DRF News

RDS New Issue features a Forum on “Popular Culture and Disability”

A few weeks old now but this post is better late than never!

From RDS:

We are pleased to announce the release of an amazing double issue of The Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal (RDS). Volume 10, Issues 1&2 marks the 10th anniversary of the publication of RDS. We look forward to 10 more years of excellence in the field of disability studies!

This issue contains a forum on “Popular Culture and Disability” guest edited by Holly Manaseri and Raphael Raphael. Forum authors explore everything from freak show discourse in XMen films to Lady Gagas use of disability imagery. The forum is followed by a diverse line-up of research articles lead by an article on gender, marriage and disability in Jordan co-authored by Salam Jalal & Susan Gabel.

Subscriptions to RDS start at only $25.00 for students. The print version is available only to subscribers. Don’t forget to check out our blog and Facebook page. Happy reading! 

Volume 10, Issues 1 & 2 (Copyright 2014)

Table of Contents

Editorial: Isolation: A Diary of Subtle Discrimination – Megan A. Conway, PhD, RDS Managing Editor

Forum: Popular Culture and Disability – Guest Editors Holly Manaseri, PhD, Hawaii State Department of Education, USA and Raphael Raphael, PhD, University of Hawaii, Manoa, USA

Forum Editors Introduction p. 6

Forum Articles

The Legacy of 19th Century Popular Freak Show Discourse in the 21st Century X-Men Films – Fiona Pettit, PhD, Exeter University, United Kingdom 

Keep It Right – Homeland: The Female Body, Disability, and Nation – Joëlle Rouleau, University of Montreal, Canada

Body Vandalism: Lady Gaga, Disability, and Popular Culture – Christopher R. Smit, PhD, Calvin College, USA

Precarious Inclusions; Re-Imagining Disability, Race, Masculinity and Nation in My Name is Khan – Nadia Kanani, York University, Canada

Research Articles

Physical Disability, Gender, and Marriage in Jordanian Society – Salam Jalal, EDD & Susan Gabel, PhD, Chapman University, USA 2

Employment Outcomes for Young Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorders – Ashleigh Hillier, PhD & Monica Galizzi, PhD, University of Massachusetts, USA 

Audio Description In Italy: An Anecdote Or A Social Integration Policy? – María Valero Gisbert, University of Parma, Italy 

Trends Toward the Integration and Inclusion of Students with Disabilities in Russia – S.V. Alehina, PhD, Institute on Inclusive Education, Moscow, Russia & Debra Cote, PhD, Erica J. Howell, PhD, Vita Jones, PhD, & Melinda Pierson, PhD, California State University, USA

Creative Works

Lucky to Be Here – Felicia Nimue Ackerman, Brown University, USA

Book and Media Reviews

The Book of Goodbyes: Poems by Jillian Weise – Reviewed by Johnson Cheu, PhD, Michigan State University, USA 

Writing Disability: A Critical History by Sara Newman – Reviewed by Dax Garcia, University of Hawaii, USA 

A Life Without Words, Directed by Adam Isenberg – Reviewed by Amanda McLaughlin, University of Hawaii, USA 

Shakin’ All Over: Popular Music and Disability by George McKay – Reviewed by Steven E. Brown, University of Hawaii, USA 

Disability Studies Dissertation Abstracts

Jonathon Erlen, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA


DRF News

Job Opp: Lecturing Jobs at Liverpool Hope

Liverpool Hope University is currently advertising two Disability Studies-related jobs: more information can be found on the following links.

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Education SEN & Disability –  http://www.hope.ac.uk/jobs/lslecturerineducationsendisability/

Post Doctoral Teaching Fellow in Education (Four Posts Available) – http://www.hope.ac.uk/jobs/postdoctoralteachingfellowineducation-2aeds/

DRF News

Reminder: DRF Seminar #1 – Monday, 11th Nov 2013: 10am-12pm (at SHU)

The ‘DRF Seminar Schedule 2013-2014’ kicks off next Monday with the following line-up…


1. Monday, 11th November 2013: 10am-12pm – Arundel 10111 (SHU)


Slot 1: Ghasem Norouzi (Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran, & Visiting Research Fellow at University of Sheffield, UK): How do supported employment providers promote ‘meaningful work’ opportunities for people with learning difficulties?

This paper reports a study about ‘How do supported employment providers promote ‘meaningful work’ opportunities for people with learning difficulties?’ by providing a thematic analysis of the views and experiences of the eight supported employment providers (SEPs) in city in the North of England (Northtown). An eclectic approach, using qualitative methods (narratives inquiry, ethnography, interview, and observation) was adopted. The findings argue that ‘meaningful work’ meant more than just ‘paid employment’. It must include earning money, increasing self-esteem, self-respect, freedom, empowerment, choice on the work, enjoyment and satisfaction of people with learning difficulties with their lives. This findings show that generally, the SEPs through supported employment agencies had offered a lot of services to the employers and employees with learning difficulties. They were successful in increasing the employers’ awareness of the ability of people with learning difficulties; finding jobs and workplaces for people with learning difficulties; and supporting their employers in solving problems inside and outside of work. However, the SEPs were not successful in enabling people to gain ‘meaningful work’ in mainstream employment. The results of this study indicate various structural and individual barriers for people with learning difficulties to obtain ‘meaningful work’. Structural barriers include negative attitudes of employers, parents, carers, and service providers; inflexibility of the benefit system; unenforced legislation; difficulties in using public transport, and; a lack of long-term employment service support. The findings also revealed some major individual barriers including: unwillingness to work, a lack of confidence, having difficulty in communication with managers, colleagues and customers at work, a lack of qualifications, and limited social skills. This study suggested some ways of overcoming structural barriers including: changing the negative attitudes of employers, parents, carers and service providers towards people with learning difficulties. It also highlighted some ways of overcoming individual barriers included increasing self-confidence and providing suitable training for people with learning difficulties.


Slot 2: John Rees (Independent Scholar, UK): History, Memory: Eugenics and the Holocaust, Fighting the Concept of the Perfect Neo-Liberal Human being today


Venue: This seminar will be held in the Arundel Building, 122 Charles Street, City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University, S1 1WB. For a map of City Campus click here.

For more info on upcoming DRF events, click here.

…and don’t forget, registration and abstract submissions are now open for Normalcy 2014.

DRF News

EVENT: IMAGINE Research Café on Work, Incapacity and Resilience (17th May 2013, Sheffield, UK)

[If you are interest in disability research, you may be interested in this…]

Event: IMAGINE Research Café

Date: Friday, 17th May 2013

Time: 1.00pm – 3.00pm

Venue: Room 9016, Cantor Building, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK. For a map of City Campus click here.

Slot 1:  Prof Christina Beatty, CRESR and Dr Sionnadh McLean, CHSCR

Christina Beatty leads the Data Analysis and Policy Team at the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research.  For the past twenty years Christina has researched issues around hidden unemployment, the location and the growth in numbers claiming incapacity benefits across the country, and the impacts of welfare reform.  Sionnadh McLean is a Reader in Physiotherapy and is based at the Centre for Health and Social Care Research. Prior to joining SHU in 2007 she was a practising clinician for 15 years. Sionnadh’s research interests revolve around improving the effectiveness of exercise prescription, taking into account the biopsychosocial circumstances of individuals.

Their Imagine project looks at addressing the real needs of incapacity claimants.  This project investigates the resilience of individuals and communities in the face of major welfare reform which affects over 2.5m people of working age on out-of-work disability benefits.  The project will gather evidence on the health interventions, experimental initiatives and interventional strategies which offer potential to bolster the resilience of disability claimants to cope with the increased demands of welfare reform to return to work. The research team includes Professor Steve Fothergill and Kirsty Duncan. 

Slot 2: Dr Jon Warren, Durham University

Jon Warren has worked in the Geography department at Durham University since 2009.  Prior to that he worked in the School for Applied Social Sciences. Jon is currently managing a major project which is evaluating an initiative which aims to improve the health of long term incapacity benefit (IB) recipients. The evaluation has been funded by Durham NHS primary care trust.

Jon is interested in the Sociology of Work and the history of work and industry in the North East in particular. His doctoral research explored the working lives and wider narratives of workers involved with the Call Centre Industry in both the North East of England and India.

DRF News

CFCP – Working Bodies: Chronic Illness in the Canadian Workplace

This is a Call for Chapter Proposals that will examine and/or problematize lived experiences of negotiating Canadian work environments while simultaneously negotiating the consequences of living with chronic illness. This edited collection will focus on highlighting commonalities and differences across diverse experiences; issues/questions that could potentially be addressed include:

  • What role is played by the social, physical, and/or bureaucratic environments both inside and outside the workplace for chronically ill workers?
  • Accommodations – how available are they; how useful are they; what local attitudes shape the experience of getting needs accommodated?
  • Disclosure – how and when are decisions made to disclose chronic illness? How does symptom fluctuation affect disclosure?
  • (In)visibility – how does the visibility or lack of visibility of chronic illness affect the workplace experience? What about fluctuating symptoms?
  • Working bodies – to what extent is the chronically ill body understood as productive/able to contribute towards the well-being of the workplace environment? How is this understanding mediated by fluctuating symptoms or visibility?
  • Intersections – how does chronic illness intersect with other axes of difference (e.g., gender, culture, employment background, etc.) to shape the workplace experience?
  • The changing nature of the workplace/workspace for chronically ill workers – what happens when people work at home?
  • Work-life balance – how does chronic illness affect this relationship?
  • Leaving work because of chronic illness – how or why is the decision made to leave paid work?
  • Experiences during training – as people with chronic illness go through the educational system or are retrained after onset, did perceptions about the meaning of chronic illness influence the extent to which others were willing to make options available?
  • Maintaining presence – what role does chronic illness play when it comes to worker recruitment and/or retention?

The book collection will be edited by Sharon-Dale Stone (Sociology, Lakehead University), Valorie Crooks (Geography, Simon Fraser University) and Michelle Owen (Sociology and Disability Studies, University of Winnipeg). Canadian University Press is the anticipated publisher.

Abstracts of 250 words, along with a 50 word biographical statement for each author and full contact details for the submitting author, are due Friday, October 14, 2011 and we anticipate that completed papers will be due in June 2012.

Please email queries and abstracts to: Sharon-Dale Stone (Department of Sociology, Lakehead University, 955 Oliver Road, Thunder Bay, ON, P7B 5E1); Email: sdstone@lakeheadu.ca; Tel: 807-343-8530.