New Disability Studies Degree, Liverpool Hope

Disability Studies is an academic field which recognises that disability is fundamental to all human lives. It acknowledges the wider history of oppression and discrimination experienced by disabled people and seeks to produce knowledge that challenges those inequalities. Informed by this perspective, the Disability Studies in Education degree examines the relationship between disability and education at all life stages and in a wide range of educational contexts. Education is lifelong, and in the course, you will undertake a critical exploration of disability and education in a wide range of contexts, from the ways in which compulsory education responds to the needs of disabled children, young people and adults, to the ways in which arts-based and cultural organisations work with disabled people and images of disability. This single honours programme also includes a compulsory placement that will enable you to enhance your understanding of course themes and demonstrate your abilities to work in a professional context. – See more at the programme website.

The course includes the following components:

Foundations in Disability Studies in Education

  • Historical influences on disability and the history of the disabled people’s movement
  • An introduction to the social and medical models of disability and their influence on lifelong learning
  • Contemporary perspectives on disability on formal and informal learning
  • Disability Studies in Education beyond the UK context
  • The role of culture and its influence on disability studies in education

 Explorations in Disability Studies in Education

  • Explorations of professional practice in disability studies and education across the life course
  • Explorations of formal and informal education across the life course including acquired impairments, chronic illness and ageing populations
  • Developing an understanding of research in disability studies in education beyond the UK context

Advanced Studies in Disability Studies in Education

  • Universal Design for Learning across the life course
  • Understanding research in disability studies in education
  • Participatory, emancipatory research in disability studies in education
  • The role of culture and its influence on research in disability studies in education
  • Intersectionality – exploring connections with race, class and gender
  • Dissertation in a chosen area of advanced studies in disability studies in education

Course contact details

Student Recruitment: call +44 (0) 151 291 3111 or email

Department: Disability and Education.

Call for Papers: Special Issue DSQ, ‘Disability, Work and Representation: New Perspectives’

Call for Papers: Disability, Work and Representation: New Perspectives
Special Issue: Disability Studies Quarterly (Fall 2017)
Editors: David Turner, Kirsti Bohata, Steven Thompson, Swansea University

Disability Studies Quarterly is pleased to announce a call for papers for a special issue on Disability, Work and Representation: New Perspectives. Please circulate accordingly and direct questions to Dr. David Turner at

In/ability to work plays a critical role in definitions of dis/ability, but the complexities of the relationship between people with disabilities and the world of work have only recently started to gain scholarly attention. Contributions are sought for a special issue of Disability Studies Quarterly that will showcase new interdisciplinary perspectives on disability, work and its representation in both contemporary and historical perspective. The issue will take a long and interdisciplinary view of the relationship between disability and work and encourages contributions that explore different national experiences and impairment perspectives. We aim to foster critical thinking about how dis/ability has been defined in relation to work and about how factors such as changing hiring processes, legislation and working environments have impacted upon participation. Contributions are also sought that will explore ways in which disability has been represented in relation to work culturally and artistically, or the impact of literary, artistic or media representations on policy. Contributors are invited to think about work broadly, to include paid and unpaid employment, emotional and intellectual as well as physical labor. Subjects might include, but are not limited to:

  • Changing historical experiences of disability and work
  • Dis/ability and the aesthetics of work
  • The impact of age, gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity on experiences and employment prospects of workers with disabilities
  • The role of economic systems in the inclusion or exclusion of workers with disabilities
  • The relationship between work and citizenship
  • Cultural representations of disability and un/employment
  • Disability and employment laws
  • Disability and unpaid work
  • Disability and occupational health/medicine
  • Rehabilitation and returning to work
  • Disability and labor relations
  • Current and historical perspectives on welfare and work

Please send an abstract (max 200 words) and a short biography (100 words) to Professor David Turner ( by July 1st 2016. The final deadline for submission for articles selected for inclusion in the Special Issue (max. 8000 words) will be January 31st 2017 with publication scheduled for September 2017. Final acceptance of manuscripts is subject to peer review.

CFP: Special Issue of a/b: Auto/Biography Studies on ‘Embodiment’

CFP: Special Issue of a/b: Auto/Biography Studies on ‘Embodiment’

Guest Editor: Sarah Brophy, McMaster University

a/b: Auto/Biography Studies seeks original articles for a special issue on ‘Embodiment’ to be published as volume 33.2. Embodied lives, in all their corporeal, social, sensory, affective, political, economic, and technological dimensions, are the primary grounds for auto/biographical production. Building on the groundbreaking feminist work of the 1980s and 90s that brought embodied subjectivity to the fore, research in the field of life writing continues to generate powerful insights into the constitution, inscription, chronicling, narrativization, and performance of multiple embodiments, including an expansive and nuanced engagement with illness, disability, gender, grief, and trauma. Open to a wide variety of critical work on embodiment and auto/biography from a range of humanities and social science inter/disciplines, this special issue highlights two emergent areas demanding attention: 1) the biopolitics and necropolitics of race and disability, considered dialectically together with resistant acts, practices, and movements; and 2) the intensified, shifting relationships among auto/biography, embodiment, and mediation in the era of digital communication. Accordingly, essays could consider:

  • Why and how have certain auto/biographical modes that pertain to or index embodiment emerged as especially pervasive and popular at the beginning of the twenty-first century? What are the genealogies of these evolving forms, and what are their innovations, affordances, and dilemmas? Examples might include: medical micronarratives; photojournalism; profiles; ecological memoirs; graphic non-fiction; wearable technology; data tracking and the “quantified self”; social media; selfies and self-portraiture; collective biography; performance and/or installation art; digital design and play.
  • How does auto/biographical cultural production critique the ways that bodies are inscribed, produced, circulated, de/valued, targeted, exploited, and/or exalted under capitalist and settler-colonialist structures? Under what conditions do bodies come to testify or to stand in opposition to occupation, war, displacement, austerity, eugenics, hunger, thirst, pain, incarceration, and/or surveillance? What are the material, infrastructural, generic, and discursive conditions of, and obstacles to, such testimony? In what ways might auto/biography challenge presumptions of limitation or damage regarding particular subjects and/or communities?
  • How and why are auto/biographical modes deployed to think through “transmission” and “intercorporeality,” including, for instance, relations of toxicity, injury, contagion, communicability, inheritance, and/or futurity?
  • What kinds of embodied relationalities, or kinships, are being imagined and mobilized in auto/biographical projects, and according to what impetuses?
  • What is the role of the “lived” everyday—the mundane, the chronic, the atmospheric, the textured, the interior, and/or the surface—in life narratives, images, practices, and/or archives of embodiment?
  • Why and how might auto/biography scholarship engage, recontextualize, and/or revise influential theoretical concepts of “the body,” i.e. from phenomenology, assemblage theory, feminist intersectionality, new materialism, affect studies, visual culture studies, digital studies, post-structuralism, posthumanism, biopolitics, and/or trauma theory?
  • What critical framings, methods, and pedagogies are necessitated by bodies on the move, by bodies in conflict zones and under occupation, by bodies crossing or inhabiting borders, or by bodies in revolt or refusal?
  • What is the salience of theorizing embodied narratives and self-inscriptions in terms of im/material labour or precarious labour?
  • If embodiment is constituted (perhaps now more than ever) through mediation and remediation, then what critical methods and questions do repeated, iconic embodied images, tropes, and narratives require?
  • What is the relationship between narratives, images, practices, and/or archives of embodiment, on the one hand, and acts of citizenship on the other? How and when might embodied auto/biography mobilize (new) repertoires, ensembles, or collectivities?

This special issue is imagined as an opportunity to bring auto/biography studies into generative dialogue with critical interdisciplinary fields that are asking urgent methodological, historical, material, and philosophical questions about embodied lives, including but not necessarily limited to: migration, citizenship, social justice, Black studies, Indigenous studies, Asian and Asian diaspora studies, mixed race studies, disability studies, crip/queer studies, mad studies, trans studies, women’s and gender studies, fat studies, sexuality studies, child and youth studies, aging, ecocriticism, animal studies, and narrative medicine.

Send original articles of 6,000-8,000 words (including works cited and notes) to Sarah Brophy ( on or before December 15th 2016. Inquiries also welcome.

Biographical Note: Sarah Brophy is Professor in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University. She is the author of /Witnessing AIDS: Writing, Testimony, and the Work of Mourning/ (University of Toronto Press, 2004) and coeditor with Janice Hladki of /Embodied Politics in Visual Autobiography /(University of Toronto Press, 2014).

All essays must follow the format of the /MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers/ (7th ed.) and the /a/b/ Style Sheet, which can be found here.

Essays submitted for the special issue, but not selected, may be considered general submissions and may be selected for publication. Authors are also requested to include a fifty-word abstract and two to four keywords with their submissions. In order to ensure a confidential peer review, remove any identifying information, including citations that refer to you as the author in the first person. Cite previous publications, etc. with your last name to preserve your anonymity in the reading process. Include your name, address, email, the title of your essay, and your affiliation in a cover letter or cover sheet for your essay. It is the author’s responsibility to secure any necessary copyright permissions and essays may not progress into the publication stage without written proof of right to reprint. Images with captions must be submitted in a separate file as 300 dpi (or higher) tiff files.

Sarah Brophy
Professor, English and Cultural Studies
McMaster University
Chester New Hall 321, 1280 Main St. W.
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8S 4L9
Reviews Editor, Contemporary Women’s Writing

Visiting Speaker: Prof. Ann M. Fox, ‘Unexpected Anatomies: Extraordinary Bodies in Contemporary Art’, Liverpool Hope

Unexpected Anatomies: Extraordinary Bodies in Contemporary Art

Professor Ann M. Fox

Date: Wednesday 2nd March, 2016

Time: 2.15pm–3.45pm

Place: Eden109, Liverpool Hope University, UK

 As a curator who has now co-curated three disability arts-related exhibitions, Professor Fox continually asks: what do works about bodily difference give voice to the lived experience of disability?  How do these works dissect what we think we know about the disabled body? And in recognizing this, can we see examples of difference as what Rosemarie Garland-Thomson calls “disability gain”—those things that prod us to understand what disability brings creatively into being? Disability works to dismantle the hierarchy that presumes the inherent superiority of normalcy.  Building on Tobin Siebers’s notion of disability aesthetics, this talk will explore anatomies in contemporary disability art that are unexpected in subject and approach.  Empowered by the imaginative possibility of disability, they look at the body slant — and disrupt the conventions of an already overdetermined look at the body that, ironically, hides new ways of knowing and possibilities in plain sight.

Ann M. Fox is Professor of English at Davidson College, USA, where she specializes in modern and contemporary dramatic literature and disability studies. Her scholarship on disability and theater has been supported by an AAUW postdoctoral fellowship and published widely. Her current book project traces the representation of disability on the 20th-century commercial stage. She has made a number of contributions to the work of the CCDS, including a chapter in Disability, Avoidance and the Academy (Routledge, 2016), papers at conferences, and articles in the Journal of Literary Disability Studies.

This seminar is part of the CCDS series, The Voice of Disability. Other dates include:

20th Apr 2016, “The President has been shot”: Reagan, Wounded Heroes and the Cyborg Soldier in American Science Fiction of the 1980s, Susan Smith.

25th May 2016, Tales from the Crip: Narrative Reconstructions of the Storyteller’s Disabled Male Body in Contemporary Gothic Fiction, Alan Gregory.

29th Jun 2016, Voices of Becoming, Laura Waite.

For further information please contact Dr. David Bolt, Centre for Culture and Disability Studies.

CFP: Edited Collection, ‘Psychosomatic illness in popular culture’

Medically unexplained symptoms, hysteria, neurasthenia, hypochondria, psychogenic illness, somatic symptoms, functional illness, malingering—there is ongoing debate amongst specialists in medicine, psychology, sociology, and the medical humanities about how to classify, diagnose, treat, and explain disorders affecting body and mind. Meanwhile, in popular culture, these terms are misunderstood, unknown, or rejected outright—what was once called “psychosomatic” illness is heavily stigmatized amongst lay people, while the associated syndromes have become the site of controversy and antipathy in the provider-patient relationship. The DSM-5 outlines diagnostic criteria for illness anxiety and somatic symptoms disorder; medically unexplained symptoms account for as much as 50% of primary care visits; we make fun of hypochondria in sit-coms; patients suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and post-treatment lyme disease syndrome form online communities for support and advocacy—all of these constituents might be talking about several different disorders, or one, or none. Despite the common experience of being told that their symptoms are imaginary, all in their heads, patients are experiencing a very real illness phenomenon at the intersection of mind and body. But what is it? Physical or mental illness? political and social identity? cultural, narrative, and/or discursive construction?

The proposed collection invites interdisciplinary analysis of the phenomenon of “psychosomatic” illness as it is (mis)understood in expert and popular culture. Possible themes or topics include:

  • the persistence of mind-body dualism in both expert and lay concepts of illness and wellness
  • the connection between stress and illness in popular culture
  • the struggle to establish scientific, social, and cultural legitimacy for controversial diagnoses such as chronic fatigue syndrome, post-treatment lyme disease syndrome, fibromyalgia (ME)
  • the evolution of syndromes and the role of cultural and scientific context
    the role of gender, race, and class in expert and lay constructions of “psychosomatic” illness and patient identity
  • the representation of psychosomatic and/or contested illness in self-help and wellness programs, magazines, and websites
  • stereotypes and stigmatization of hypochondria, “hysteria,” or malingering in medical and popular culture
  • the relative invisibility of psychosomatic and/or contested illness in fictional narrative (from literary fiction to medical melodramas on tv)
  • the role of medical narrative/narrative medicine in mediating provider-patient conflict about medically unexplained or somatic symptoms and controversial diagnoses

Essays should be interdisciplinary in scope and engaging to a diverse, non-specialist audience. Please send 500-word proposals and a CV to Carol-Ann Farkas by February 29th 2016. We have a contract with the publisher and are trying to round out the existing contributions. Complete manuscript due to the publisher by August 31st 2016.

BSA Ageing, Body and Society Study Group 7th Annual Conference: Ageing and Culture, Manchester

BSA Ageing, Body and Society Study Group 7th Annual Conference: Ageing and Culture

Friday 26th February 2016

MICRA, University of Manchester

This year the Ageing, Body and Society study group is holding its annual day conference in Manchester, in collaboration with MICRA, University of Manchester. The theme of the day is Ageing and Culture. We will also be celebrating the publication of The Routledge Handbook of Cultural Gerontology

We are delighted to welcome a keynote address by Professor Andy Bennett (Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia) entitled ‘Music Scenes and Ageing Bodies’ and a plenary panel on Cultural Gerontology.

Our aim is to bring together academics and researchers from the arts and humanities, the sociology of ageing and social gerontology to provide a critical analysis of key perspectives and debates, and consider avenues for future agendas, within the field of cultural gerontology.

Full programme and booking, and Further Information about the study group.

If you have any questions, please email

We look forward to seeing you there.

Dr Wendy Martin and Professor Julia Twigg

Convenors: BSA Ageing, Body and Society study group

CFP: Special Issue of JNT: Journal of Narrative Theory, ‘Dis/enabling Narratives’

JNT: Journal of Narrative Theory invites submissions that further the discussion of disabling and enabling narratives from a disability studies perspective. JNT is a forum for the theoretical exploration of individual narrative texts and of the intersections between narrative, history, ideology, and culture more broadly. Essays might engage with topics such as literature and dis/enabling environments and social space, how narratives dis/enable at a structural level, theorizing about narrative using disability studies, dis/enabling subjectivities and inter-subjective experiences, disabling meta/master narratives, dis/enabling discourses, dis/enabling personal narratives and cultural narratives, narratives of overcoming, passing, medicalization, masquerade, complex embodiment, narrative prosthesis, compensation, suppression, inclusion, integration, rehabilitation, normalcy, and activism, narrative wholeness, disabling narrative conventions and enabling counter-narratives. We welcome submissions considering literature of all periods and are especially keen to ensure that some essays in the issue relate to the period before the modern concept of disability emerged in the mid-nineteenth century.

Please send two hardcopies of the complete manuscript in MLA style to Prof. Essaka Joshua, Department of English, 356 O’Shaughnessy Hall, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana 46556 USA, and email a digital copy to by 1st September 2016.

Recommended submission length is 8000 words. Please omit references to the author in the manuscripts to ensure anonymous review. The journal does not accept manuscripts submitted for consideration simultaneously to other publication venues.

Seminars on Mental Health, Glasgow: Dr Louise Hide and Prof. John Foot, Wed 10th Feb

By happy coincidence, the seminar papers in the Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare Series and Strathclyde School of Humanities Research Seminar Series on Wednesday 10th February both examine dimensions of post-war psychiatry. Details as follows:

1pm in room W308, Hamish Wood Building, Glasgow Caledonian University

Dr Louise Hide (Birkbeck, University of London): ‘Mixing the Sexes. new Therapeutic Spaces in English Psychiatric Hospitals from the 1950s to 1990s’ 

During the 1950s, the old Victorian asylum system finally reached its nadir. Around 150,000 resident patients lived in appalling conditions. Overcrowding was out of control. Staff morale was low. Abuse and corruption were rife. And the institutionalisation of long-stay patients who lived in rigidly segregated wards was a major problem.

In 1955, Dr Denis V. Martin, the Superintendent of Claybury Hospital, embarked on an experiment in an attempt to counter some of the effects of institutionalisation. He opened two villas where, unusually, doors remained unlocked and male and female patients were allowed to mix freely with each other. This is an example of some of the practices that were beginning to evolve from new psychosocial ideas that aimed to create therapeutic environments inside psychiatric hospitals, thus breaking down some of the traditional hierarchical power structures — doctor, nurse, patient. Following the 1959 Mental Health Act that signalled the beginning of the closure of the asylum system, they became an increasingly common feature of the rehabilitation process.

In this paper I will be exploring the underlying social, economic, political and medical conditions that led to the desegregation of sexes in psychiatric wards. To what degree, for example, did the new psychotropic drugs facilitate these first moves? What was the underlying influence of the new ‘permissive’ society and the anti-psychiatry movement of the 1960s? How did patients and nursing staff respond to these changes? How did mixed-sex environments change as long-stay patients were moved into the community? And did the call to revert to single-sex wards mean it was all a terrible mistake?

4pm, Confucius Room, Lord Hope Building, Strathclyde University

Professor John Foot (Bristol University): ‘Negated Institutions. The Revolution in Italian Mental Health Care in the 1960s and 1970s’.

For further information on this paper, please contact or


Call for Proposals: Arts and Autism Conference, 20th Sept., Ohio

2016 Arts & Autism Conference: Creating, Learning, Living

Tuesday 20th September 2016

Columbus Museum of Art, 480 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio, 43215

About the Conference:

The 2016 Arts and Autism Conference: Creating, Learning, Living, is the second convening of its kind in central Ohio. This full-day conference features practice, presentation, and research in the arts and autism. The purpose of this conference is to bring together artists, arts and culture administrators, individuals with autism and their families, practitioners, support professionals, researchers, therapists, and advocates who specialize or have an interest in the intersection of arts and autism. The conference will inspire attendees to share ideas and learn more about the benefits, resources, and opportunities to make the arts and arts education accessible for individuals on the autism spectrum, and their families.

About the Call for Proposals:

The 2016 Arts and Autism Conference Planning Committee invites proposals for presentations relating to this year’s conference theme: Creating, Learning, Living. Presentations may take various forms, from lecture to artistic demonstration to panel to another creative format. Proposals are welcome from anyone interested in the intersection of arts and autism: families, therapists, practitioners, researchers, etc. Individuals on the autism spectrum are highly encouraged to apply.

Proposal submissions are due Monday 22nd February 2016, 5:00 pm, EST.
Responses may be expected by Friday 4th March 2016.

Proposals should relate to the following themes:


  • Creating opportunities to engage with the arts and/or engage with individuals with autism.
  • Creating access to art venues, events and experiences.
  • Process of art creation in itself, whether for therapy, education, vocation, or play.
  • Process of creating dialogue and advocacy around engaging difference.


  • Learning how to expand current events and spaces to include a more diverse population, including those with autism.
  • Learning about the benefits the arts have to offer individuals on the spectrum, and their families.
  • Learning to recognize that an individual with autism has an interest or talent in the arts and how to work with them and develop that interest or talent.
  • Learning how to make accommodations in the classroom and other arts learning spaces.
  • Learning about the relationship between and art and therapy, including strategies, goals, and best practices.
  • Learning to understand the genres of art (i.e. self-taught artists, outsider artists).
  • Learning to take talent or interest and turn it into a career.


  • Living in your community and accessing creative opportunities.
  • Making a living with a career in the arts.
  • Making the arts community a place in which difference is lived, celebrated, and embraced.
  • Identifying mentors and peers to support success and inclusion.
  • The use of art in play, and the value of creative play in the childhood experience of people with autism.

To access the call for proposals visit the submission page.

CFP: 7th International Comics & Medicine Conference: Stages & Pages, 7-9 July, Dundee

CFP: 7th International Comics & Medicine Conference: Stages & Pages

Submit Abstracts by 12th Feb 2016 (1 week left!)

7th July-9th July 2016, Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee, Scotland

Keynote Speakers: Lynda Barry, Al Davison & Elisabeth El Refaie and a special workshop with Lynda Barry and Dan Chaon

The theme of this year’s conference, Stages & Pages, invites us to think about comics and healthcare in relation to performance in its myriad conflicting and complementary forms. Both clinicians and patients often feel the need to live up to prescribed “roles” both on and off the medical “stage”, and this conference will consider the various ways in which comics address these issues. We invite the submission of a wide variety of abstracts focusing on medicine and comics in any form (e.g. graphic novels, comic strips, manga, web comics) that examine topics including, but not limited to:

  • Comic narratives of stages of life, illness, and the medical career
  • Stages of the creative process, process as performance, and the relation of the creative process to disability, illness, and medicine
  • The comic/body as stage
  • Comics and the social performance of illness, disability, and the healthcare profession
  • Technical performance in healthcare, illness, disability, and comics
  • The use of space in performance, illness, disability, and healthcare
  • Ethical implications of comics and performance
  • Trends in, histories of, or the use of comics in healthcare
  • The use of comics and design in the service of healthcare education
  • Intermedia approaches to comics and healthcare (animation, theatre, digital comics, apps etc.)


  • Lightning talks: 5-minute presentations with up to 15 slides. This format is meant to encourage submission of short presentations to share your work (e.g. comics, new research projects, new ideas) in a concise format
  • Oral presentations: 15- to 20-minute presentations
  • Panel discussions: 90-minute interviews or presentations by a panel of speakers
  • Workshops: 90-minute sessions intended to be “hands-on” interactive workshops for participants who wish to obtain particular skills with regard to comics and medicine. Suggested subjects for workshops are: creating comics; understanding, reviewing, and critiquing comics o getting comics published; teaching and learning with comics.

We will also entertain suggestions for discussion groups.

Submission Process:
Proposals may be in Word, PDF, or RTF formats with the following information in this order:

  • author(s)
  • affiliation
  • email address
  • phone number
  • title of abstract
  • body of abstract
  • sample images or web links to work being discussed
  • presentation preference (see format options above)
  • equipment needed (e.g. AV projection, whiteboard, easel, etc.)

300 word proposals should be submitted online by Friday 12th February 2016 to: Abstracts will be peer-reviewed by an interdisciplinary selection committee. Notification of acceptance or rejection will be completed by mid March 2016. While we cannot guarantee that presenters will receive their first choice of presentation format, we will attempt to honour preferences, and we will acknowledge the receipt of all proposals.