DRF News

Reminder of Next DRF Seminar: 18th April 2012 (1pm-3pm)

DRF Seminar Series: Seminar #6 

Date/Time: 18th April 2012 (Weds) 1pm-3pm

Venue: Room 10111 in the Arundel Building, City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University (More information on the venue can be found here.)

Slot 11: Will Southwell-Wright (Department of Archaeology, University of Durham): Past Perspectives: What can Archaeology offer to Disability Studies?

Over the past three decades criticisms of androcentricm and ethnocentrism have largely been resolved within archaeological thought and have given rise to a prolific literature that examines the archaeologies of gender, ethnicity, sexuality and a variety of other identities in a range of past contexts. Comparatively speaking however the archaeology of disability and disabled identities remains under-developed, and the pictures of the past that archaeologists reconstruct often remain able-bodied in character.  Given the range of archaeological evidence we have to begin reconstructing experiences of disability, including iconography, evidence for medical treatment and the skeletal remains of impaired people, this lack of dedicated study is increasingly amiss. This paper will demonstrate how the understandings of sociological and historical analyses offered by Disability Studies offer archaeologists the means to understand this evidence in a manner that avoids making reductive statements about past experiences. Crucially however, it will be demonstrated that Archaeology has much to offer Disability Studies as well, drawing on examples from Roman Britain it will be shown how archaeological evidence can open up insight into areas which historical sources remain silent on.  This paper then demonstrates how archaeological understandings which work in dialogue with Disability Studies have the potential to offer valuable insights into the past experience of impairment and disability, and argues for greater collaborative work in the future.

Slot 12: Tom Campbell (School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Leeds): Bio-politics, resistance and the social model of disability

When bio-politics has been operationalized as a mode of analysis in disability studies (and aligned disciplines) it has concentrated on how bodies are subjectivated; how an identity is assigned to an individual, particularly through the mechanism of the norm that results in the constitution of particular impairment categories, work that I myself have begun to undertake and consider to have great value. However, despite Foucault’s warnings to refuse all attempts of understanding power negatively, work on bio-power and bio-politics throughout the social and human sciences typically carries a negative tone.  In this paper I wish to explore whether the disabled peoples movement’s positive re-articulation of difference and singularity on individuals own terms, re-imagining their own bodies and the bodies of others, contra to tactics of power that have hitherto been articulated onto them, should be considered as example of the invention of the ‘common’ as understood by Antonio Negri and Judith Revel. The paper will explore how the Disabled People’s Movement in the UK and the social model of disability has allowed for the re-invention of both individual and collective bodies and possibly begun the invention of the common, through the reframing of disability as a social process of discrimination linked to the material conditions of societal organization, rather then resulting from individual biological deficit. 

Next Seminar: 3rd May 2012 (Thurs) 2pm-4pm

Slot 13: Steven Graby (Centre for Disability Studies, University of Leeds): Autism and/as “disabled” identity

Slot 14: Slot Available (if you’d like to present a paper please get in touch)

…and don’t forget the Call for Papers for the excellent Theorising Normalcy and the Mundane: 3rd International Conference is out now!