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Reminder: Next DRF Seminar – Weds. 10th December 2014: 10am-12pm

Details for the next DRF seminar are below. All welcome. And if you’d like to present at an upcoming seminar, please do let us know – available slots can be seen here.

Wednesday 10th December, 10am-12pm, Room 100009 (Arundel Building, Sheffield Hallam University)

Slot 1: Joanna Baker-Rogers: Asperger Syndrome – experiencing the phenomenon of friendship (Sheffield Hallam University, UK)

Abstract: As the mother of a son with the label of Asperger Syndrome (AS), I have observed my son enjoying friendships with peers both on the autism spectrum and non-disabled. These observations would appear to challenge the diagnostic view that persons with AS do not enjoy friendship. Instead they prefer solitary activities and being alone. This conceptualisation of the autism spectrum embodies the medical model of disability and in-particular the Triad of Impairments (Wing 1995). The literature is dominated by understandings of friendship of non-disabled people (O’Dell, Bertildotter Rosqvist and Brownlow (2013). There is little consideration of potential autistic friendships from a social model of disability perspective. Instead the focus is on the failure of persons with AS to aspire to and maintain friendships with the aim of improving themselves to experience friendship from a non-disabled perspective.  I have come to question whether concepts of friendship are being imposed upon persons with AS that have little meaning for them, are disabling and embody the concepts of normalcy (Abberley 1991) and ableism (Campbell 2012).

The medical model of disability view of persons with AS not being interested in friendship needs to be problematised. This presentation of my research critiques these misconceptions that have emerged as a result of social barriers in society. My research aims to capture the different and valid lived experience of friendship for persons with AS that challenges the conceptualisation of the autism spectrum as a tragedy for the individual and their family.

Slot 2: Chris Hill: Special School Sporting Experiences: Listening to Student Researchers Labelled with Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties (Sheffield Hallam University, UK)

Abstract: TBC.

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DRF News

Event: “beyond autism: re-thinking the label” (Nov, 2013: UK)

Title: beyond autism: re-thinking the label 

Where: Stoddart Building (Ground Floor), Howard Street, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, S1 1WB

When: Saturday 9th November 2013: 1.30pm – 4.30pm

The Event: The number of people being diagnosed with autism is growing, at this event we ask is this a good thing for people labelled with autism?  The discussion will focus on the controversies surrounding the use of autism as a label to explain the ways in which people behave. This event will be of interest to a general audience and is part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science.

The Programme:

Chaired by Prof. Dan Goodley.  Tea/Coffee on arrival for 1.30pm start.

1.30pm:       Presentations: “What autism means to me: A mother’s view” by Katherine Runswick-Cole and ” What do we know about the biology of autism?” by Sami Timimi

2.00pm:       Discussion I

2.30pm:       Presentations:  “Questions of Treatment” by Graham Collins; “Buying and Selling Autism: The Label as Commodity” by Rebecca Mallett and “A social-materialist approach to understanding and working with people who have been given an ASD diagnosis” by Paul Moloney

3.00pm:       Discussion II

3.30pm:       Tea/Coffee Break

4.00pm:       Plenary (Discussant, Tom Muskett)

4.30pm:       Finish         

DRF News

Reminder of next DRF Seminar: Welcoming the UG-DRF and Katherine Runswick-Cole

A reminder that the next DRF seminar will be next Tuesday 18th December 2012 2.00pm – 3.30pm.

The first half of the session will welcome Michelle Darby and Lucia Coello-Lage from our new Undergraduate DRF, before Katherine Runswick-Cole (Research Institute of Health and Social Change, Department of Psychology, Manchester Metropolitan University) will give a paper on:

Title: (Neuro)diversity: Pros and cons for (neoliberal) social policy

Abstract: This paper sets out to explore the term ‘neurodiversity’ and to examine the potential and limitations of ‘a politics of neurodiversity’ (Singer, 1999) in a neoliberal social policy context.  This work in progress seeks to problematise the notions of neurodiversity and neo-liberal social policy and to explore the possibilities of a politics of dismodernity (Davis, 2003).

Venue: Room 10212 in the Arundel Building, City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University (More information on the venue can be found here).

There are still slots available in to present in 2013, so if you, or anybody you know, would like to present at a DRF seminar please do get in touch.  Alternatively, let us know if there is an issue/article/book on which you’d like to facilitate discussion.  Please email Jenny Slater: j.slater@shu.ac.uk

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Next DRF Seminar: Katherine Runswick-Cole, Tuesday 18th December, 2pm-3.30pm (followed by Christmas tea!)

We’re very excited to welcome back the fabulous Katherine Runswick-Cole (Research Institute of Health and Social Change, Department of Psychology, Manchester Metropolitan University), after which we’ll be heading out for a christmassy bite to eat. Come join us!

Date/Time: Tuesday 18th December 2012 2.00pm – 3.30pm

Venue: Room 10212 in the Arundel Building, City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University (More information on the venue can be found here)

Title: (Neuro)diversity: Pros and cons for (neoliberal) social policy

Abstract: This paper sets out to explore the term ‘neurodiversity’ and to examine the potential and limitations of ‘a politics of neurodiversity’ (Singer, 1999) in a neoliberal social policy context.  This work in progress seeks to problematise the notions of neurodiversity and neo-liberal social policy and to explore the possibilities of a politics of dismodernity (Davis, 2003).
 
There are still slots available in to present in 2013, so if you, or anybody you know, would like to present at a DRF seminar please do get in touch.  Alternatively, let us know if there is an issue/article/book on which you’d like to facilitate discussion.  Please email Jenny Slater: j.slater@shu.ac.uk
DRF News, Events and Conferences

Critical Autism Seminar Day makes an impact

The first Critical Autism Seminar Day was held yesterday (18th January 2011) at Sheffield Hallam University.  The event was co-hosted by the Disability Research Forum, the Autism Centre (Sheffield Hallam University) and Critical Disability Studies @ MMU (Manchester Metropolitan University).  In stark contrast to ‘traditional’ seminars, often led by professionals, which promote autism awareness or intervention strategies, the Critical Autism day offered as a space for people who identify with the label of autism, parents/carers, activists and academics not only to challenge ‘deficit’ understandings of autism but also to challenge the category itself.  An audience of 40 people attended the event, and delegates from Canada joined in the sessions via Skype.

The keynote was given via Skype by Anne McGuire from the University of Toronto.  Anne’s presentation was entitled ‘We have your son…:  Frames of Terror in Advocacy’s ‘War on Autism’ and was warmly received by the trans-Atlantic audience.  There were seven other presentations on the day including: Mitzi Waltz (University of Birmingham) who spoke on ‘Negotiating the autism spectrum diagnosis of celebrities in popular music’; Anat Greenstein (MMU) and Steve Graby (Disabled People’s Direct Action Network and Autism Rights Movement) on ‘Social dis-order: autistic experiences of/in radical political activism’; and Katherine Runswick-Cole (MMU) and Rebecca Mallett (Sheffield Hallam University) presented a paper based on a recently completed book chapter entitled ‘Buying (into) Autism: The Commodification of ‘Disability’ in the Academy’.   At the end of the day Dan Goodley presented ‘Autism: a post-structuralist analysis’ which was followed by a wine reception to launch his new text, Disability Studies: An Interdisciplinary Introduction.

One of the organisers, Katherine Runswick-Cole, said: “This was a fascinating and enjoyable event which brought together a range of perspectives on the cultural production of autism.  The participation of people who identify with the label of autism, parents/carers, activists, academics and professionals was key to the success of the day. The results of the questionnaires completed by delegates at the end of the session suggest that we can be confident that the day had impact.  Indeed, one professional told us that the day had given him new ways of thinking and talking about autism to share with the families he works with.”

For more information about the day or to add your name to a contact list to receive information about future Critical Autism events please contact Katherine Runswick-Cole

The next DRF seminar is on Tuesday 15th February 2011 (1pm-3pm) – details here  

…and remember information on the Debates in Disability Studies Symposium I (26th January 2011) at MMU in Manchester, UK can be found on our Other Events page.

Critical Theory, DRF News, Events and Conferences

‘Critical Autism’ Seminar Day is announced

A free seminar day co-hosted by Sheffield Hallam University, Manchester Metropolitan University and the Disability Research Forum will be held on Tuesday, 18th January 2011 (9.45am-4.30pm).

This day brings together an international group of researchers and calls for papers that will address diverse issues including:

  • deconstructing pathologies and ‘abnormalities’
  • concepts of fear and fascination
  • exploring neurodiversity
  • autism as/and celebrity
  • ‘autism industries’ and the commodification of impairment

The confirmed keynote speaker is  Anne McGuire (Department of Sociology and Equity Studies in Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto, Canada).  Anne’s doctoral research analyses the social significance and productive effects of cultural representations of autism produced and circulated by individuals and collectives engaged in autism advocacy in the contemporary West.

  • Deadline for paper abstracts: 1st December 2010
  • Deadline for attendance: 6th January 2011                                                                                          

To submit abstracts, please contact:  k.runswick-cole@mmu.ac.uk

More details can be found in our Events section.