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While we’ve been away…

After ten years of disability seminars, 2015-2016 saw the Disability Research Forum (DRF) take a bit of a break. We will soon be announcing the return of our seminar series with a range of fascinating speakers.

tnm-book

While we’ve been away, Theorising Normalcy and the Mundane: Precious Position has been published by the University of Chester Press. Many of the chapter authors have, at one time or another, presented at a DRF seminar. It’s a book close to our hearts and we thought you’d like to know more.

Description: Emerging from the internationally recognised Theorising Normalcy and the Mundane conference series, the chapters in this book offer wide-ranging critiques of that most pervasive of ideas, “normal”. In particular, they explore the precarious positions we are presented with and, more often than not, forced into by “normal”, and its operating system, “normalcy” (Davis,2010). They are written by activists, students, practitioners and academics and offer related but diverse approaches. Importantly, however, the chapters also ask, what if increasingly precarious encounters with, and positions of, marginality and non-normativity offers us a chance (perhaps the chance) to critically explore the possibilities of “imagining otherwise”?

The book questions the privileged position of “non-normativity” in youth and unpacks the expectation of the “normal” student in both higher and primary education. It uses the position of transable people to push the boundaries of “disability”, interrogates the psycho-emotional disablism of box-ticking bureaucracy and spotlights the “urge to know” impairment. It draws on cross-movement and cross-disciplinary work around disability to explore topics as diverse as drug use, The Bible and relational autonomy. Finally, and perhaps most controversially, it explores the benefits of (re)instating “normal”. By paying attention to the opportunities presented amongst the fissures of critique and defiance, this book offers new applications and perspectives for thinking through the most ordinary of ideas, “normal”.

Editors: Rebecca Mallett (Principal Lecturer at the Sheffield Institute of Education, Sheffield Hallam University, UK), Cassandra A. Ogden (Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for Sociology at the University of Chester, UK) and Jenny Slater (Senior Lecturer in Education and Disability Studies at Sheffield Hallam University, UK).

For more info: click here.

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DRF News

CFP: Special Edition of Journal of Popular Television on ‘Disability and Television’

Call for Papers: Disability and Television

Special Edition of Journal of Popular Television

Guest edited by Rebecca Mallett (Sheffield Hallam University, UK) and Brett Mills (University of East Anglia, UK)

Debates about disability – whether related to production and industry, content and representation, or audiences and consumption – have been largely ignored in the study of television, and this special edition of Journal of Popular Television aims to encourage the field to engage in this increasingly significant topic. We intend to provide a space to explore the contributions television studies and disability studies can make to one another, as areas of enquiry but also as fields engaged in the socio-political world.

We acknowledge the wide range of ways in which ‘disability’ has been defined and welcome submissions that engage with the complexity of the term and the uses to which it is put. Likewise we are interested in ‘television’ in its broadest sense, whether fictional or non-fictional, from docudramas and comedy to news and sports across all platforms.

We are keen for the edition to include as wide a range of voices, formats and approaches as possible, so while the ‘traditional’ academic article is welcomed, we also encourage other formats, such as personal reflections, treatises and manifestos or anything else that may be relevant and appropriate. Submission lengths may also be variable, so shorter and longer pieces are also invited.

We therefore invite expressions of interest from those interested in contributing to the special edition. This is due to be published in Autumn 2015, and submissions would be due 28 February 2015.

If you’re interested in contributing please contact Rebecca Mallett (r.mallett@shu.ac.uk) and Brett Mills (brett.mills@uea.ac.uk) by 8th September 2014 with an outline of your intended contribution; formal abstracts are not necessary at this stage. If you’d like to talk through any initial ideas with either or both of us before this date, please feel free to get in touch.

Children, Familes and Young People, Critical Theory, DRF News, Events and Conferences, Media and Culture

Reminder: Next DRF Seminar – Thurs. 13th Mar (2pm-4pm)

When: Thursday, 13th March 2014: 2pm-4pm – Arundel 10111 (SHU)

Where: Arundel Room 10111 (SHU) [the Arundel Building = 122 Charles Street, City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University, S1 1WB.  For a map of City Campus click here.]

Everyone welcome!

Slot 1: Cassie Ogden (Univ. of Chester, UK): Troubling Borders with Bodies that Seep: an critical sociological exploration into children’s experiences of leaky realities and how we can learn to accept our bodies in all its leaky glory.

Slot 2: Jenny Slater (SHU): School Toilet Chat: Exploring how Issues of Space, Access, Embodiment, Identity and ‘Normal’ Function in the the Lives of Young People

For George (2011), toilets are “the big necessity”; a mundane part of life that, until absent or inadequate, we rarely pay attention. One place these facilities are consistently found to be inadequate are in schools (Burton, 2013, Greed, 2010). Vernon, Lundblad and Hellstrom (2003) reported that 62% of boys and 35% of in the UK avoided using toilets whilst at school (citing reasons of lack of hygiene, privacy and bullying); and in 2013, a study in Scotland similarly highlighted the poor state of school toilet (Burton, 2013). Here I seek feedback on a proposal which hopes to utilise theorisations of disability, queer and fat activists and academics, to think hard about school toilets as transdisciplinary spaces to explore how issues of space, access, embodiment and normal function in the lives of young people.

 

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

Reminder: Normalcy 2014 Abstract Deadline Approaching

This is just a quick reminder about 5th Annual International Conference ***Theorising Normalcy and the Mundane***: More Questions of the Human to be held in July, 2014 in Sheffield, UK.

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

More info (including how to book a place) can be found here.

It is always a great few days of support and discussion – we have amazing keynotes lined up and a fascinating theme. What’s not to love??

DRF News

Reminder: Next DRF Seminar – Mon. 9th Dec (10am-12pm)

When: Monday, 9th December 2013: 10am-12pm

Where: Arundel Room 10111 (SHU) [the Arundel Building = 122 Charles Street, City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University, S1 1WB.  For a map of City Campus click here.]

Everyone welcome!

Slot 1: Sue Chantler (Independent Scholar, UK): Is this inclusive?: Teachers Resisting Narratives of Normalcy within the Classroom

Abstract: The paper is based on the findings from a study in which I worked with a group of primary school teachers through a process of reflection-on-practice in the context of educational inclusion for children with the label autism.  Titchkosky (2011) argues that current notions of access and inclusion within social institutions, for example schools, are predicated on the notion of the disabled individual as the ‘problem’. Within neoliberal conceptions of education and childhood there is a ‘cultural imperative to fit in, under a rubric of normality, to strive to be normal’ Goodley (2011, p146 citing Davis 1995); disabled students have to prove themselves against ‘normate standards’ of competence (Biklen 2002). The process of school performativity perpetuates a model of education which problematises children whom it is unable to ‘normalise’.  The teachers in the study frequently identified the ‘problem’ with regard to educational inclusion as the system of education itself: the curriculum, the class sizes, the lack of effective and timely professional development, and the attitude of some teachers towards their work and towards children who do not conform to the stereotypical ‘norm’.  Their perspectives reveal some of the ways in which teachers resist the process of ‘normalcy’ within the classroom.

Slot 2: Emma Spring (English Federation of Disability Sport): Findings from a Recent Report

Abstract: The English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) is the strategic lead in sport and physical activity for disabled people in England. Our vision is that disabled people are active for life. Part of EFDS’s work is to champion opportunities for disabled people to enjoy sport, supporting the sport and physical activity sectors to be more inclusive.  To achieve our vision, we work with various stakeholders. They include National Governing Bodies of sport (NGBs) and National Disability Sport Organisations (NDSOs) to increase

EFDS have conducted research designed to gain a better understanding of disabled people’s lifestyles, not just about their sporting habits, but how sport does or does not fit into their livelihood.  By understanding more about disabled people’s lifestyles in general, we can start to understand the trigger points, motivational drivers and their likely sustainability. Rather than disabled people grouped generally by their impairment or other key demographics, they can be grouped by their motivations. Then, offers for these groups can be designed more appropriately and engage more disabled people based on their needs, rather than other factors.  This presentation will deliver some of the results from this report, highlighting what this means for disability sport.

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

Job op: Lecturer/ Senior Lecturer in Education Studies (Sheffield Hallam University)

What: Lecturer/ Senior Lecturer in Education Studies

Where: Sheffield Hallam University (Department for Education, Children and Inclusion, Faculty of Development and Society)

(Note from DRF team: ‘Education Studies’ courses at this institution include quite a bit of Critical Disability Studies and ‘Inclusion’ content – if this is your area, please consider an application.)

Position: Permanent. Full time. £31,331 to £45,941 per annum, dependent on experience

Ref: DS 537/13

More Info: http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/AHN760/lecturer-senior-lecturer-in-education-studies/

This post offers an opportunity to teach within the Department for Education, Children and Inclusion, contributing to curriculum development and delivery. You will teach on our BA (Hons) Education Studies course as well as other related courses; designing and delivering innovative, high quality and challenging learning experiences, which equip your students with the skills, knowledge and attributes required by employers.

We take a holistic approach to the student experience, aligning our teaching with high-quality learning support and the very best of facilities. Building on this approach you will contribute to curriculum development and delivery, and other forms of scholarly activity as part of a multi-disciplinary team. You will teach and support students by taking a learner centred approach in line with the University’s Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy.

We want to hear from you if you are vitally engaged with your subject areas through research, scholarship, or professional practice, and capable of generating that enthusiasm and commitment in our students. You should have a post graduate qualification in a relevant discipline, alongside well developed and current knowledge and understanding of critical, practical and theoretical issues relevant to Education Studies. You will also need the organisational skills to manage conflicting demands and meet deadlines.

Our employment package includes generous holiday entitlements, pension scheme and other staff benefits such as wellbeing initiatives, child care vouchers, development and training courses and assorted staff discounts.

Non-EU Nationals please note: we welcome applications from non-EEA applicants. However, we have a legal responsibility to ensure that all employees are entitled to live and work in the UK. Before applying please check whether you would be eligible to work in the UK under the points-based system by using the UKBA points-based calculator. For further information please visit the UK Border Agency website. If you will need a Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship, contact us before applying to check whether we should be able to issue one if you’re appointed.

Further information and application forms are available by telephone 0114 225 3950 or email recruitment@shu.ac.uk. (Please quote reference: DS 537/13).

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

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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