Vote Now: Create! Art for Autism 2014

Create! Art for Autism 2014 is celebrating its fourth year of success. The competition is open to all young people aged 11-25 years who are formally diagnosed with an Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) including Asperger’s Syndrome. Create! aims to dispel the myth that people with autism cannot be creative and to show that art can significantly improve their quality of life, facilitating experiential-based learning and instilling life-long skills.

Young people with an ASC are invited to enter the five main categories: 2D Art, 3D Art, Digital Photography, Digital Animation and Poetry. Finalists of the competition will be invited to attend a high profile awards ceremony in Cardiff, on Friday 18th July, to celebrate the creativity of the contestants, where the final winners of each category will be announced. The finalists’ artwork will then be displayed on the Create! Art for Autism website and form part of the launch celebrations for the Competition in 2015. Finalists will then be announced on July 2nd and the awards ceremony will take place on July 18th.

In addition to these categories, there is also a ‘People’s Choice Award’. See for a list of finalists and entries, and place your vote before the 1st of July. 

You can keep up to date with all of the latest news by following Create! on Twitter @create_a4a or joining their Facebook Page – Create! Art For Autism.


PhD Fees Bursary: Centre for Culture and Disability Studies, Liverpool Hope University

The Centre for Culture and Disability Studies (CCDS), Faculty of Education, Liverpool Hope University, offers one [fees only] bursary for a full-time PhD student. This is part of the overall research strategy of the centre, which aims to encourage and support the most important work in the field.

Like much work in the field of Disability Studies, the work of the CCDS is fundamentally concerned with social justice, with challenging and changing the inequalities and prejudices that people who are disabled face on a daily basis.  Though there are other centres for disability studies in the United Kingdom, the CCDS is unique in its focus on culture as the means by which prejudices around disability are circulated and perpetuated. This focus is explored in our journal, monographs, edited books, articles, seminar series, book series, presentations, networks, website, conferences, courses, and so on.

The successful applicant will be welcomed into this internationally recognised, vibrant community and expected to make a significant contribution to it.  Her or his research will be interdisciplinary, investigating aspects of historical, cultural, and/or educational representations of disability.

The successful applicant may have the opportunity to teach on our undergraduate Special Educational Needs course and, if so, teaching will be paid at the appropriate rates.  In addition the bursary holder will be required to offer administrative support to the CCDS.  The Dean has budgeted for up to 50 hours paid via Hope Works at the basic rate for administrative support.

The bursary will cover full-time Home/EU PhD fees for three years starting 1st October 2014 [£3,980 per academic year]. Payment of the bursary will be made directly to the Liverpool Hope University Finance Department annually. International applicants are welcome, and must be eligible to study in the UK.

The successful applicant will meet the University standard academic entry criteria for admission to a PhD, and will undertake the typical applicant process [including expression of interest, full application, and face to face interview]. It is expected that the successful applicant will complete and submit their PhD thesis within three years of initial registration. Continuation on the PhD is depended upon ongoing successful academic progression throughout the course.

The Centre for Culture and Disability Studies PhD Fees Bursary is only available for PhD applicants to study within this area of expertise at Liverpool Hope University.

For more information about the CCDS:

Guidance for applicants to the CCDS PhD Fees Bursary

Expression of Interest: Friday 18th July 2014
Full Application Submitted: Monday 1st September 2014
Interviews: Monday 8th September 2014, Tuesday 9th September 2014
Outcomes: Week commencing 22nd September 2014

How to apply
Information about Postgraduate Research at Liverpool Hope, the programmes offered and our entry criteria can be found on our web pages for prospective applicants:

All applicants should use the Online Application System [please refer to the ‘Apply Now’ tab]. The standard deadline for Postgraduate Research applications for an October 2014 start has passed; however, applications for the CCDS PhD Fees Bursary follow the time frame stated above. When completing the application form you will need to enter your start date as January 2014/15, but you will be considered only for October 2014.

Expression of Interest
Applicants have up to 500 words to describe their area of interest to research for the PhD. Please provide as much information and detail at this stage to enable the reviewers to assess the potential project. From this a decision will be made whether or not to invite you to submit a full application.

Full Application
Applicants invited to submit a full application must complete all sections of the application form as appropriate. Candidates are invited to choose their own research project, although it is expected that it will fall within the area of Culture and Disability Studies. As with all doctoral programmes applicants will only be considered in areas where active research is present and a supervisory team can be provided.  Please make use of the ‘Advice on Writing a Research Proposal’ available on our applicant pages to guide you.

Interviews for candidates will take place at the main Hope Park Campus. For students at distance arrangements can be made for a Skype interview. If you are invited to submit a full application please hold the interview dates in your diary. Candidates selected for interview will be contacted no later than Friday 5th September to confirm the date and time.

Should you have any questions about the applicant process, please contact: Mr Chris Lowry, Research Support Officer:

CFP: Disability and Social Media (edited collection)

Abstracts due: 15th July 2014

Potential authors are invited to submit chapter abstract of no more than 500 words, including a title, 4 to 6 keywords, and a brief bio, by email to both Dr. Kent @ and Dr. Ellis @ Please indicate in your proposal if you wish to use any visual material, and how you have or will gain copyright clearance for visual material. Authors will receive a response by 15th August 2014, with those provisionally accepted due as chapters of no more than 6000 words (including references) by 15th November 2015.

Social media is popularly seen as an important media for people with disability in terms of communication, exchange and activism. These sites potentially increase both employment and leisure opportunities for one of the most traditionally isolated groups in society. However, the offline inaccessible environment has, to a certain degree, been replicated online and particularly social networking sites. For example, despite recognized benefits of social inclusion for people with disabilities, Scott Hollier notes the continuation of inaccessibility in social media in his report Sociability: Social Media for People with a Disability:

…all of the popular social media tools remain inaccessible to some degree. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, blogging websites and the emerging Google+ all feature limited accessibly, denying many consumers with disabilities the opportunity to participate in social media. Fortunately, users have often found ways around the accessibility barriers such as alternative website portals, mobile apps, additional keyboard navigation shortcuts and online support groups. This is a rich source of expertise, and social media users with disability continue to find creative ways to access the most popular platforms. (Hollier 2012)

Although Hollier paints a dreary picture regarding accessibility in social media, his report holds much scope for optimism, as do we. Social media is becoming an increasingly important part of our lives yet the impact on people with disabilities has gone largely unscrutinised. This collection will explore the opportunities and challenges social media represents for the social inclusion of people with disabilities.

The book will be published as part of Ashgate’s Interdisciplinary Disability Studies series. Some suggested topics (which are by no means exhaustive):

  • Activism
  • Communication
  • Community creation
  • Leisure/Entertainment/ Socialising
  • Creating new types of representation
  • Web/media literacy
  • Mashups
  • Education
  • Social Network specific case studies

We are particularly interested in chapter proposals that explore social networks popular outside the Anglosphere.


About the editors:

The editors are from the Department of Internet Studies at Curtin University. Dr Katie Ellis is Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Internet Studies at Curtin University. Her research focuses on disability and the media extending across both representation and active possibilities for social inclusion. Her books include Disability and New Media (2011 with Mike Kent), Disabling Diversity (2008), Disability, Ageing and Obesity: Popular Media Identifications (2014 with Debbie Rodan & Pia Lebeck), Disability and the Media (2015 with Gerard Goggin), and Disability and Popular Culture (2015). Dr Mike Kent’s research focus is on people with disabilities and their use of, and access to, information technology and the Internet. His other area of research interest is in higher education and particularly online education, as well as online social networking platforms. His edited collection An Education in Facebook? Higher Education and the World’s Largest Social Network was released in May 2014 through Routledge.

2014 Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Reporting on Disability

Entries are now being accepted for the second annual Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Reporting on Disability.

The Schneider Award is the first American journalism contest devoted exclusively to disability coverage. It is administered by the National Center on Disability and Journalism, headquartered at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, under a grant from Katherine Schneider, a retired clinical psychologist who also supports the Schneider Family Book Award.

The first-place winner is awarded $5,000 and receives an invitation to speak at the Cronkite School. The second-place winner receives a $1,500 award, and additional honorable mention awards of $500 may be given at the discretion of the judges.

For more information on the contest, go to, where you can also find the 2013 winning entries and an archive of other top entries.

The entry deadline is 31st July 31 2014.

CFP: ‘Tales from the Asylum: Patient Narratives and the (De)construction of Psychiatry’

Tales from the Asylum

Patient Narratives and the (De)construction of Psychiatry

L0025917 Charcoal drawing: head from dissection

What is the patient’s role in shaping psychiatric practice? Thirty years after Roy Porter’s seminal article exhorting historians to consider the neglected half of the doctor-patient dyad,[1] the time has come to reexamine the state of psychiatry and its history. Time and again (re)defined through a polyphony of narratives, mental illness has gone through a number of important changes over the past two centuries. Patients have played a significant role in these developments. Yet their stories in many ways remain to be told. At times frustrated, at times empowered, these men and women have used various channels to voice their suffering. How has madness been depicted, experienced, told by its main protagonists? How has its understanding been affected by broader socio-cultural developments, and vice versa? How have these changes come to shape and give rise to new identities? Delving into madness and its many narratives reveals a rich and intricate web of stories.

This special issue aims to provide a fresh and novel look into these psychiatric tales by critically reexamining recent historical and historiographical developments. From “outsider art” to clinical diaries, from popular accounts to autobiographical fiction and from heated manifestos to asylum scribbles—patients have cried out their ills in a variety of forms. These real and imagined stories of mental illness shed light on the complex ways in which psychiatry has been construed, explained and fictionalized since its inception. How have individual experiences influenced the construction of clinical categories? How have patients (and indeed their loved ones) come to play a decisive role in effecting medical and extra-medical changes? In what ways have patients chosen to voice their oppression? How have their demands been met by the legal system? And how have various methods of treatment—from the asylum to Freud to the DSM to the psychopharmacological turn—been accepted or rejected by those protagonists in differing social, cultural and political settings? By focusing on psychiatry’s ever-fluid identity, this issue will investigate the varied ways in which the patients’ voices have guided this discipline’s construction, deconstruction and reconstruction from 1800 to the present.

We welcome papers from both early career and more established scholars dealing with the above topics from historical, historiographical, theoretical or anthropological perspectives. Themes include (but are by no means limited to) accounts of mental illness examined through the following lenses:

  • Non-Western patient accounts
  • The impact of class and gender on formulations of mental illness
  • The juxtaposition of views “from above” and “from below”
  • The influence of the anti-psychiatry debate
  • Unedited correspondences between patients and physicians
  • Challenges to traditional (e.g., Foucauldian) theoretical approaches
  • The boundaries between fact and fiction
  • Alternative and little-known modes of representation
  • The impact of changing socio-political contexts on patient experience
  • The role of patients in altering diagnostic classifications and curative methods
  • Family and outsiders’ accounts
  • Particularities of psychiatric (vs. non-psychiatric) patients and their changes over time

Interested prospective authors should send 250-word paper descriptions, along with a tentative title and a short biographical statement, to H-Madness co-editor Alexandra Bacopoulos-Viau at this email address by 30th June 2014. The full proposal with the selected contributions will be sent to a history of medicine journal shortly thereafter in view of an upcoming special issue.

[1] Roy Porter, “The Patient’s View: Doing Medical History From Below”,  Theory and Society, vol. 14, no. 2 (March 1985): 175-198
Image courtesy of the Wellcome Library, London

CFP: Disability Studies and Environmental Humanities Anthology

Call for Papers: Disability Studies and the Environmental Humanities

A collection co-edited by Sarah Jaquette Ray and J. C. Sibara, Under contract with the University of Nebraska Press

We are editing a scholarly volume that brings disability studies in dialogue with the interdisciplinary field of environmental humanities. While scholars in the environmental humanities have been troubling the dichotomy between “wild” and “built” environments, and writing about the “material turn,” trans-corporealities, and “slow violence” for several years now, few focus on the robust and related work being done in the field of disability studies, which takes as a starting point the contingency between environments and bodies. Like environmental justice and new materialist scholar Stacy Alaimo’s theory of “trans-corporeality,” which insists that the body is constituted by its material, historical, and discursive contexts, disability studies challenges dominant perceptions of the body as separate from the contexts in which bodies live, work, and play.

Similarly, key concerns in the environmental humanities–from food justice and migrant farmworkers to climate debt, military legacies, and green imperialism–engage in issues that also occupy disability studies scholars, such as the validity of a mind/body dualism, corporeal and mental health as a new form of privilege in what Ulrick Beck has deemed a “risk society” in Western culture, the impact of nation-building on marginalized populations and places, the myth of American rugged individualism, and parallels between the exploitation of land and abuses of labor. Putting these fields in dialogue means Identifying what we learn by recasting these concerns of the environmental humanities in terms that disability studies scholars enlist, such as ableism, access, and the “medical model.”

For example, when we recognize that bodies are “becoming,” or “temporarily abled,” we begin to see how the prevailing use of pesticides disables farmworkers in order to provide fruit and vegetables to (make healthy) those who have access to them. Likewise, the “slow violence” of military legacies, to use postcolonial ecocritic Rob Nixon’s term, manifest most often as physical and mental disabilities, both domestically and abroad. Further, the myth of the rugged individual contributes to the social construction of “disability,” and simultaneously, as many environmental thinkers argue, fosters the exploitation of natural resources. Work in environmental justice, both in the humanities and social sciences, has made some motion in the direction of disability studies by emphasizing toxicity and “body burdens,” but it rarely draws on the insights of disability studies scholars, who assert that disability not be understood as a “burden,” and who increasingly acknowledge that the able-ment of the privileged often relies on the disablement of others.

The lack of exchange between these fields goes both ways. Though disability studies scholars show that built environments privilege some bodies and minds over others, few have focused on the specific ways toxic environments engender chronic illness and disability, especially for marginalized populations, or the ways in which environmental illnesses—often chronic and/or invisible—disrupt dominant paradigms for recognizing and representing “disability.” Indeed, focus on built environments dominates, and connections between the environment and disability, when addressed, are done so in the natural and social sciences, often without the critical lenses of humanistic fields. If, as geographers and anthropologists focusing on disability recognize, environments can be disabling, and if, as new materialist environmental justice scholars argue, our bodies are our first environments—the “geography closest in,” as Adrienne Rich put it—it seems that environmental humanities and disability studies indeed have much to offer each other.

We welcome single-authored and multi-authored papers by contributors including graduate students and independent scholars working in the humanities or closely related fields. Papers that cover non-contemporary periods are also welcome, as are proposals addressing non-US regions or transnational relationships. We welcome broad understandings of “disability,” and strongly encourage submissions that take into consideration intersections not only among “disability” and “environment” but also among other categories of difference that are co-implicated in those first two terms, including race, gender, class, sexuality, immigration/nation, etc.

With these parameters in mind, we invite 500-word abstracts for scholarly essays that grapple with the intersections of these fields, and/or address the following topics:

  • ableism and the environment
  • toxicity and disablement
  • slow violence as disablement / military legacies of environmental degradation and disablement
  • US imperialism as dispossession and disablement
  • environments as disabling in literature and media
  • eco-sickness
  • the eco-ability movement
  • critical medical/epidemiological anthropology
  • the body in environmental philosophy
  • corporeality and environmental justice
  • cross-species identifications and / or the status of non-human animals in disability studies
  • shared / common concerns of disability and environmental movements
  • politics of “prevention” versus “access” as goals of environmental justice versus disability activism

Deadline for submission: 15th July 2014.

Please e-mail abstracts as PDF or Word attachments, including your name, affiliation, and contact information, to

We will send invitations for full essay submissions by the end of summer. Full essays of no more than 8,000 words (inclusive of notes and bibliography) will be due 2nd January 2015, for editors’ review and subsequent peer review facilitated by University of Nebraska Press. We reserve the right to exclude any final manuscripts that do not meet the expectations of the editors and/or the Press.

Disability History Roadshows, 14th June 2014 (Midlothian and Northumberland)

Disability and Industrial Society – a project looking at disability in British coalfield communities – will be hosting two Disability History Roadshows on the 14th June at the National Mining Museum, Scotland and Woodhorn Museum, Northumberland. Details of both can be found at our website:  below:

Mining for Memories: National Mining Museum, Scotland, 10.30am – 4pm, Saturday 14th June 2014

Are you interested in the history of coal mining? Would you like to find out more about difficult working conditions, accidents, injuries, chronic disease and disability? If so, come along to the Disability History Roadshow at the National Mining Museum on Saturday 14 June 2014 between 10.30am and 4pm. The Roadshow will focus on experiences and memories of miners and mining communities in Scotland. It will include:

  • Talks by disability history experts and roundtable discussion chaired by Nicky Wilson (National Union of Mineworkers)
  • Performances of music, drama and poetry
  • Displays of photos, documents, film and historical artefacts
  • Stalls by disability, heritage and history organisations
  • Opportunities to deposit any relevant photos, documents or artefacts with the museum

Free entry, all welcome.


Living with Disability in Coalfield Communities: Then and Now: Woodhorn Museum, near Ashington, Northumberland, 10am – 5pm, Saturday 14th June 2014

Do you or family members have links to the coal industry in the North East? Are you interested in the impact of coal mining on health and working life in the region over the last 200 years? Then come along to the Disability History Roadshow, part of the 150th Northumberland Miners’ Picnic at Woodhorn Museum, near Ashington on Saturday June 14th 2014, between 10am – 5pm.

The Disability History Roadshow will focus on the accidents, disabilities and illnesses caused by miners’ working conditions, and will examine how affected miners sought compensation. It will compare historical accounts with the experiences of disabled people within the North East today.

A panel discussion on mining, health and disability will be held, involving ex-miners and members of the National Union of Mineworkers. Videos, audio clips and pictures which chart the history of health, injury and illness in the region’s coalfields will be displayed, and there will also be a performance of ballads and spoken-word readings. Entry is free on the day.

For further details about the event contact Victoria Brown at

CFP: ‘Disability/Culture: New Grounds. A Practice-Based Research Symposium’ (University of Michigan)

Disability/Culture: New Grounds. A Practice-Based Research Symposium.

3rd-6th February 2015

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Deadline for applications: 1st August 2014

Notification: 15th September 2014.


In our seventh practice-based research symposium at the University of Michigan, and as the Initiative on Disability Studies’ Spring Conference, we’ll investigate cultural practices around cognitive, emotional, sensory, and embodied differences that trouble an assumption of similarity of time, space, and communication practice.

From crip time to neurodiversity, from pain space to Deaf gain, from access intimacy to decolonial crip methods, what are new(er) ways of thinking about disability and the arts (of living)? How can we think about the ethics of reciprocity, about new ways of being audience, being performer, being in shared (academic/art/life) space? How can art/life practices trouble older ways of thinking about artistic and academic disciplinarities?

We invite up to five fellows (grad students, faculty, artists) to come together for four days, to workshop, use performances and presentations as provocations, and explore methods of merging art practice, conviviality, and critical encounter. The specific topics we will explore are open, and will be determined by applicants’ interests. We will be in research practice together: this is not a conference to share the results of previous research or practice. Thus, we are not looking for papers, we are looking for participants in this experiment. Come and share the excitement of your creative and/or critical research, present a workshop based on your inquiry, and find out what happens. The experiment lies in finding a path toward accessible artful community together.

Before the symposium, a small collection of material from all participants will be made available to prepare us for our time together. During the symposium, each fellow will have (up to) two hours to engage others in a seminar. We will be in residence at the Duderstadt Video Performance Studio on the University of Michigan’s North Campus, home to multiple performance technologies, with innovative tech wizards at the ready. Each invitee will have transport and accommodation costs reimbursed up to $500 dollars. The conference hotel offers rooms for about sixty dollars a night, and we will assist people who want to be hosted by graduate students and locals.

Application Process: please email us a short CV, a sample of your work, and a brief statement about why you would like to participate. Direct all materials to the symposium director, Petra Kuppers,

Deadline for applications: 1st August 2014

Notifications: 15th September 2014.

Video created at the last Disability/Culture practice-based research symposium:

The 2015 symposium might look very different – but we hope to curate an experience that allows for a similar merging of art, life, academia and experience.