DRF News

Announcing 5th Annual International Conference ***Theorising Normalcy and the Mundane***: More Questions of the Human (July, 2014: Sheffield, UK)

Event: 5th Annual International Conference ***Theorising Normalcy and the Mundane***

Theme: More Questions of the Human

Date: 7th + 8th July 2014

Place: University of Sheffield, UK

follow on twitter @normalcy2014  #normalcy2014

This conference is organised by the University of Sheffield, Manchester Metropolitan University, Sheffield Hallam University, University of Chester, the University of Toronto in association with the White Rose Studies of Ableism Research collaboration.

The University of Sheffield is delighted to be hosting this conference in July 2014. This year our call for papers encourages engagement with the human and its historically problematic relationship with idealisations of the normal, the able and the non-disabled. The last 4 normalcy conferences have seriously contested and challenged these idealisations. For #normalcy2014 we seek to up the ante a little more and debate together what kinds of human/ity should be valued in our context of austerity, economic crisis and neoliberal capitalism. Some questions that might be addressed:

  • To what extent is ‘the human’ a desirable or problematic category?
  • In what ways do normative understandings underpin ‘universal’ notions of children’s humanity?
  • What does it mean to be post-human?
  • In these times of technological and human enmeshment does it make more sense to talk of the post-human than the outdated category of human?
  • Do we need to hang on to notions of de-humanisation as powerful political statements?
  • What do post-human politics resemble?
  • How do queer, dis/ability, postcolonial analyses evoke different or alternative notions of the human?
  • How might we (not) want to resist, revise and shape notions of the human?
  • Is the human worth fighting for?
  • To what extent is the human an ableist fiction?
  • To what extent are queers and crips nightmare characters to the narratives of humanity?

 

Abstracts of no more than 200 words (with a short bio) should be submitted by 1st February 2014 to the normalcy2014@gmail.com

Presenters will be informed of acceptance by 1st May 2014.  To secure a place in the conference programme, presenters should have booked a place by 30th May 2014. Keynotes will be announced before November 2013. In the spirit of an eco-friendly conference, registered delegates will be sent information electronically.  Details of accommodation near the venue will also be sent to delegates.

While the conference is FREE, we have secured funding for lunch and refreshments.  Please let us know if you have any dietary requirements so we can make the catering team aware of delegate requirements.

 

We look forward to welcoming you to Sheffield

Normalcy2014 conference organisers* in association with White Rose Studies of Ableism**

* Dan Goodley (UoS); Nick Hodge (SHU); Rebecca Mallett (SHU); Cassie Ogden (Univ of Chester); Katherine Runswick-Cole (MMU); Jenny Slater (SHU).
** http://whiterosestudiesofableism.wordpress.com/

 

DRF News

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

Event: Borders without Boundaries: Canadian Disability Studies 2014 Annual Conference 

Date: Wednesday May 28- Friday May 30, 2014

Place: Brock University, St. Catherine’s, Ontario, Canada

Deadline For Abstract Submissions: 1 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.

More information can be found at: http://www.cdsa-acei.ca/CFP-Brock-2014-Final-%20Sept%2021.pdf

DRF News

CFP: 1st Global Conference: Sexuality and Disability (May 2014: Portugal)

Event: 1st Global Conference: Sexuality and Disability

Dates: Tuesday 6th May – Thursday 8th May 2014

Place: Lisbon, Portugal

Call For Presentations:

“Sexuality is an integral part of the personality of everyone: man, woman and child; it is a basic need and aspect of being human that cannot be separated from other aspects life.” (World Health Organisation)

Statistics suggest that over 50 percent of disabled people do not have a sex life, which is not surprising given the fact that disabled people are too often considered as non-sexual or asexual. Recent television programmes shown in the UK have attempted to document the sex and love lives of the disabled, The Undateables and Sex on Wheels (both Channel 4 TV). While such programmes can be seen as progressive in terms of acknowledging that disabled people want and/or have sex lives, moving away from the popular perception of disabled people as asexual, they also perpetuate the medical model of disability in which disability is constructed in sympathetic terms and portrayed in a voyeuristic fashion: disability as object of festishistic scopophilia. While social issue cinema continues to evoke sympathy rather than challenge conventions, horror cinema constructs disability not only as sexualised but often as monstrous abnormality linked with criminality. Images of disability may aim at evoking disgust through the construction of the discourse of abjection. In addition, the sex lives of the disabled are too often ignored within the arena of disability politics itself.

This conference seeks to challenge popular conceptions and perceptions of sexuality and disability. In addition to academic papers, we are particularly interested in opening up a space for the discussion of personal experiences of disability and sexuality and the role of sex workers, community programs and the work of sex educators. Inter-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary perspectives are sought on sexuality and disability, including cross-cultural
and transcultural perspectives. Non-traditional presentations are encouraged including workshops, performances and round table discussions.

Papers, presentations, workshops and pre-formed panels are also invited on any of the following themes:

1. Representations of Disability and Sexuality

– Visual images – painting, photography, advertising

– Moving images – television, film, video, theatre, performance art

– Music and disability – music videos, groups, artists

– Narratives of disability – poetry, biography, autobiography, fiction and non-fiction

2. Desire and Disability

– The fetishization of disability

– Normative/Non-normative desires

– Voyeurism and disability

– Eroticism and disability

– Disability and the politics of disgust

– Dating and disability

3. Gender and Disability

– Feminism and disability politics

– Femininity and Masculinity and disability

– Gender, class and disability

– Body image and disability

4. Sexualities of Disability

– queer, trans, and other non-normative sexualities

– disabilities and sexualities

– aging and sexuality

– appropriate versus inappropriate expressions of sexuality

5. Difference and Disability

– Visible/invisible disabilities

– Intellectual disabilities

– Mental health issues including depression

– Ethnicity, sexuality and disability

6. Sex Work and Disability

– Sex educators

– Sex workers

– Community programs

– State run programs

7. Law, Ethics, the State and Disability

– Eugenics and state stationed sterilisation

– Legislation, disability and sexuality

– Ethics, desire and disability

– Cultural conceptions of disability and sexuality

– Sexual abuse and disability

Presentations will also be considered on any related theme.

In order to support and encourage interdisciplinarity engagement, it is our intention to create the possibility of starting dialogues between the parallel events running during this conference. Delegates are welcome to attend up to two sessions in each of the concurrent conferences. We also propose to produce cross-over sessions between two and possibly all three groups – and we welcome proposals which deal with the relationship between the experience of prison, and/or responsible and ethical living and/or disability and sexuality.

What to send: 300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 6th December 2013 If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 14th March 2014. 300 word abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in programme, c)
email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract, f) up to 10 keywords.

E-mails should be entitled: SD1 Abstract Submission.

Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs:
Colette Balmain: cb@inter-disciplinary.net<mailto:cb@inter-disciplinary.net and Rob Fisher: sd1@inter-disciplinary.net<mailto:sd1@inter-disciplinary.net

The conference is part of the Gender and Sexuality programme of research projects. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and
exciting. All papers accepted for and presented at the conference will be eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers may be developed for publication in a themed hard copy volume(s). All publications from the
conference will require editors, to be chosen from interested delegates from the conference.

For further details of the conference, please visit: http://www.inter-disciplinary.net/critical-issues/gender-and-sexuality/sexuality-and-disability/call-for-presentations/

Events and Conferences

CFP: 2nd Annual INSPIRe Virtual Symposium September 8-21, 2013

International Network of Student Perspectives in Research

Exploring ability expectations through diverse disciplines and topics

The Wolb Pack, a team of inter- and trans-disciplinary undergraduate and graduate research students based at the University of Calgary are pleased to announce a call for abstracts for the 2nd annual INSPIRe virtual symposium. The conference theme is “Exploring ability expectations through diverse disciplines and topics”.

Who should participate?

You should participate if you are an undergraduate or graduate studies student of a post-secondary institution/organization.

Aims of the conference

The aims of this conference are to:

  1. Encourage student discussion regarding socio-cultural ability expectations.
  2. Provide a peer-reviewed opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to showcase their work.
  3. Provide a platform for dialogue and networking without the costs of travel and conference fees.

Potential topics of submission

Topics may engage a variety of social groups (e.g. disabled people, ethnic minorities, gender,

socioeconomic status, immigrants, migrants, etc.) and discussion of ability expectations. Suggestions of topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Ableism
  • Aging
  • Bodybuilding
  • Bullying
  • Bionics
  • Climate change
  • Disability studies
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Energy issues
  • Environmental justice
  • ‘Eco-ability’
  • Equity and equality
  • Ethics
  • Eugenics
  • Feminist approach to ability expectations
  • Future of communication
  • Technologies and ability expectations
  • Global outlook
  • Health consumerism
  • Health science technology and health care
  • Human development
  • Human enhancement
  • Human security
  • Immigrant policies
  • Indigenous studies
  • Local outlook
  • Media discourses and representation of various social groups
  • Organ donation and transplantation
  • Peace
  • Privacy and health science technologies
  • Prospects of artificial wombs
  • Racism
  • Science and technology governance
  • Sensory systems
  • Social determinants of health
  • Social justice
  • Social robots
  • Social well-being
  • Sport
  • Sustainability
  • Sustainability and economics
  • The human body
  • Water issues

Full call for papers see here (Deadline 30 July 2013)

DRF News

Third Keynote Announced for Theorising Normalcy and the Mundane Conference (Sheffield, UK: Sept. 2013)

Debating whether you should attend the Theorising Normalcy and the Mundane: 4th International Conference at Sheffield Hallam University (September 3rd-4th 2013)?

Here is another good reason to come, as we are thrilled to announce our third keynote speaker…

 

Prof. Tom Billington, (Professor of Educational and Child Psychology, School of Education, University of Sheffield, UK) will be discussing….

Time, Space, Mind: Narratives of Quality and Experience

 

Abstract: This paper explores non-deficit conceptualizations of mind which are drawn from philosophy (Bergson), psychoanalysis (Bion) and neuroscience (Damasio). Discourses of mind are constructed which are dynamic – ‘mind as process’ – and not restricted to mechanistic accounts of the brain or indeed any individual psychopathology, for example, autism. Theorizations are explored and illustrated by accounts of case work conducted with young people, their parents and teachers both in schools and the family courts.

Bio: Tom is Professor of Educational and Child Psychology as well as Director of the Centre for the Study of Children, Families and Learning Communities at the University of Sheffield.  Much of Tom’s research focuses on the professional practices of Educational and Child Psychologists, in particular, the nature of work conducted with children and young people and the theoretical bases upon which practice is justified. He has published extensively in this area and has for many years sought to inform the development of practitioner assessments and interventions which are both ethical and effective through expanding the base of research evidence beyond reductionist psychopathologies. In particular, he has been locating Educational Psychology within the context of a much broader critical theoretical framework (Billington, 1997).

Tom has specialized in qualitative research methodologies, especially discourse analytic, psychodynamic and narrative approaches in individual case work with children and young people, their families and schools. Of particular concern is the power of psychological discourses as exercised by practitioners, focusing on fundamental questions as to how we go about our work; for example, `how do we speak of children? How do we speak with children? How do we write about children? How do we listen to children? How do we listen to ourselves (when working with children)? (Billington, 2006).

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Keep up to date via the Normalcy 2013 page on the DRF blog: https://disabilityresearchforum.wordpress.com/events/normalcy-2013/, join the debate on twitter #normalcy2013 and, remember, to book a place at the conference, please visit normalcy2013.eventbrite.co.uk

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DRF News

‘Notes for Delegates’ and ‘Notes for Presenters’ now available for ‘Theorising Normalcy and the Mundane’ Conference 2013 (Sheffield, UK)

‘Notes for Delegates’ and ‘Notes for Presenters’ are now available for the upcoming  ‘Theorising Normalcy and the Mundane’ Conference 2013.  Click on the links below.

Notes for Delegates include:

1. Getting to Sheffield

2. Accommodation in Sheffield

3. Conference Venue

– Access Information about the Conference Building

4. Food

Notes for Presenters include:

Presenting

Accessibility

  1. Content
  2. Visual Aids
  3. Written Materials

For more conference info: https://disabilityresearchforum.wordpress.com/events/normalcy-2013 or join the debate on twitter #normalcy2013

 

**Draft conference programme coming shortly**

DRF News

Keynotes Announced for Theorising Normalcy and the Mundane Conference (Sheffield, UK: September 2013)

If you are in any doubt over whether you should attend the Theorising Normalcy and the Mundane: 4th International Conference at Sheffield Hallam University (September 3rd-4th 2013), here is a little taster of what will be on offer.

We are thrilled to announce two of this year’s keynotes speakers:

Dr Clare Barker, Lecturer in English (Medical Humanities) at the University of Leeds, UK will be discussing….

Whose Health? Biocolonialism, Postcolonial Medicine, and Normalcy Across Cultures

Abstract: In the Māori writer Patricia Grace’s novel Baby No-Eyes (1998), an indigenous activist counters arguments about ‘progress’ in genetic science and the benefits of finding ‘answers’ to health ‘problems’ with questions: “whose health problems are we talking about, and answers for who?”. These questions are productive and provocative as they unsettle some of the normalising functions of global biomedical discourses: assumptions that ‘health’ will look and feel the same across different cultures and communities; that we all want to know the same information about our genes and bodies, and aspire to the same goals of bodily function, appearance, and ability; and that advances in medical science will ultimately benefit all of humankind. This paper uses examples from literary texts such as Baby No-Eyes in order to unpack the universalism that underpins concepts such as ‘normalcy’, ‘health’ and ‘ability’. While organisations such as the WHO offer standardised models for measuring ‘health’ and identifying ‘problem’ areas, these texts provide alternative perspectives on what communities themselves perceive as ‘normal’, ‘unhealthy’ or ‘dysfunctional’, and stress the specialist cultural knowledge and resources that often determine how illness, disability, and medical intervention are experienced. Focusing especially on genetic research, the paper will highlight the continuities between extractive colonial practices and contemporary forms of ‘biocolonialism’ – the mining or exploitation of some human bodies (usually in the global South) for the benefit of others (most often, neoliberalised ‘normates’ in the global North). It will end by reflecting on what a postcolonial approach to global health, medicine, normalcy, and disability might look like. An approach that is attentive to cultural difference and specificity, I suggest, can help keep us vigilant about the kinds of normalisation that arise within medical discourse and provide conceptual resources for resisting the tyranny of the normal.

Bio: Clare Barker is the author of Postcolonial Fiction and Disability: Exceptional Children, Metaphor and Materiality (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) and has co-edited two special issues of the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies: ‘Disabling Postcolonialism’ (2010, with Stuart Murray) and ‘Disability and Native American/Indigenous Studies’ (2013, with Siobhan Senier). Her research is situated at the intersection of postcolonial studies, disability studies and medical humanities, and focuses on representations of disability, health, illness, and medicine in world literatures and cultures. She is interested in the ways in which disability, health and illness are constructed in local and global contexts, and how fiction can transform our understanding of embodied difference, medical encounters, and the politics of health. Clare is currently working on two new research projects: one is a collaborative AHRC-funded project on community health and wellbeing in the UK, in which she will focus on the relationship between health and ethnicity in British Asian communities and literatures. The other, tentatively entitled ‘Postcolonial Health: Literature, Medicine, Activism’, will explore the representation of health crises, global biomedical debates, and health-related community activism in postcolonial literatures and film. This will include work on fictional and activist representations of the Bhopal disaster, indigenous responses to the Human Genome Diversity Project, and disability-related protests against the sponsorship of the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

 

Dr Jenny Slater, Lecturer in Education and Disability Studies at the Sheffield Hallam University, UK will be discussing….

The (Normal) Non-normativity of Youth

Abstract: Youth unnerves us. Awkwardly bridging the space between ‘child’ and ‘adult’, we are delivered demonising depictions of young people (hoodies and hooligans), and working out how to deal with these not-quite children but not-quite-adults is high on policy makers’ agendas (Slater, 2013, f.c.). On the other hand, the non-normativity of ‘teenage rebellion’ is considered an ‘identity forming’ rite of passage for young people to cross the border zone between child and adult (Lesko, 2002). We hear, in fact, young people scorned upon for their apolitical, apathetic acceptance of normativity – the youth today a pale reflection of their predecessors (Bennett, 2008).  Even our ever-so reasonable politicians tell us that they “[did] things that teenagers do”, before they “pulled [themselves] up and headed in the right [direction]”  (Cameron in Watt, 2009).

This paper will explore how, through youth, ‘non-normativity’ emerges as a place allowed, indeed expected, as a stage of ‘normative development’. I will argue, however, that it is a stage only permissible to young people fitting neatly into other culturally privileged positions. Furthermore, it must be played out by meeting other societal expectations (‘masculinity’ – lads will be lads; first heterosexual encounters, and so on) which set young people on the path to normative adulthood. Commercialised and commodified ‘what it is to be young’, I argue, is an illustration of the required flexible neoliberal subject; it is okay to be ‘non-normative’ if ‘non-normativity’ can be compartmentalised, as a phase to be grown-out of, and later periodically bought into. Drawing on fieldwork with disabled young people alongside other cultural and media representations of ‘youth’ and ‘youth culture’, I will argue that perceived  ‘non-normativity’ leaves young people not fitting into other culturally priveledged positions much more precariously positioned.

Bio: Jenny Slater is a lecturer in Education and Disability Studies at Sheffield Hallam University. Her doctoral work with young disabled people drew on critical disability studies frameworks to consider cultural constructions of ‘youth’ and ‘disability’. Jenny is interested in how youth and disability ‘play out’ with other intersectional identities, particularly gender and sexuality.

 

Keep up to date via the Normalcy 2013 page on the DRF blog: https://disabilityresearchforum.wordpress.com/events/normalcy-2013/, join the debate on twitter #normalcy2013 and, remember, to book a place at the conference, please visit normalcy2013.eventbrite.co.uk

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: http://accentuatesymposium.eventbrite.co.uk
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
Panellists:

  • 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
Panellists:

  • 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
Panellists:

  • 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
Panellists:

  • 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: http://accentuatesymposium.eventbrite.co.uk
For further information on The Accentuate Symposium email: info@accentuateuk.org

Events and Conferences

Sociology of Diagnosis Workshop with Simon Wessely, Monica Greco and Tom Shakespeare (Cambridge 31 October 2013)

The Third ESRC supported Sociology of Diagnosis workshop will be held on October 31st in Cambridge, UK. Our three speakers will be talking about the politics of diagnosis and the potential of collective health movements:

  • Professor Simon Wessely, Professor of Psychological Medicine, King’s College, University of London
  • Dr. Monica Greco, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths College, University of London
  • Dr. Tom Shakespeare, Senior Lecturer in Medical Sociology, Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia

Diagnosis can be liberating and restricting, empowering and dominating. This seminar, organised by Simon Cohn from the University of Cambridge, explores how diagnostic processes infiltrate the lives of ‘the healthy’ and ‘the sick’ alike. Contemporary forms of biomedical knowledge encourage people to think about themselves in new ways, making themselves amenable to medical categories and potentially altering social relationships as they draw on knowledge of their own biology to forge new collectives, both real and virtual. As a result, people with illnesses frequently find both support and meaning from others who share similar experiences, whilst specific-issue health movements can shape medical practice and government policy. However, whilst such observations are evocative, they beg critical analysis. In particular, how can they account for the ambiguity that frequently arises from many diagnostic practices, and the fact that diagnostic categories can, and often are, resisted or disputed? The main focus of this seminar will consequently be to explore ways in which diagnoses are contested, challenged and, as a result, politicised.

The seminar will discuss how diagnostic processes infiltrate the lives of ‘the healthy’ and give rise to notions of ethics of care. The political consequences of collective health movements are also brought into focus. Contemporary forms of biomedical knowledge encourage people to think about themselves in new ways and alter their social relationships as they draw on knowledge of their own biology to forge new communities, (both real and virtual) and reconfigure broader social issues relating to power and representation. However, whilst evocative, this begs critical analysis. For example, it is questionable whether this constitutes a novel development that is dependent on modern biotechnologies. People with illnesses frequently have found both support and meaning from others who share similar experiences and there are instances of specific-issue health movements shaping medical practice and government policy. The main focus in this seminar is the question to what extent diagnoses are contested, challenged and/or politicised. We ask whether the concepts of biological citizenship and bio-socialities have empirical validity and what we can learn from patients and patient groups.

Attendance is free, but you will need to register in advance. For further details and to sign up, please visit the project web site.

Uncategorized

CFP: ‘This is my Body’ Conference: Nov, 2013 – Cambridge, UK

 

Conference Title:  This is my Body

Dates: Monday, 18 November 2013 – Tuesday, 19 November 2013
Location: William Harvey Lecture Theatre, Addenbrooke’s Clinical School, University of Cambridge, UK

Conveners: Dr Olivia Will (Department of Surgery, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, UK) and Dr Lucy Razzall (Faculty of English, University of Cambridge, UK)

Summary: The relationship between the mind and the body raises innumerable challenging questions across the arts, humanities, and social science disciplines. For those who come into professional contact with the human body every day in the National Health Service, the mind and the body are usually considered distinct from each other. This is even reflected in the organisational structure of the NHS, where mental health trusts are separate from other healthcare services. Any medical interpretation of the human body, even while it is grounded in empirical evidence, is also inevitably shaped by the intricacies of cultural context, but this is often overlooked in contemporary medicine.

Keynote speaker:Ludmilla Jordanova (King’s College London, UK)

Call for Papers: This two-day conference aims to return human experience to the centre of medical discussion by bringing scholars of the body from across the arts, humanities, and social sciences together with medical and surgical practitioners from the National Health Service. In engaging with the human body from a wide range of perspectives, this conference will explore the ways in which understandings, experiences, and representations of the body beyond the traditional medical sphere might inform healing and healthcare. This interdisciplinary conference will be the first of its kind ever held at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, and will establish an important new interface between the academy and the National Health Service.

We invite proposals (250 words) for 20-minute papers from graduate students and senior scholars in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, and from medical students and medical/surgical professionals, which will offer disciplinary perspectives on the human body and experiences of embodiment. Papers could address, but are not restricted to, any aspect of the following:

  • physical and mental illness: treatment and recovery
  • roles, identities, and relationships of patients, carers, and doctors
  • injury, wounds, and healing
  • trauma and disfigurement
  • pain and suffering
  • gender and sexuality
  • life-cycles: birth, childhood, puberty, reproduction, ageing, frailty, death 

Please email your proposal to conferences@crassh.cam.ac.uk. Any informal enquiries may be addressed to the conveners, Olivia Will and Lucy Razzall.

The deadline for submission is 31 July 2013.