CFP: Complicating Normalcy: Disability, Technology, and Society in the Twenty-First Century (University of Rochester, NY)

1st University of Rochester Disability Studies Cluster Symposium
Complicating Normalcy: Disability, Technology, and Society in the Twenty-First Century
Rochester, New York
Friday 14th November 2014

Proposal Submission Deadline: Monday 4th August 4 2014 (5pm Eastern)

The First University of Rochester Disability Studies Cluster Symposium is organized around themes found in the documentary FIXED: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement. This film explores the meaning of “disability” and “normalcy” in the 21st century of the Common Era through an examination of technological and pharmacological advances designed to “fix or enhance the human body,” and the bioethical implications and social tensions that arise from these scientific advances. Some of these bioethical implications and social tensions include the rise in prenatal screening, euthanasia / “right to die” legislation, ongoing stigma and the continued marginalization of children and adults, especially those labeled with intellectual disability, including their segregation in schools, nursing homes and institutions, and the workplace. This symposium will also host the Rochester premier of the documentary FIXED.

We invite proposals for the 1st University of Rochester Disability Studies Cluster Symposium on November 14, 2014 at the University of Rochester. Proposals addressing the symposium theme, “Complicating Normalcy: Disability, Technology, and Society in the Twenty-First Century,” are especially welcome, but any timely and relevant subjects of broad interest around disability, diversity, and inclusion will be considered. We also welcome proposals that explore interdisciplinary and intersectional connections with areas of humanities and the arts; business; engineering; education; and social, natural, and biomedical sciences that relate to disability at any level. We encourage submissions from scholars, faculty, staff, students, and community members.

Proposal types and formats include:

1. Individual presentation (30 minutes)
2. Panel presentation (90 minutes)
3. Workshop/discussion/roundtable (60 minutes)
4. Poster presentation

Each proposal must be submitted as a word document and must include:

1. Name(s) (If there is more than one presenter, please indicate the main contact and lead presenter first)
2. Affiliation(s) (if applicable)
3. Contact information (If there is more than one presenter, please indicate the main contact and lead presenter information first)
4. Title of presentation
5. Abstract (150 words)
6. Description and justification (< 1000 words):

  • Purpose
  • Goals and objectives
  • Justification: Significance / Relevance to the theme of the symposium

7. Permission to publish your abstract in all symposium materials (website, program, in electronic format) if accepted for presentation.
8. Indicate your interest in having your paper considered for publication in symposium proceedings, an edited book, and/or a special journal issue.
9. Indicate agreement to provide presentation content in alternative formats (e.g., handouts available in electronic format and in large print, captioned videos) to ensure that all participants have access.

Please submit your proposal directly to the Program Chair, Julia M. White, at You will receive a confirmation email confirming receipt of your submission within 24 hours. If you do not receive such notification, please contact the Symposium Coordinator, Elizabeth Carpenter, to confirm that your proposal was received.

CFP: A Picture of Health: Representations and Imaginings of Wellbeing and Illness (London)

The Association of Art Historians / Wellcome Trust / Birkbeck School of Arts & Centre for Medical Humanities present:

A Picture of Health: Representations and Imaginings of Wellbeing and Illness
7th November 2014
Wellcome Trust, Euston Road, London

Organised by the Association of Art Historians, this conference seeks to address the relationship between art and health across different historical periods, with a particular emphasis on what the discipline of art history might bring to the study of visual objects and images in the emerging field of the medical humanities.

We welcome paper proposals from graduate students and early career scholars working with visual materials in a wide range of disciplines including but not limited to art history, fine arts, film and visual culture, art therapy, medicine and literary or cultural studies. Topics might address notions of art and health across all periods and contexts, at both ‘micro’ and ‘macro’ levels, from specific case studies about particular artists, works or medical collaborations, to broader historiographical investigations.

The conference will take place at the Wellcome Trust, London, on 7th Nov 2014, and will include keynotes from art historian Suzannah Biernoff (Birkbeck) and artist Christine Borland (BALTIC Professor, Northumbia).

Papers should be 20 minutes in length. Abstracts of 250 words and a brief biography indicating your institutional affiliation should be submitted as a single Word.doc by email. All speakers must be members of the AAH.

Paper Proposal deadline: 1st August 2014

For more information please visit our web site.

Fellowship: History of C20 U.S. Medicine (Johns Hopkins, 3 years)

The Department of the History of Medicine seeks applicants for a three-year postdoctoral fellowship in the history of 20th c. US medicine, with preference for candidates whose research interests include medical education, the modern hospital, and healthcare in an urban setting. The fellow will work collaboratively with Prof. Stuart W. Leslie in researching a history of The Johns Hopkins University, including its medical institutions. The fellow will have a postdoctoral appointment in the Institute of the History of Medicine, with a quarter time available for her or his own research.  Candidates must have the PhD in hand.

Salary: $50,000 plus benefits.

Closing date: 15th June 15 2014.

Start date: 1st September 2014.

Please send a full cv, a dissertation chapter or other writing sample, and the names and contact information of three references to:

Please contact Stuart W. Leslie @ with any questions.


Symposium: ‘Robert Burns and Medicine’ (Glasgow)

Robert Burns and Medicine: Exploring Links Between Physical Illness, Mental Disorder and Creativity

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

29th May 2014

The connections between the life and works of Robert Burns and the medical profession will be explored in a symposium in the College on 29th May.

There is huge interest in all aspects of Robert Burns life and work in Scotland and, indeed, internationally. This symposium brings together a prestigious line-up of speakers who will stimulate debate and identify areas for future research. Speakers include:

  • Professor Sir Kenneth Calman, who has pioneered the use of creative literature in the teaching of medics
  • Professor Gerard Carruthers, Co-Director of the Centre for Robert Burns Studies, University of Glasgow
  • Professor David Purdie, former medical academic and, with Professor Carruthers, co-editor of the recently published Burns Encyclopaedia
  • Professor Jane MacNaughton, Co-Director of the Centre for Medical Humanities at Durham University and editor of a book on the relationship between mental health issues in the creative process
  • Dr Daniel Smith, an academic psychiatrist leading a research programme on the cognitive epidemiology of bipolar disorder at the University of Glasgow

The audience are invited to provide a vibrant and knowledgeable contribution to the symposium’s main discussions and future dissemination of the topics discussed. These discussions will include, but are not limited to, a historico-cultural view of Burns and the medical profession, and analysis of the contemporary significance of the relationship between mental disorder and creativity informed by Burns and manic depression.

Book online hereLook at our website for more information.

This fascinating event will have wide appeal and interested participants are advised to register early to avoid disappointment.

Public Lecture: ‘Marks on Men: Disability, Medical Research and Coalminers 1920-1948’ (University of Strathclyde)


Scottish Oral History Centre, University of Strathclyde, 6th floor (624) Curran Building, Cathedral Street

Wed 21st May 2014

Dr Julie Anderson (University of Kent) will deliver the 2014 Disability and Industrial Society Public Lecture at the University of Strathclyde.


Marks on Men: Disability, Medical Research and Coalminers 1920-1948

In the same way that coal mining permanently altered the British landscape, coal miners’ bodies were also changed by their experience of mining.  While some marks were evident such as missing fingers or a permanent limp, still others were unseen – the marks on lungs, nerves and bones. These marks were a costly consequence of the mining industry.

Miners took pride in their fundamental importance to the British economy and also in the dangers associated with their job. Their masculine identity was steeped in coal and they accepted that going down the mines for a shift meant that they were risking their lives daily and in the long term, their bodily integrity.  Accidents and the long-term health implications of working in coalmines meant that miners could be off work for considerable periods of time. The costs of chronic ill health and disability for the industry and the miner and his family were significant.

Throughout the period 1920-1948, the Medical Research Council (MRC) conducted studies into the impact of mining on the body including disability and chronic ill health. The MRC endeavoured to deal with some of the conditions associated with mining such as ‘beat hand, knee and elbow’, respiratory diseases, sensory damage and the result of accident. Safety measures were adopted in order to decrease the dangers of coal mining and ensure that miners were protected in this most dangerous of environments.

This paper will track the changing nature of disability, chronic ill heath and the impact of accidents between 1920-48. It will also explore the nature of the masculine nature of mining, its importance to the British economy and measures taken by groups such as the MRC to control the impact of coal mining and limit the marks on men.


Disability in Translation Symposium, Cardiff University

Disability in Translation Symposium , 27th June, Cardiff University

We would like to invite you to a one day symposium on Disability in Translation on Friday 27th June at Cardiff University. The symposium aims to mine the intersection between disability and translation.

Questions of translation have often focussed on the borders and identities created by the frontier between languages. The event takes as its starting point the lateral shift of focus informed by recent perspectives in translation studies which show that experiences of exile can be illuminated by the questions of marginalisation and exclusion in disability discourses. Equally, approaching translation and disability in parallel opens up the potential for minority socio-cultural groups and language communities to offer new ways of thinking about communication and language exchange. The sharing of expertise in theory and practice is a goal of the event.

Contributions are requested on any aspect of disability in translation but might usefully explore:

  • Translating Policy to Practice – and back again
  • Translating Across Cultures and Multi-modal translation
  • Disability and the metaphysics of translation

This will be a small symposium of 20 people. Places will be allocated on a first come basis. Lunch will be provided but not travel costs.

Please reply to the orgnisers: Ruth Kitchen  and Ryan Prout  to confirm your attendance and specify whether you would like to participate as an audience member or speaker. Full details are here.

Wicked Fish Theatre Company: ‘From Here to There: The Hidden History of People with Learning Difficulties in Merseyside’ (Liverpool)

Wicked Fish is a professional theatre and creative arts company, based in Liverpool. The core company comprises five Disabled People, three of whom are performers who have Learning Difficulties.

‘People Like Us’ is a two year, multi-disciplined and inter-generational project looking at the family, social and cultural history of People with Learning Difficulties in Liverpool and the Merseyside region. The project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. As part of the project, our exhibition, ‘From There To Here’ opened on 2nd May, at the Museum of Liverpool.

More information is available here and at

Twitter:     @TheFishies
Facebook: Wicked Fish, Liverpool

Asexuality and Disability Seminar (University of Glasgow)

The Gender and Sexualities Forum invites you to its next event:

Two Papers Addressing Asexuality and Disability

Weds 7th May, 3.30-5pm, University of Glasgow, Boyd Orr 709, University Avenue, Glasgow


Karen Cuthbert (Sociology, Glasgow)

‘You have to be normal to be abnormal’: the intersection of asexuality and disability
Recent studies of asexuality have focussed on how individuals come to identify as asexual. It can be argued, however, that this research assumes a disembodied subject who is ‘free’ to claim an asexual self-identity. This paper complicates this by introducing a consideration of intersectionality into asexuality research, focusing specifically on the ways in which asexuality is imbricated with disability.  Drawing on qualitative research with asexual-identified disabled persons, it examines how coming to identify as asexual is constrained when one is marked as ‘disabled’. The paper will also discuss the ways in which the asexual community itself is normatively constructed. Although figured as disabled-friendly, this is conditioned on the denial of any causal links between asexuality and disability. I discuss how this leads to the construction of the ‘gold star asexual’. However, I will also argue that the idea of ‘asexuality-as-transgressive’, dominant in the academic literature, also has a normative effect.


Matt Dawson (Sociology, Glasgow)

Rethinking asexuality: a Symbolic Interactionist account
Based upon an article co-written with Susie Scott, this paper aims to contribute a Symbolic Interactionist approach to the study of asexuality.  Previous research in psychology, sexology and sociology has had an individualised focus, which has downplayed the interactive and relational dimensions of asexual identities.  In order to capture such elements we demonstrate the relevance of some key Symbolic Interactionist concepts: meaning, negotiation, social selfhood and trajectory. In doing so, we suggest it is possible to see asexual identity as a process of becoming within the context of negotiation with intimate others.

For enquiries about the gender and sexualities forum please contact