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‘Disability and Blood’: Special Issue of JLCDS out now!

Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies – Volume 10, Issue 3 is out now.

Special Issue: Disability and Blood

Guest editors: Sören Fröhlich and Michael Davidson

JLCDS is available from Liverpool University Press, online and in print, to institutional and individual subscribers; it is also part of the Project MUSE collection to which the links below point.

Articles

Introduction: Blood Bound http://muse.jhu.edu/article/634642

Sören Fröhlich, Michael Davidson

Disability, Blood, and Liminality in Malory’s “Tale of the Sankgreal” http://muse.jhu.edu/article/634643

Tory V. Pearman

Otherwise Undisclosed: Blood, Species, and Benjy Compson’s Idiocy http://muse.jhu.edu/article/634644

David Oswald 

A State of Flux: On Bleeding http://muse.jhu.edu/article/634645

Roberto Brigati, Daniela Crocetti 

Deforming and Transforming: Towards a Theory of “Viral Mestizaje” in Chicano Literature http://muse.jhu.edu/article/634646

Victoria Carroll 

Blood Functions: Disability, Biosociality, and Facts of the Body http://muse.jhu.edu/article/634647

Kelly Fritsch 

Comments from the Field

The Voice of Disability, Seminar Series, Centre for Culture and Disability Studies, Liverpool Hope University http://muse.jhu.edu/article/634648

Owen Barden 

Disability, Coping, and Identity http://muse.jhu.edu/article/634649

Shahd Alshammari

Book Reviews

Fantasies of Identification: Disability, Gender, Race by Ellen Samuels (review)http://muse.jhu.edu/article/634650

David T. Mitchell

Depression: A Public Feeling by Ann Cvetkovich (review)http://muse.jhu.edu/article/634651

Corey Hickner-Johnson 

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CFP: ‘Dissecting the Page: Medical Paratexts, Medieval to Modern’ edited collection

From Christina Lee and Freya Harrison’s discovery of the MRSA-combatting properties of an Anglo-Saxon recipe, to the increasing popularity of Ian Williams’ Graphic Medicine as a teaching tool for medical students, current research into the intersections between medicine, text, and image is producing dynamic and unexpected results (Thorpe: 2015; Lee and Harrison: 2015; Taavitsainen: 2010; Couser: 2009; Cioffi: 2009; Díaz-Vera: 2009). Recent years have seen conferences on paratextual research, and a range of events orientated around literature and medicine. The purpose of this edited collection is to open up wider scholarship into medical paratexts, spanning pragmatics, literary studies, and the medical humanities.

We propose that the breadth of research into medical book history in the medieval and early-modern period will prompt productive and innovative overlaps with work on modern medical paratexts. We understand paratext as the apparatus of graphic communication: title pages, prefaces, illustrations, marginalia, and publishing details which act as mediators between text and reader. Discussing the development of medical paratexts across scribal, print and digital media, from the medieval period to the twenty-first century, the collection will be provisionally structured in three chronological sections: Anglo-Saxon and Medieval, Early Modern, and Modern periods.

We are now looking for academics, artists, and medical professionals to submit abstracts on topics pertaining to medical paratexts. We invite proposals on topics that include (but are not limited to):

• the role of the medical preface
• graphic medicine in popular culture
• medicine, illness, and/or disability and graphic novels
• the development and role of medical (and medicalised) illustrations
• the advertising and placement of texts depicting medicine/illness/disability
• the development of paratext in medical texts from script to print
• the use and readers of medical texts
• auto/biography and medicine
• online medical writing, publishing, and paratexts

We have received initial interest from Palgrave Macmillan about the proposal, and intend to submit a full proposal for a Palgrave Pivot edited collection of approximately 40,000 words. Key benefits of the Pivot model include publication within three months of acceptance of final manuscripts, flexible length, peer review, and availability in e-book and hardback formats.

• The provisional timeline for the collection is as follows:
• January: deadline for abstracts (500-700 words)
• May: first drafts of articles submitted to editors (4000-4500 word chapters)
• June: article drafts returned with comments
• August: final proofs submitted to Palgrave
• December: publication of edited collection.

Please email an abstract of 500-700 words and a short bio to the conference organisers (Dr Hannah Tweed and Dr Diane Scott) at medicalparatexts@gmail.com by Sunday 10th January 2016. We will respond with decisions on chapters by the end of January 2016.

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Postcolonial Studies Association Convention (7th–9th Sept. 2015: University of Leicester, UK)

The first Postcolonial Studies Association Convention aims to be as interdisciplinary as possible – we wondered if any of our Disability Studies friends were interested in attending…

Postcolonial Studies Association Convention at the University of Leicester on 7th–9th September 2015

The first PSA convention will be held at the University of Leicester (UK), from 7 to 9 September 2015. Contributions from academics and postgraduates investigating any area of postcolonialism from any disciplinary, cross- or interdisciplinary perspective are warmly invited.

Confirmed keynote speakers:

  • Professor Paul Gilroy (King’s College London)
  • Professor John McLeod (University of Leeds)
  • (Other keynotes to be confirmed)

The 2015 PSA Convention Special Topic is Diasporas

Proposals for panels and papers on the theme of diasporas will be particularly welcome. Movement —be it of culture, capital or the human movement involved in colonialism, slavery, indentured labour, or postcolonial migration to former colonial metropoli— has always been central to postcolonial studies.

Diaspora has been one of the key concepts of postcolonial studies within this context of individual and collective journeys. Within contemporary analysis, diasporas have tended to be explored in terms of ethnicity, race, nationality, and even religion. However, diaspora has sometimes been accused of perpetuating histories of colonial inequality by failing to differentiate between precarious migration motivated by exploitation and the more economically privileged transnational movements of the global bourgeoisie. The study of human movement during colonial and postcolonial times has taken a number of shapes across the humanities and social sciences through the study of diaspora, migration, transnationalism, cosmopolitanism and globalisation. It is this theme of movement that the conference special topic will address. What social, historical and linguistic configurations does the study of diasporas privilege? Which ones does it ignore? How has diaspora come to include different motivations of migration beyond the more familiar ones of ethnic discrimination and economic hardship? How has the diasporic experience been represented and studied?

The convention will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Journal of Postcolonial Writing & its ongoing partnership with the PSA.

Format: Individual 20-min. academic papers, panels, performances or poster presentations.

Please send abstracts of individual presentations (250 words) or panels of 3 (500 words) with a brief biographical note of participants (2-3 sentences) to psa2015convention@gmail.com

Deadline for abstracts: 28 February 2015. Decisions communicated by the end of March 2015.

DRF News, Uncategorized

CFP: Rethinking Disability on Screen: A One-Day Interdisciplinary Symposium (May, 2014)

Rethinking Disability on Screen: A One-Day Interdisciplinary Symposium

Date: Thursday 14th May, 2015, 

Venue: Humanities Research Centre, University of York

Website: rethinkingdisabilityonscreen.com

Twitter: @rdos2015

*** Deadline for abstracts: 16th January 2015 ***

 Keynote speakers: Stuart Murray, Professor of Contemporary Literatures and Film and Director of the Leeds Centre for Medical Humanities and Justin Edgar, Filmmaker and Founder and Creative Director of 104 Films (www.104films.com)

Cinema’s visual interest in disability registered almost from the moment of its invention. The historical tendencies of fiction film to show disabled subjects as objects of pity or comedy, as ‘monstrous’, as ‘resentful’ or as segregated from mainstream society have been critically documented from the 1980s onwards, but more recently, a number of international films featuring disability – Les Intouchables, AmourRust and BoneThe Sessions – have enjoyed both critical and commercial success.

Alongside TV coverage of the London-hosted 2012 Paralympics on Channel 4, UK terrestrial programming has addressed disability across a range of genres, from drama (Best of Men, BBC2) through comedy-sitcom (Derek, Channel 4) and social documentary (The UndateablesBodyshock, Channel 4), to mixed receptions. Such developments call for a re-examination of representations of disability on screen and their contribution to ongoing cultural, social, economic and political debates surrounding disability. This one-day interdisciplinary symposium at the University of York aims to unite postgraduates, early career researchers, established scholars and industry practitioners working across a range of fields and disciplines – including film studies, history, literature, cultural studies, gender studies, sociology and health sciences – to explore the ways in which cinema and television have reflected, and shaped, subjective and objective experiences of impairment and disability throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

We invite contributions in the form of 20-minute papers on a range of topics and genres, encompassing both fiction and non-fiction materials, as well as analyses of disability in production and reception contexts. The event will be underpinned by a number of key critical questions:

 

 – How visible is disability throughout the history of cinema and television? In what screen contexts is disability present? When has it been occluded, marginalised or suppressed?

 – What specific forms of disability has cinema embraced? Which has it neglected or rejected?

 – To what extent have cinema and television engaged with the emotional, physical and social implications of impairment and disability?

 – What forms of spectatorship do screen representations of disability construct/ presume?

 – How have representations of disability on screen changed over time? How much progress has been made, and what further directions should this take?

 

Our aims are to facilitate constructive, interdisciplinary conversations on existing scholarship, to discuss new avenues of enquiry and to promote interest and growth in this important but relatively under-studied area.

Presentation topics could include, but are not restricted to:

– disability, sexuality and romance

– disability and exceptionality

– isolation and integration

– dependence, independence, interdependence

– disability and genre (comedy, satire, romance, melodrama, thriller, documentary  soap, reality, children’s film and TV, animation, science-fiction, period drama, medical film)

– disability and film-making (able-bodied and disabled actors, directors and producers, disability activism in the entertainment industry)

– commercials, advertising and promotional material

– spectatorship and reception

– discursive exchanges between the fields of disability studies and film studies, past, present and future.

 

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be emailed to rethinkingdisabilityonscreen@gmail.com by Friday 16th January, together with a brief biographical note (100-150 words).

 

A number of travel bursaries, primarily for postgraduate students and ECRs from the White Rose Consortium and the Northern Network for Medical Humanities (nnmh.org.uk), may be available. Details of how to apply will be announced in due course.

Children, Familes and Young People, Critical Theory, Disability Studies and..., Events and Conferences, Inclusion, Majority/Minority Worlds, Policy and Legislation

Book Launch: Disabled Children’s Childhood Studies: Critical Approaches in a Global Context

The Birkbeck Centre for Medical Humanities invites you to a book launch with wine reception for Disabled Children’s Childhood Studies: Critical Approaches in a Global Context edited by Tillie Curran and Katherine Runswick-Cole.

6pm-8pm, Friday 31st January

Peltz Gallery, School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square, Birkbeck, University of London, WC1H 0PD

Free and open to all, but registration required. Please email Harriet Cooper to register (h.cooper@bbk.ac.uk). Book Launch on Fri 31 Jan_’Disabled Children’s Childhood Studies’

 

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

Reminder: DRF Seminar #2 – Wednesday, 27th Nov 2013: 2pm-4pm (at SHU)

The DRF Seminar Schedule 2013-2014 continues next Wednesday with Kate Macdonald reading First World War fiction for tales of impairment.  All are welcome. We are looking forward to some fascinating discussions.

Seminar #2. Wednesday, 27th November 2013: 2pm-4pm – Arundel 10212 (SHU)

Kate Macdonald (Ghent University, Belgium & Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College London, UK)

Reading First World War Fiction for Tales of Impairment

Abstract: This paper describes preliminary findings from my research for the CENDARI project at King’s College London, for which I’m a visiting research fellow. I’m reading fiction published during or shortly after the First World War to collect images and descriptions of the impaired body. I’m looking for the war-wounded ex-soldier and also for the man who could not serve due to physical impairment caused by congenital conditions, disease or industrial injury, because my hypothesis is that some kinds of disability were considered at this time to be more deserving than others. I will be using a cross-disciplinary approach to consider how these depictions were used, using my reading of historical assessment, disability studies theory, and literary analysis. My sources are from popular culture, since my wider project is on the depiction of the impaired body in popular culture, 1914-1939. Thus I am not looking at Lady Chatterley’s Lover or Mrs Dalloway, but at serialised magazine fiction, novels in reprint series, and advertisements. ‘Popular fiction has long been understood as having the potential to make visible the intangible nature of discursive power, cultural values – especially at moments of social transition – and emerging imaginative constructs that enable popular understandings of crisis and desire’ (Moody 2008).

Bio: Kate Macdonald teaches British literature and literary history at Ghent University, Belgium, and is a specialist in British literary history of the early twentieth century. She is the leading scholarly authority on John Buchan, and has published widely on middlebrow literary culture and book history. She is the series editor, with Ann Rea, for the Literary Texts and the Popular Marketplace monograph series for Pickering & Chatto, and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London. She podcasts at www.reallylikethisbook.com, and is a member of the Vulpes Libris book blogging collective at http://vulpeslibris.wordpress.com/.

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

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

DRF News

Introducing… Jaime R. Brenes Reyes

From the very beginning, the DRF blog has include a space for brief biographical and contact details to be listed. The People section has been open to everyone and anyone interested in disability research.

Our most recent addition is:

Jaime R. Brenes Reyes: jbrenesr@uwo.ca – PhD student in Hispanic Studies, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, The University of Western Ontario, Canada. Jaime explores Latin American literature, with special focus on Julio Cortázar, from the perspective of disability studies. He is interested in the act of reading as a process through which the reader’s understanding of reality is challenged. For more information, please visit his blog.

Jaime’s current research explores the aura that arises when reading good literature. He argues that an analysis of literature as an epileptic episode may give us some clues. Based on his research on Latin American literature and literary theory (as well as his own experience of living with seizures), Jaime aims to explore whether the act of reading Argentine writer and essayist Julio Cortázar’s fiction can be understood as epileptical, taking as a framework Deleuze and Guattari’s schizo-analysis. His research may have important implications for the understanding of Cortázar’s oeuvre and the contextualization of neurological malfunctions from the viewpoint of literature.

If you are working on similar topics, or are interested in disability research and live/work near Jamie, please feel free to contact him on: jbrenesr@uwo.ca. He’s up for sharing ideas and having chats. 

If you’d like to have your biographical/contact details listed in the People section all it takes is an email to Rebecca Mallett (r.mallett@shu.ac.uk)

DRF News

CFP: Special issue of Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies on ‘Disability and the American Counterculture’

Proposals are requested for a special issue of the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies on ‘Disability and the American Counterculture’.

Guest edited by Stella Bolaki and Chris Gair

The American Counterculture has a complex relationship with disability. At its heart is the reinvention of the term freak that serves as an early example of empowering, though not unproblematic, appropriation of what had previously been a derogatory term. Freak Out!, the debut album by The Mothers of Invention—labelled a “monstrosity” by Frank Zappa—is a prime example of the association of freakery with the forms of avant-garde experimentation representative of one form of countercultural practice. In addition, representations of disability and illness occur repeatedly in countercultural work: the asylum and hospital become central tropes for examinations of the relationship between sanity and madness in Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” and Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, while canonical Beat/countercultural novels such as Jack Kerouac’s Desolation Angels and Richard Brautigan’s Trout Fishing in America and movies such as Richard Rush’s Psych-Out feature disabled characters not only to derive rhetorical force in their critique of hegemonic culture, but also to question core countercultural ideologies. In terms of aesthetics, William Burroughs’ experimental “cut-up technique” has been discussed in the context of his interest in virology and Andy Warhol’s work of trauma, injury and violence alongside what Tobin Siebers has called “disability aesthetics”. More recent work, such as E.L. Doctorow’s novel Homer and Langley, the Hollywood film Forrest Gump and Simi Linton’s memoir My Body Politic, examines the connection between disability and the counterculture through different lenses and with various aims.

What do perspectives informed by disability studies have to offer to typical readings of the American counterculture and its fundamental ideals of movement (both geographical and ideological), youth and vitality? In what ways did the American counterculture and the disability movement approach notions of the “normal” and the “abnormal” body? Beat and countercultural writers and artists have been criticised for their romanticised view of other cultures and for appropriating and shedding roles and personas from various marginalised groups at a dizzying pace. How different was the appropriation of disability to the American counterculture’s interest in other cultures (Eastern, African American, Native American) and their potential for constructing a subversive identity? What are the legacies of the American counterculture and its various discourses and styles of liberation for contemporary disability life writing, arts and activism? With such questions in mind, the co-editors invite proposals on an array of topics which include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • perspectives from disability studies/theory on iconic as well as understudied Beat texts and countercultural ideals more broadly
  • challenges to “normalcy” from disability movements and the American counterculture (comparative perspectives/debates)
  • disability as theme and/or aesthetic in countercultural writing, art, film and music or in more recent works that reference the American counterculture
  • appropriation and reinvention of the term “freak” by the counterculture
  • approaches to spectacle, the stare, the performative, and fashion in American counterculture and disability cultures/arts
  • disability in the sixties-era communes and communal living groups
  • feminist disability studies and the counterculture
  • crip perspectives on the American counterculture
  • legacies of the American counterculture and countercultural ideals, practices and styles for disability writing, arts, and activism

Discussions of specific literary and cultural texts are invited, but preference will be given to projects that use individual texts as vehicles to address broader cultural debates and theoretical inquiries related to disability studies and the American counterculture.

A one-page proposal and a one-page curriculum vitae should be emailed to S.Bolaki@kent.ac.uk and Chris.Gair@glasgow.ac.uk by the end of July 2013.

Finalists will be selected by 1st October 2013, and full drafts of articles will be due on 1st March 2014.