Disability Studies and..., Events and Conferences

Event Report: Gender and Dis/ability Day – thinking about ‘access’ #gendisability

I’ve finally got around to writing up a report from our Gender and Dis/ability day. Here it is:

In the final chapter of her brilliant book, Feminist Queer Crip, Alison Kafer poses three points of coalition to help us move towards ‘accessible futures’: 1) talking about access and toilets; 2) linking disability and environmental justice movements; and 3) having feminist-disability conversations around reproductive justice. All were topics discussed by around 50 people in Sheffield on May 10th 2014 at Gender and Dis/ability: Asking Difficult Questions; a one day event co-hosted by the DRF based at Sheffield Hallam University, people from the University of Sheffield (including members of the Postgraduate Gender Research Network [PGRN], Sociology and History departments) and Lancaster University.

The idea for this event began when I (Jenny Slater) presented at the Troubling Gender conference hosted a year earlier by Charlotte Jones and Jennifer Kettle, convenors of the PGRN. The Troubling Gender conference was great, stimulated much discussion, and a credit to those who presented and organised. However, despite an intersectional focus, mine was one of the only papers to ‘trouble gender’ alongside dis/ability. Noting this, conversations began with one of the organisers, Charlotte Jones, as to how we could explicitly address an often missing analysis of dis/ability in a future gender-based event; and the Gender and Dis/ability event was born.

Gathering a number of interested people together, conversations began. As an organising team we were committed to thinking holistically about ‘access’; we wanted this to be apparent discursively, theoretically and experientially throughout the day. We thought about ‘access’ along the lines of gender and disability, but also in terms of cost (we wanted a free event), and who would feel expected and welcome (we made a call which we hoped would attract people outside of academia).

We managed the above to varying degrees; without a budget, some things were tricky. Everyone involved in organising the event were employed and/or students in a university so we could book a space free of charge within a university building. Yet, a university building wasn’t our first choice of venue because, whilst university buildings may make some feel welcome, they’re not places everyone feels they belong. Those who haven’t been to university, for example, may not feel they are (to use Tanya Titchkosky’s words) ‘expected participants’ at such an event. Furthermore, one only has to look at the architecture of most university buildings to find that disabled people are not the ‘expected participants’. Although finances meant we had to settle on a university building, finding a building we felt was suitably accessible within the university was difficult.

We settled (eventually) on the Humanities Research Institute at the University of Sheffield. This offered us three rooms, in addition to toilets, a foyer and a small kitchen on a ground floor, with some parking outside. The building was in no way perfect – for reasons none of us could fathom, a cobbled floor inside separated the main conference rooms from the toilets (including the accessible toilet). The foyer was small with little room for seating and there wasn’t a space for us all to ‘be together’ during the day. Working within university regulations, we couldn’t offer an informal crèche to allow access for those with children, as is sometimes done in other radical/DIY spaces.

We deliberated over how to overcome some of our access dilemmas. We relabelled toilet doors so, rather than the gender binaries presumed and concreted through ‘male’, ‘female’ and ‘disabled’/‘accessible’ toilets, we had ‘toilets with urinals’, ‘toilets without urinals’ and ‘accessible/private’ toilets (something I’ll come back to). We discussed whether it was better to have less general conference space in order to provide a quiet room for those that may need it for a variety of reasons including taking time out or administering medication (and decided yes, it was). We wrote notes to people chairing sessions asking them not to presume pronouns of participants. As people signed up to join the event, we asked what we could do to make the space more accessible to them (and after the event, we asked again – so we can continue to struggle towards ‘access’ in the future).

So, access wasn’t ideal – there were things we would have liked to have done differently. Yet, we wondered through the conference what it would mean to have a ‘fully accessible’ space. We asked this question of our participants overtly through our wall of post-it-notes for people to add their thoughts. One delegate asked ‘can access needs clash?’ to which someone responded, ‘yes – I trip on the textured pavement which is put down for visually impaired people’. We also borrowed a toilet door from Sheffield University’s students union on which participants scribbled their toilet-related thoughts. As well as some ‘bog’ standard puns (‘URINE TROUBLE’; ‘this event is THE SHIT’; ‘FLUSH AWAY YOUR PRECONCEPTIONS’), delegates’ scribblings made us think about what it means to have access to toilets. This included having changing places (most ‘accessible toilets’ aren’t accessible enough); having more space to manoeuvre in toilets, more toilets in non-commercial spaces (‘FREE TO PEE!’); and relabeling doors with what’s inside rather than who’s allowed or expected to enter to try create spaces away from the (cis) gaze.

Toilet Door Graffitti

Moreover, conversations of access, inclusion and belonging continued through workshops and presentations (we tried to have one workshop and one presentation session running throughout). The first few sessions, for example, included Hannah Paterson running a workshop asking how activism and protest could be made accessible; Naomi Jacobs thought about in/exclusions of stories of women and disability in the bible; and Peter Fuzesi and Melania Moscoso addressed questions of bodies, autonomy and power.

Frances Ryan, journalist for The Guardian and The New Statesman, was one attendee at the event. In an article written after attending she noted that “some of the differences that disability provokes can complicate feminism’s understanding of female bodies and the oppression of them”. Cat Smith and Mathy Selvakumaran‘s presentations on fashion, desirability and norms highlighted some of the often uncomfortable relationships between ‘disability’ and ‘femininity’. We wanted to make recordings of the event available to those who could not attend, however, our technical failings meant only one of these recordings worked – you can, however, listen to Cat and Mathy’s discussions on our new DRF SoundCloud page. I’d also recommend Cat’s article, Normcore is Bullsh*t, and Mia Mingus’ blog to think some more about the issues raised in these talks.

Similarly important discussions carried on after lunch with presentations on queer disabled identities. Alexa Athelstan introduced the work of Peggy Munson in an important talk which included bringing our attention to fragrance free as an access requirement (something I myself need to learn more about). Following this Suchitra Chatterjee discussed hate crime in a presentation called ‘Race, Gender and Disability – or the Physically Disabled Bisexual Transgender Woman of Colour in the Room’. For Frances Ryan, the feminist-disability dilemmas are perhaps “never […] more riddled than with abortion”.  Hazel Kent facilitated a workshop on reproductive justice to ask some difficult questions regarding the exclusion of disabled women from abortion debates and the conflicts between pro-choice arguments and reproductive rights which are fully supportive of parents with disabled children.

For the penultimate session I attended Jude Woods’ workshop on doing intersectional, participatory community work. We talked about the tensions of working intersectionally with groups of people whose priorities may differ. The struggles and complexities of coalition through social movements was a theme running throughout the day, and immediately on leaving this workshop a friend told me I had missed “a GREAT panel” next door – where Míriam Arenas-Conejo and Anna Wates were discussing dis/ability and/in social movements. Two pertinent tweets (#gendisability) after this session read: “Walking as action and agency linked to political protest but little thought given to pace or visibility” and “The Street romanticised as place of political action, but gendered as male space, exclusionary for disabled people”.

One of the parallel sessions in the final slot of the day was cancelled so we ended on a workshop which everyone was invited to attend – and again, the conversation came back to toilets. Charlotte Jones, Hari Byles and myself facilitated a workshop called, On the Toilet: the Politics of Public and Private Space. In the book aptly named, Toilet, it’s pointed out that toilets are spaces often considered mundane, amusing or unimportant; they’re often left forgotten or ignored… until, that is, they are inadequate or unavailable. Charlotte and I met Hari through a shared conviction that toilets as more usually inadequate for some than for others. As our toilet door graffiti showed us, toilets are places which bring up issues of in/exclusion, public/private, identities and norms. During the workshop we discussed people’s feelings on our toilet door relabeling. Some thought it was a good idea to label toilets by writing/showing what’s inside them. Some felt relieved to not have to worry about the problematic gender binaries toilets presented them with. Others pointed out, however, that they were still searching for the ‘right toilet’ (i.e. the one that they thought coordinated with their gender identity). Whilst some with physical impairments felt oppressed by the relabeling of the accessible toilet, as they worried that they’d be waiting even longer than usual for the only space accessible to them.

I could write about toilets for ages. Instead though, I’ll direct you to People In Search of Safe and Accessible Restrooms, or PISSAR, who are worth looking at for more on access and toilets. The point I want to end on, though, is that the conference finished with some of the dilemmas we as an organising team started with: conversations around what it means to ‘have access’. Issues of ‘access’ are never straight forward; yet, like Kafer suggests, moving towards accessible futures is about struggling together through coalition – moving forward with some of the difficult conversations we had on that Saturday in May. We believe these conversations are always worth having and we hope that that dialogue/action though the Gender and Dis/ability event will continue. You can join the conversation through twitter via @shudisability @gendisability #gendisability (you can also see some of the tweets made through the day here). Alternatively, I (j.slater@shu.ac.uk) or the Gender and Disability team (gender.disability@shef.ac.uk) can be contacted through email. We hope the event will happen again somewhere and in some form– so watch this space (and, if you’re interesting in getting involved in helping to organise, get in touch!).

Thanks to Charlotte Jones for her feedback on this blog post and all that contributed to what was a brilliant day.

 

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Event: School of Languages and Linguistics Postgraduate Colloquium (May 2014: Sheffield)

The School of Languages and Linguistics Postgraduate Colloquium, ‘Conformity and Dissent’ is taking place this Friday (16th May) and may be of interest to some of you.

It is being held at the Humanities Research Institute (University of Sheffield) on Gell Street. The programme for the day can be found via the conference website (details below) and includes a paper in an afternoon panel on disability as a form of dissent in a particular Spanish play.

[Thanks to DRF member Mathy SelvakumaranPhD Candidate (Wolfson Scholarship) – for alerting us to this event]

DRF News

Event: Sexuality Summer School 2014 (26th-30th May: Manchester, UK) @SSS_Manchester

Event: Sexuality Summer School 2014 – 3 Public Lectures (free and all welcome)

Dates: 26th – 30th May 2014

Programme: please find detailed below.

  • Monday 26 May – 12pm-2pm: Professor Jasbir Puar (Rutgers) ‘A Body with New Organs: Becoming Trans, Becoming Disabled’

Venue: Manchester Museum, Oxford Rd, Kanaris LT (1st Floor)

In this paper Puar historically situates the most current intersectional flavors of the day, “trans” and “disabled,” through their emergence as the latest newcomers to the intersectional fray.  She looks at how their parallel yet rarely intersecting epistemological constructs—both come into being, or becoming, in the early 90s in the academy as well as in broader political terms and movements—require exceptionalizing both the trans body and the disabled body in order to convert the debility of a non-normative body into a form of social and cultural capacity, whether located in state recognition, identity politic formations, market economies, the medical industrial complex, or subject positioning.

  • Tuesday 27 May 4pm-6pm: Professor Valerie Traub (University of Michigan and Simon Visiting Professor, Manchester) ‘Anatomy, Cartography, and the Prehistory of Normality’

Venue: John Casken Lecture Theatre, Martin Harris Centre, Oxford Rd, University of Manchester. Sponsored by EAC, SEXGEN and Pride. Followed by wine reception at Contact Theatre.

During the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, European cartographers and anatomists developed novel strategies for representing the diversity of human bodies in their atlases of the world and its inhabitants. Tracking their implicit taxonomies of gender, sexuality, race, and class, Valerie Traub speculates on the effects of their strategies on the historical emergence of the concept of “the normal.”

  • Thursday 29 May – 5pm-7om: Public Lecture by Professor Mary Bryson (University of British Columbia) and Chase Joynt (Chicago) ‘ Biopolitics Under the Skin: Relating Cancer Narratives – An Archive of the ‘Talking Dead’?’

Venue: John Casken Lecture Theatre, Martin Harris Centre, University of Manchester. Followed by wine reception at Kro.

This talk situates the Cancer’s Margins project (www.lgbtcancer.ca) and its preliminary findings in an overview of feminist, postcolonial, and queer biopolitical scholarship. concerning anatomy, pathographies, embodiment, chronicity and new analytic modes of technomaterialism that have foregrounded and articulated complex and discontinuous assemblages that twist, warp and reimagine modernity’s bedrock binaries, including ‘alive<>dead’, ‘real <>fiction’, ‘subject<>object’, ‘now<>then’ and so on. This lecture will engage with the opportunity, and perhaps, the obligation, to think critically about the move to delimit historically, and as a gesture to an entirely different futurity, the time when a biopolitics of embodied humanism was organized in a relation of explicit politicization.

 

The Sexuality Summer School is sponsored this year by the Faculty of Humanities; Cornerhouse; Contact; Manchester Pride; Screen; Science, Stroke, Art 2014; and SEXGEN.

For more information about the Sexuality Summer School, including details of previous events, go to sexualitysummerschool.wordpress.com, email us and get on the mailing list at sexualitysummerschool@gmail.com, find Sexuality Summer School on Facebook or tweet us @SSS_Manchester.

DRF News

CFP: CAMHS 2014 Conference (Children and Young People’s Mental Health) – Northampton, UK: July, 2014

Event:  CAMHS 2014 Conference (Children and Young People’s Mental Health)

Theme: Learning from the Past, Looking to the Future

Date: 2-4 July 2014

Venue: Park Campus, University of Northampton, UK 

First call for papers: Following on from the successful 2013 Child and Adolescent Mental Health, this 3 day conference aims to provide a space in which professionals and academics can explore research, theory and practice in child and adolescent mental health. It is an opportunity to reflect on and critique established research, policy and practice, to share and celebrate what works, and to explore solutions to the challenges of the future.

Papers, posters, workshops, symposia and other contributions are invited that engage the conference theme. Some suggestions of possible focuses include:

  • Promoting mental health
  • Critical perspectives in children’s mental health
  • Widening access to CAMH services
  • Social relationships, mental health and wellbeing
  • Cultural issues in CAMHS
  • Innovations in CAMHS
  • Outcomes monitoring
  • Mental Health policy
  • Gender and sexualities
  • Working with families
  • Mental health in schools
  • • Early Interventions and many more

Keynote Speakers

Kathryn Pugh: Kathryn is the Programme Lead for Children and Young People’s IAPT. She has managed the programme since its inception in January 2011.  Her first job in the NHS was in primary care, moving to commissioning primary, secondary and specialist care in both acute and mental health. She joined YoungMinds to run SOS project for 16-25s and became Head of Policy and Innovation, leading for the Mental Health Alliance and Children’s Charities on lobbying to change the Mental Health Act to reflect the needs of children and young people, including amendments to prevent inappropriate admission of under 18s to adult mental health wards.

Kathryn joined the National CAMHS Support Service as a CAMHS Regional Development Worker in London and simultaneously worked for first NIMHE then NMHDU as National Lead for the Children and Young People’s Programme implementing the MHA 2007, then ran the joint NCSS NMHDU MH Transitions programme.

Professor Peter Fonagy, PhD, FBA, OBE: Peter is National Clinical Lead of Children and Young People’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies and Director of UCL Partners’ Mental Health and Well-Being Programme.

Professor Peter Smith: Peter is Emeritus Professor of Psychology, Unit for School and Family Studies at Goldsmiths College, University of London. His research interests include social development in the home and school; play; aggression and bullying in childhood; cyberbullying; and the similarities and differences between bullying in western countries, Japan, and South Korea.

Dr Katherine Runswick-Cole: Katherine is a Senior Research Fellow in Disability Studies and Psychology, at Manchester Metropolitan University. Katherine’s research has mainly focused on the lives of disabled children and their families and draws on a critical disability studies perspective.

Professor Arlene Vetere: Arlene is professor of family therapy and systemic practice at Diakonhjemmet University College, Oslo, Norway, and affiliate professor of family studies, in the department of family studies, Malta University.  Arlene retired from her post as professor of clinical psychology at Surrey University in December, 2013 in order to spend more time writing. Her latest book is edited with Miochael Tarren-Sweeney, The Mental Health Needs of Vulnerable Children, published by Routledge, 2014. She has co-written ‘Systemic Therapy and Attachment Narratives’ with Rudi Dallos, 2009, Routledge.

Peter Stratton: Peter is Emeritus Professor of Family Therapy at the Leeds Family Therapy & Research Centre.

Submission for the First Call for Papers are invited. The closing date for the first call is 16 March 2014. You are welcome to submit either individual papers, symposia, or workshop proposals, as well as abstracts for posters. Please complete the abstract submission form.

Authors submitting their abstract for the first call for papers should expect a response from the panel by no later than 11 April 2014. This will enable them to take advantage of the Early Bird registration for the conference.

Second call for papers: The deadline for the second call for papers is 12 May 2014

Information regarding registration can be found here.

Please note that, as with all academic conferences, it is expected that speakers register for at least the day on which they are presenting. This facilitates shared learning, which is a key aim of the conference.

Contact us: please email: camhs@northampton.ac.uk

DRF News

Event explores SEND reform (May, 2014, UK)

Event: Westminster Education Forum Keynote Seminar on ‘SEND reform: Implementation, Support and Widening Provision’

with Stephen Kingdom, Deputy Director, Special Educational Needs and Disability, Department for Education

Chaired by: Robert Buckland MP, Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Autism

When: Morning on Thursday, 8th May 2014         Where: Central London        This event is CPD certified

Follow on Twitter @WEdFEvents or at the Website: www.westminstereducationforum.co.uk

N.B.: there is a charge for most delegates, although concessionary and complimentary places are available (subject to terms and conditions – see below).

Description:  This timely seminar will focus on a series of reforms to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) provision in England set out in the Children and Families Bill, including the announcement of the new SEN reform grant to support local councils ahead of planned implementation in September 2014.  

Delegates will discuss the implications for education, health, and social care providers regarding the decision to replace the ‘statements’ system with new integrated Education, Health and Care Plans.

Further sessions will focus on support for families and the implementation by local authorities of ‘personal budgets’ to buy care and support, and the impact on providers and young people of extending support for SEND to  include 25-year-olds and those with disabilities who do not have special educational needs.

The conference will bring together key policymakers and regulatory officials with local authority representatives, school and college leaders, student support contacts in universities, health and social care professionals, parent groups, children’s charities and academics.

Overall, topics for discussion include:

  • Education, Health and Care Plans: challenges for co-ordination around integrating provision;
  • Personal budgets: supporting families in using their budgets, and providing for those who opt out;
  • The ‘local offer’: increasing choice, awareness, and quality of provision for families with children and young people with SEND; and
  • Extending provision for 25-year-olds: its impact on young people and providers of SEND support, as well as further and higher education institutions.

The draft agenda is regularly updated and the latest version is available to download here. The seminar is organised on the basis of strict impartiality by the Westminster Education Forum.

Speakers: We are delighted to be able to include in this seminar a keynote address from: Stephen Kingdom, Deputy Director, Special Educational Needs and Disability, Department for Education.

Further confirmed speakers include: Meera Craston, Director, SQW Consulting; Eirwen Grenfell-Essam, Chair, Network81; Janet Leach, Head of Service, Joint Service for Disabled Children, Enfield Council and Chair, Short Breaks Network; Andy Minnion, Director, The Rix Centre, University of East London; Peter Quinn, Vice-Chair, National Association of Disability Practitioners and Director of Student Support Services, University of York; Douglas Silas, Principal, Douglas Silas Solicitors; Dr Carol Tozer, Executive Director of Services, Scope; Nigel Utton, Headteacher, Bromstone Primary School, Kent and Chair, Heading for Inclusion and a senior speaker confirmed from Ambitious about Autism.

Additional senior participants are being approached.

Networking: This seminar will present an opportunity to engage with key policymakers and other interested parties, and is CPD certified (more details). Places have been reserved by officials from the DfE; MoJ; Office of the Children’s Commissioner and the TSol. Also due to attend are representatives from Ambitious about Autism; Beech Hill Primary School, Bedfordshire; Bromstone Primary School, Kent; Columbus School and College, Essex; Drumbeat School & ASD Service, London; Hertfordshire County Council; Integrated Services Programme; KCIL; London Borough of Camden; London Borough of Ealing; North Ridge School, Yorkshire; Shaw Trust; SQW Consulting; St Nicholas School, Essex; Stoke City Council; The Village School, London; The Walnuts School; Tribal; UK Behaviour Analysis and Research Group; University of Chichester; University of East London; Wandsworth Connexions SEN Team and Worcestershire County Council.

Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group numbering around 120, including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior officials from the DfE, Ofsted, Ofqual and other Government departments and agencies, schools and teaching professionals, representatives of trade unions and local government, groups representing parents and students, specialist academics and charities, together with representatives of the national and trade press.

Output and About Us: A key output of the seminar will be a transcript of the proceedings, sent out around 10 working days after the event to all attendees and a wider group of Ministers and officials at DfE, HM Treasury and other government departments and agencies affected by the issues; and Parliamentarians with a special interest in these areas. It will also be made available more widely. This document will include transcripts of all speeches and questions and answers sessions from the day, along with access to PowerPoint presentations, speakers’ biographies, an attendee list, an agenda, sponsor information, as well as any subsequent press coverage of the day and any articles or comment pieces submitted by delegates. It is made available subject to strict restrictions on public use, similar to those for Select Committee Uncorrected Evidence, and is intended to provide timely information for interested parties who are unable to attend on the day.

All delegates will receive complimentary PDF copies and are invited to contribute to the content.

The Westminster Education Forum is strictly impartial and cross-party, and draws on the considerable support it receives from within Parliament and Government, and amongst the wider stakeholder community. The Forum has no policy agenda of its own. Forum events are frequently the platform for major policy statements from senior Ministers, regulators and other officials, opposition speakers and senior opinion-formers in industry and interest groups. Events regularly receive prominent coverage in the national and trade press.

Booking arrangements: To book places, please use our online booking form.

Once submitted, this will be taken as a confirmed booking and will be subject to our terms and conditions below.

Please pay in advance by credit card on 01344 864796. If advance credit card payment is not possible, please let me know and we may be able to make other arrangements.

Options and charges are as follows:

  • Places at SEND reform: implementation, support and widening provision (including refreshments and PDF copy of the transcripts) are £190 plus VAT;
  • Concessionary rate places for small charities, unfunded individuals and those in similar circumstances are £80 plus VAT. Please be sure to apply for this at the time of booking.

For those who cannot attend:

  • Copies of the briefing document, including full transcripts of all speeches and the questions and comments sessions and further articles from interested parties, will be available approximately 10 days after the event for £95 plus VAT;
  • Concessionary rate: £50 plus VAT.

If you find the charge for places a barrier to attending, please let me know as concessionary and complimentary places are made available in certain circumstances (but do be advised that this typically applies to individual service users or carers, full-time students, people between jobs or who are fully retired with no paid work, and representatives of small charities – not businesses, individuals funded by an organisation, or larger charities/not-for-profit companies). Please note terms and conditions below (including cancellation charges).

DRF News

Event: Learning Disability & Ethnicity Conference

Learning Disability & Ethnicity Conference

When: 28th March 2014

Where: London, UK (at the Osmani Trust, Osmani Centre, 58 Underwood Road, London, E1 5AW)

This one day conference will critically examine the role of Ethnicity and its impact on Learning Disability and consider themes, perspectives and debates surroundings this area, so we can become more inclusive of these factors in practice and service delivery.

This one day conference will bring together clinicians who have experience in providing health and social care interventions across fields.  Learning points and good practice will be shared. The challenges experienced and possible limitations will also discussed via anonymised case vignettes.

Programme of the Day

  • 9.00 – 9.20: Registration, Tea and Coffee
  • 9.20 – 9.40: Professor Zenobia Nadirshaw (Chair & Introduction) ~ Double Discrimination: A Race Against Time for People with Learning Disabilities from BME Communities.
  • 9.40 – 10.30: Professor Eric Emerson ~ Ethnicity & Learning Disability: A Public Health Perspective.
  • 10.30 – 11.20: Dr. Sabiha Azmi ~ Developing and Delivering Psychological services for Adults with Learning Disabilities from Minority Ethnic Communities: A Case Study.
  • 11.20 – 11.40: Tea & Coffee
  • 11.40 – 12.30: Bridget Fisher ~ What Would Make A Difference? Listening and Responding to The Views of People with Learning Disabilities From Ethnic Minorities and Their Family Carers.
  • 12.30 – 12.50: Morning Q & A
  • 12.50 – 1.50: Lunch & Networking
  • 1.50 – 2.40: Professor Raghu Raghavan ~ Ethnicity and Learning Disability: Research and Its Implications For Policy and Practice.
  • 2.40 – 3.00: Tea & Coffee 
  • 3.00 – 3.50: Professor Sab Bhaumik ~ “Mind the Gap” – Accessing Psychiatric Services for Minority Ethnic Adults with Learning Disability: The Problems and The Solutions.
  • 3.50 – 4.10: Afternoon Q&A
  • 4.10 – 4.30: Plenary, Closure & Evaluation sheets

Who: This conference will be relevant to all interested in this field as well as all professionals, including those from Local Authorities and NHS trusts across the UK, Psychiatrists, GPs, Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Counsellors, Early Intervention Teams, CPN’s, OT’s, Social Workers, Chaplains, Community Faith Leaders & Healers, Equality Leads, Community Development Workers, Service User Representatives, Charities, Third Sector, Educational Establishments, Academics and Policy makers.

Conference Contact: Ahmed Qureshi (conference co-ordinator). Tel. 07540 356 526. Email us on: info@bmehealth.org or visit us on www.bmehealth.org

Disability Studies and..., Events and Conferences

Call for Ideas: Gender and Disability: Asking Difficult Questions (10th May 2014, Sheffield, UK)

Announcing Gender and Disability: Asking Difficult Questions

Saturday 10th May 2014, Interdisciplinary Centre of the Social Sciences (ICOSS), University of Sheffield

We’re calling for activists, artists, academics and practitioners to get involved in a day of discussions on the theme of gender and dis/ability. We welcome ideas for the sharing of skills and stories, art, performances, poetry, workshops, round-table discussions, papers and presentations.

The event aims to create a space for conversations and debate between communities who share an interest in gender and disability.

Some ideas for topics/themes:

(Dis)ableism, discrimination, exclusion and (in)accessibility
‘Abnormal’, ‘Normal’ and Normalcy
Activism and protest (disability, feminist, LGBT, ‘race’, queer)
Austerity/welfare cuts
Body image, fetishisation, and the medicalization of bodies and minds
Desire, Sexuality, intimacy and relationships
Freakery, the abject and the politics of disgust
Health and Illness
Identities and identity politics
Life-course and ageing
Mental health and mad pride
Post-humanism
Queer and crip histories
Sex, sex educators and sex workers

Send us your ideas (around 200 words or half a page of bullet points) by 24th February 2014 to gender.disability@shef.ac.uk.

This will be a free event. Food will be available to buy at the venue. We want to make this event as accessible as possible, to inform us of any particular access requirements please email gender.disability@shef.ac.uk by 19th April 2014. For further information please contact gender.disability@shef.ac.uk. To book a place please go to: http://genderanddisability.wordpress.com.

Twitter: @GenDisability

An event hosted by the Disability Research Forum, Sheffield Hallam University and the Gender Research Network, University of Sheffield

Please distribute widely! Link to flyer here: Gender And Disability Call for Ideas

DRF News

CFP: Alternative Psychiatric Narratives Conference (May 2014, UK)

Call for Papers: Alternative Psychiatric Narratives

When: Friday 16th + Saturday 17th May 2014

Where: Birkbeck College, University of London

Chair: Professor Joanna Bourke, Birkbeck

In recent years, historians of psychiatry have heeded Roy Porter’s call to produce psychiatric histories from the patient’s point of view. Studies have moved on from focusing on medical discourse to investigating the diversity of the patient population, their varied experiences, and their pathways to and from psychiatric institutions. Only just beginning, however, is work which pays attention to alternative narratives of psychiatry: individuals and accounts that have been excluded or overlooked in the midst of this focus upon doctor and patient. These include the experiences of those located outside formal psychiatric spaces and relationships, from families and non-medical staff, to activists and campaigners, as well as narratives taking unconventional forms or found in unexpected places, offering alternative readings of sites, spaces, or texts, or challenging the very ways in which psychiatric narratives could or should be expressed and used.

This conference seeks to contribute to the development of these alternative narratives of psychiatry (in the broadest sense of the term) by exploring the voices and experiences of those involved in the non-institutional, non-formal aspects of psychiatry, and by investigating new ways to access all aspects of psychiatric experience, from the early modern period to today. This will be a space to discuss wide ranging (alternative) narratives of psychiatry, representations of psychiatry over time, and the methods and meanings behind this work from a range of disciplinary perspectives.

Proposals for 20 minute papers touching on any aspects of alternative psychiatric narratives are welcomed from postgraduate and early career researchers across the humanities and social sciences.

Possible topics might include (but are not limited to):

  • Alternative methodologies (such as oral history, social geography, ethnography, and more)
  • Histories of familial and community care
  • Representations of psychiatry in literature, theatre, art, music and the media
  • Disability theories and histories in relation to the history of psychiatry and mental health
  • Reforms, campaigns, and histories of activism and the psychiatric survivor movement
  • Alternative views of traditional psychiatric sites such as asylums, hospitals, clinics
  • Developments, experiences and perceptions of auxiliary and support staff
  • Questions of space, time, culture and locality
  • The gendering of psychiatric spaces, diagnoses and treatments
  • Changing therapeutic identities over time
  • Race and ethnicity, and other hidden dimensions of psychiatric history
  • The classic sick role: its history, consequences and alternatives
  • Medical texts and their role in shaping psychiatric stories
  • The problems with psychiatric narratives: authenticity and authority, uses and abuses

Those interested in presenting a paper should email a short proposal (max. 300 words) to AltPsychiatricNarratives@gmail.com by Monday 3rd March 2014

Subject to funding, we hope that some travel expenses will be available for speakers. Members of the Society for the Social History of Medicine will be able to apply for travel bursaries from the Society; visit www.sshm.org/content/conference-bursaries-students  for more details.

Further details and information regarding registration will be at www.altpsychiatricnarratives.wordpress.com

DRF News

CFP: Borders without Boundaries: Canadian Disability Studies Association 2014 Annual Conference (May 2014, Canada)

Call for Papers

Borders without Boundaries: Canadian Disability Studies Association 2014 Annual Conference

Date: Wednesday May 28 – Friday May 30, 2014

Where: Brock University, St. Catherines Ontario, Canada

**DEADLINE FOR ABSTRACT SUBMISSIONS: extended to 15 November 2013**

The Canadian Disability Studies Association invites abstract submissions for papers to be presented at the 11th annual conference to be held at Brock University. Our CDSA meeting is part of the larger Congress 2014 of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

CDSA’s 2014 theme “Borders without Boundaries” reflects the overall Congress theme. We are seeking contributions that demonstrate the ways in which disability challenges, disturbs or blurs the borders of taken for granted or privileged practices in the global north and south. Should your critical work exist beyond or outside of these margins, we still welcome your response to the call.

Submissions are peer-reviewed by panels composed of: faculty, students, and community members.

The five major subthemes are as follows:

1. A disability studies perspective on borders without boundaries

How are images and ideas of disability used to separate, settle and contest cultural divides, political divisions and/or geographic regions? This subtheme broadly considers the relationship between disability and nation-making. We welcome submissions that explore:

  • Disability in global culture and contexts
  • Transnationalisms, border crossings and cosmopolitanisms
  • Disability in relation to colonial continuums and post-/anti-colonial critiques
  • Disability in relation to Aboriginal/First Nations communities
  • Disability and environmental sustainability

2. Disability at the border of academic and activist scholarships

This subtheme broadly explores the tensions between the academic/activist interface. What counts as academic or activist work? What is valued? Can there be academic-activist scholarship? What is gained or loss in a blurring of these endeavours? We welcome submissions exploring:

  • How activism is conceptualized within and without disability studies
  • Disability activist scholarship in the academy
  • Disability studies outreach and education in community-based activism
  • Barriers and facilitators to academic-activist collaborations
  • Disability activist scholarship and social justice

3. Disability at disciplinary borders

This subtheme broadly explores where disability studies is found and placed within the academy. Presentations that consider what makes Canadian Disability Studies distinct are especially encouraged. We welcome submissions exploring:

  • The status and future directions of the field of disability studies in Canada and abroad
  • Professional development for Canadian disability studies students
  • The meaning and limitations of interdisciplinarity in contemporary educational regimes
  • Strategies for troubling, queering and cripping discipline in the academy

4. Disability at the border of mainstream arts and culture

This subtheme explores the ways in which the category of ‘disability’ actively and tacitly creates cultural references, while disability is often simultaneously excluded from mainstream cultural representations. We welcome submissions, including performances or artistic displays, exploring:

  • Arts-based research in disability studies
  • Performances or displays of disability art
  • Literary and cultural analyses using disability studies lenses
  • Historical/contemporary disability communities and cultures

5. Beyond the boundaries of the bordered body – embodiment, technology and virtual spaces

This subtheme explores how disability troubles unexamined relations to the meaning and appearance of “bodies” and embodied relations. We welcome submissions exploring:

  • Disability and the materiality of the body
  • Disability, desire, gender and sexuality
  • Disability, race and racialization
  • The meaning of the ‘human’ and human/technology interfaces

Abstract guidelines:

All session formats are 90 minutes in length. There will be 3-4 papers per session and each paper will be 15-20 minutes in length depending upon the number of papers within the session.

Individual Papers – Individual presentations will be placed alongside two-three other panelists who share a similar focus. A submission will include the following: 1) name, affiliation and contact information 2) a biographical note: 100-150 words as a separate document 3) paper title and a 250 word abstract; the abstract should consist of the following:

  • stated purpose and relevance to one or more of the conference themes
  • significance of the proposal to the field
  • include relevant literature to support your abstract
  • explicit use of disability studies theory, perspective or concepts
  • describe how the work was done
  • contributions to research, theory, activism, advocacy or social change
  • 4 or 5 key words that describe your abstract
  • details of audiovisual needs (e.g. DVD, LCD projection, and/or VHS).

Panels (3-5 more persons) – People submitting a panel abstract are asked to identify and submit proposals around a central topic, theme, or approach. The abstract should include the following:

  • all information as stated in the Individual paper section as appropriate
  • a panel title and a 350 word abstract that illustrates the coherence between each of the panel presentations

Workshops – Interactive sessions organized around a central theme. People submitting workshops should include:

  • all information as stated in the Individual paper section as appropriate
  • workshop title and a 350 word abstract; the description of the workshop’s objectives and content should be as specific as possible

Performances –This may include poetry reading, dance, a viewing, or an installation. We will do our best to provide a suitable space but please be prepared to improvise! Abstract should include:

  • all information as stated in the Individual paper section as appropriate
  • a performance title and a 350 word abstract; the description of the performance content should be as specific as possible

Submission Guidelines

1. Submit via email attachment to: cdsa.acei@gmail.com – by 15 November 2013. The subject line should read, “CDSA-ACEI proposal for Borders without Boundaries”.

2. Attachments should be in pdf format.

3. Please send in two documents for each abstract.

a. One abstract document will have your name, affiliation and complete contact information.

b. The second abstract document must be anonymous. Do not put your name or any other identifying information on the abstract. In addition, be sure to anonymize your pdf document by clicking on “File”, then “Properties”, removing your name if it appears in the “Author” line, and resaving before uploading it. If any identifying information is included on the abstract, the abstract will be returned to the author unevaluated.

We anticipate notifying participants of abstract status by Dec 14, 2013. If your paper is accepted for the 11th CDSA-ACEI conference at Congress you will need to register for Congress as well as for CDSA-ACEI. Registration will be open starting mid-January 2014. Instructions for how to register will be posted at www.congress2014.ca/register. We would appreciate speakers registering by Jan 30, 2014. If this is not possible please email us.

DRF News

Event: 30th Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity (May 2014: Hawaii, USA)

Announcing the 30th Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity.

Theme: Learn from Yesterday. Live for Today. Envision Tomorrow.

Date: 19th – 20th May 2014

Place: Hawaii Convention Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.

For more information: 

 Proposal submissions deadline: 31st January 2014.

The event is preceded by the Pacific Rim International Forum on the Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities (17th May 2014) at Hilton Hawaiian Village, Honolulu, Hawaii.