DRF News

Event: Manchester Centre for Youth Studies Launch (June, 2014: UK)

Event: Manchester Centre for Youth Studies Launch – ‘Contesting Youth in the UK – Key Challenges and Agendas’

Date: Thursday 26th June 2014

Venue: Geoffrey Manton Building, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK (further details and directions to the venue can be found at www.hssr.mmu.ac.uk/mcys/)

Description: to mark the launch of the Manchester Centre for Youth Studies (MCYS), MMU are hosting a one day free event titled ‘Contesting Youth in the UK – Key Challenges and Agendas’ on Thursday 26th June 2014, in the Geoffrey Manton Building, Manchester Metropolitan University. This exciting and informative event will be used as a means to show-case work undertaken by colleagues at MMU that identifies the key challenges and agendas for research in this field. The event will bring together MYCS researchers, community groups, policymakers and practitioners working with young people, and local youth in a dialogue about how a new inter-disciplinary research centre can best engage with and address the challenges facing young people today.

The programme of events for Thursday 26th June can be found below.

For more information please contact: Dr Hannah Smithson: Co-Director MCYS (e mail: h.l.smithson@mmu.ac.uk)

Register for the event on Eventbrite here.

Programme for the Day

9.00 – 9.45 am: Registration

10.00 – 10.30 am: Welcome address

10.30 – 11.30 am: Keynote address- Helen Donohoe, Director of Research and Policy for ‘Action for Children’

11.45 – 12.30 pm: MMU Research ‘Spotlight’ Panel One

12.30 – 1.30 pm: Lunch (provided)

1.30 – 2.30 pm: Roundtable Session, discussants include:

  • Tony Lloyd – Greater Manchester’s Police Crime Commissioner (young people and crime)
  • Neil Mcinroy – CEO Centre for Local Economic Strategies (youth unemployment)
  • Dr Jenny Slater – Lecturer in Disability Studies, Sheffield Hallam University (young people’s disability rights)
  • Helen McAndrew – Head of Manchester Secondary Pupil Referral Units (young people and education)
  • Sufiya Ahmed – Author (gender and diversity)

2.45 – 3.30 pm: MMU Research ‘Spotlight’ Panel Two

3.30 – 4.00 pm: Open discussion

4.30 pm onwards: Book launch and drinks reception – Dr Melanie Tebbutt: Being Boys: Youth, Leisure and Identity in the Inter-war years, Manchester University Press.

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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’

 

Children, Familes and Young People, Disability Studies and..., Inclusion, Majority/Minority Worlds, Publications

New book: Youth Responding to Lives: an International Reader

Youth: Responding to Lives – An International Reader

Edited by Andrew Azzopardi

Part of the Studies in Inclusive Education series edited by Roger Slee

Including a chapter by DRF member, Jenny Slater: Playing Grown-up: Using Critical Disability Perspectives to Rethink Youth

This book draws from various fields of knowledge, in an effort to theorise, create new and innovative conceptual platforms and develop further the hybrid idea of discourses around social inclusion and youth (from policy, practice and research perspectives).

Youth: Responding to lives – An international handbook attempts to fill the persistent gap in the problematisation and understanding of inclusion, communalism, citizenship – that are intertwined within the complex youth debate. It writhes and wriggles to highlight the interconnections between the encounters, events and endeavors in young people’s lives.

The focus of this edited work is also intended to help us understand how young people shape their development, involvement, and visibility as socio-political actors within their communities. It is this speckled experience of youth that remains one of the most electrifying stages in a community’s lifecycle.

Contributors to this text have engaged with notions around identity and change, involvement, social behavior, community cohesion, politics and social activism. The chapters offer an array of critical perspectives on social policies and the broad realm of social inclusion/exclusion and how it affects young people.

This book essentially analyses equal opportunities and its allied concepts, including inequality, inequity, disadvantage and diversity that have been studied extensively across all disciplines of social sciences and humanities but now need a youth studies ‘application’.

https://www.sensepublishers.com/catalogs/bookseries/studies-in-inclusive-education/youth-responding-to-lives/

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

Celebrating Recent PhD Success by DRF Members

Today we are celebrating recent PhD successes by DRF Members, and giving a shout out to their excellent work. 

A founding memeber of the DRF – Dr Tabby Collingbourne (University of Sheffield). Thesis: “Realising Disability Rights?” –  online at http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/3904/

A critical political discourse analysis of implementation in England of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, focusing on socio-economic rights set out under Article 19, the right to live independently and be included in the community.

Dr Jenny Slater (Manchester Metropolitan University). Thesis: “Constructions, Perceptions and Expectations of Being Disabled and Young: A Critical Disability Perspective”

Now a Lecturer in Education and Disability Studies at Sheffield Hallam University (j.slater@shu.ac.uk), you can read more about Jenny’s research in the following publications:

  • Slater, J. (2012) ‘Youth for sale: Using critical disability perspectives to examine the embodiment of ‘youth’ Societies 2:3, pp.195-209.
  • Slater, J. (forthcoming 2013) ‘Research with dis/abled youth: taking a critical disability, ‘critically young’ positionality’. In K. Runswick-Cole and T. Curran (eds.), Disabled Children’s Childhood Studies: Critical Approaches in a Global Context. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
  • Slater, J. (forthcoming 2013) ‘Playing grown-up: using critical disability perspectives to rethink youth’. In A. Azzopardi (ed.), Youth: Responding to Lives – An International Handbook. Rotterdam: Sense Publications.

Congratulations both.

If you, or a researcher you know, would like to celebrate PhD success in this way – let us know.

Children, Familes and Young People, Disability Studies and..., Events and Conferences, Uncategorized

Call for Papers: ‘Time for Change? Child, Youth, Family and Disability Conference’, MMU

‘TIME FOR CHANGE?’ CHILD, YOUTH, FAMILY AND DISABILITY CONFERENCE: CALL FOR PAPERS

Elizabeth Gaskell Campus, Manchester Metropolitan University, Hathersage Road, Manchester, UK, M13 0JA

10.30 – 4.00pm, 18th & 19th June, 2013

The aim of the conference is to provide a space for disabled children, young people, family members and allies(including practitioners) to share their ideas, knowledge and expertise and to celebrate disabled children and young people’s lives.  We would like to invite disabled children, young people, their parents and carers (we would like to include people with physical, sensory and cognitive impairments as well as those people with mental health issues), as well as activists and academics in the field of disability studies and childhood studies to present at and to attend the event.  This year’s conference theme is ‘Time for Change?’  We are inviting contributors to talk about changes in the lives of children, young people and their families and suggest that you might like to address some of the following questions:

  • what has changed?
  •  how have you been involved in changing lives?
  • what changes would you like to see?
  • what are the barriers to and opportunities for change?

Day One will include accessible presentations and discussion points as well as opportunities to take part in workshop activities (further details to follow).

Day Two will include more formal presentations but we will particularly welcome presentations or discussion papers that tell a story, share a skill, some information or research in ways that try to be as accessible and creative as possible – for example, that use a range of presentations styles and media including photography, video and artwork.

Registration

To book your place visit: http://cyfd2013.eventbrite.co.uk

We ask that you please register, stating any access requirements, two weeks before the event.

Presenting

Please send us a short description of the ideas for your presentation by 10th May, 2013.

Travel & Parking

Travel information available at: http://www2.mmu.ac.uk/travel/gaskell/

Parking is not available at Gaskell (except for blue badge holders) but there are car parks nearby, or catch the 147 bus from Piccadilly Station, ask for the Hathersage Road stop.

Refreshments

PLEASE NOTE: as this is a FREE event, we will not be providing refreshments.  Please bring your own or it will be possible to purchase food at the campus refectory.

Contact

For more information please contact: K.Runswick-Cole@mmu.ac.uk or 0161 247 2906.

Children, Familes and Young People, Disability Studies and..., Events and Conferences

Reminder of the next DRF themed seminar: Youth and Disability, Wednesday 9th Jan, 12-2

A reminder that the next DRF seminar will be on Wednesday 9th January 2013 12pm-2pm in Arundel 10111.The theme of this seminar is ‘Youth and Disability’.

Slot 1: Jenny Slater (Department of Education, Childhood and Inclusion, Sheffield Hallam University, UK): “You’re not, I mean… I know you’re not, but I have to ask, you’re not… sexually active, are you?” Youth, disability, sexuality.

Abstract:

The quote I use to frame this paper comes out of my PhD research with young disabled people. It captures the troubled and troubling response that Molly, a young disabled woman, received from a doctor when requesting the contraceptive pill on sporting grounds. Furthermore, it illustrates the dangerous tying of disability to a discourse of asexuality; a discourse which works to sustain the positioning of disabled people’s bodies as a) childlike (Hall, 2011), b) asexual (Garland-Thomson, 2002; Liddiard, 2012), and c) the property of others, to be subject to intervention (Barton, 1993; McCarthy, 1998). For young disabled people, particularly young women, this is dangerous. In this paper I share more stories from my fieldwork in order to work through messy discourses of youth, disability and sexuality.  I use these stories to question Disability Studies and, to a lesser extent, popular media normalisation of issues concerning disability, disabled youth, gender and sexuality, stressing the importance of transdisciplinary conversation.

Slot 2: Ezekiel Isanda Oweya: (Centre for Rehabilitation Studies, University of Cape Town, South Africa): Experiences of African disabled youth living in rural Rift Valley to find and sustain livelihoods

 

Venue: The 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.

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 you’d like to facilitate a round table discussion on.

Even if you do not intend to present, feel free to come along, listen and share your thoughts.   For lunchtime slots, please feel free to bring your own food and drink.

We aim to be accessible and have produced some guidelines of which we would like presenters to be mindful – these can be accessed here: Accessible Presenting

To offer to present, facilitate a discussion or for more detailed access information please contact: Rebecca Mallett: r.mallett@shu.ac.uk or 0114 225 4669 or Jenny Slater: j.slater@shu.ac.uk or 0114 225 6691.

DRF News

CFP: Child, Youth, Family and Disability Conference (May 2012; Manchester, UK)

Event: Child, Youth, Family and Disability Conference

Dates: 23rd-24th May 2012

Venue: Geoffrey Manton Buiding, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK

Brief Description: The aim of the conference is to provide a space for disabled children, young people and parents/carers to share their ideas, knowledge and expertise and to celebrate their lives.  We would like to invite disabled children, young people, their parents and carers (we would like to include people with physical, sensory and cognitive impairments as well as those people with mental health issues), as well as activists and academics in the field of disability studies and childhood studies to present at and to attend the two-day event.

The format of the days will include accessible presentations and discussion points as well as opportunities to take part in story, drama and arts based activities.

We welcome presentations or discussion papers that tell a story, share a skill, some information or research in ways that try to be as accessible and creative as possible – for example, that use a range of presentations styles and media including photography, video and artwork.

Please send us a short description of the ideas for your presentation by 20th April 2012.

To book a place visit: http://childyouthfamilydisability.eventbrite.com

Travel information available at: http://www.mmu.ac.uk/travel/allsaints/

For more information please contact Katherine Runswick-Cole: K.Runswick-Cole@mmu.ac.uk