is room for most types of research but that research has to recognise its own power balance and where possible ask themselves some key questions. To facilitate this discussion I use my research which looks at the inclusion of students that identify as autistic in higher education. The method I put forward isn’t a check-box list of how to do the next level of inclusive research but rather a philosophy to carrying out what I see as ethical and inclusive research whilst also drawing attention to the issues I discussed.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Toilet Roundtable: Conversations about Gender, Disability and Access – Jenny Slater, Charlotte Jones and Jill Pluquailec

In this round table we will introduce the Around the Toilet project (aroundthetoilet.com). We will then offer a series of provocations to begin a discussion about toilets, but also wider issues of gender, disability and access. By doing this we will show that although toilets are portrayed as mundane, they in fact, anything but. Toilets not only reflect but also shape socio-cultural-political understandings of who is and isn’t welcome in particular spaces; they teach us about whose bodies matter; and, indeed, the ways that we are able to live our embodied lives.

NB: although this round-table will be largely discussion based, people will be able to engage in various different ways, including speaking, writing, drawing, or just listening. We also always welcome thoughts on Twitter via @cctoilettalk #cctoilettalk

3. Monday, 11 December 2017

Stephanie Swain, Sheffield Hallam University

Disabled peoples experiences and conceptualisations of self-harm – my research so far and future directions

Emma Rice, Sheffield Hallam University

Titles and Abstracts to be announced

4. Friday, 19 January 2017, 2-4pm, location to be confirmed

Speakers: Emma Sheppard and Ella Houston

5.  Saturday, 24 February 2018

Half day symposium which is open to academics, professionals and the public.

Focus of the day is self-harm

Speakers, titles and abstracts to be announced.