CFP: Special Issue of Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, ‘Disability and/in/through fanfiction’

Call For Proposals: Disability and/in/through fanfiction

Fanfiction has been at the centre of the development of fan studies since Henry Jenkins’ Textual Poachers (1992) and Nancy Baym’s work on online soap opera fan communities (1993); their texts examined fans as self-reflexive producers and critical consumers, and as participants in reciprocal and emotive community-building practices.  In recent years, fan-led projects such as those supported and initiated by the Organization for Transformative Works (Archive Of Our Own, fanlore, Open Doors, and their work on fan legal advocacy) have further encouraged the development of fan scholarship and the conservation and perpetuation of fan cultures. However, disability and accessibility have not been explored in either academic or fan scholarship as crucial aspects of fanfiction practices, and disabled fans and fanfiction writers have not been included as significant contributors to online fanfiction communities.

Yet, disability and fanfiction are in a complicated relationship with one another. Fanfiction loves its disabled characters ( Stiles from Teen Wolf, Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon, Homestuck, House, River Tam from Firefly), and loves to disable its characters (Harry Potter is iconic in this respect), to get all the feels, to explore all the possibilities, and because you hurt those you love, a lot, especially in fanfic.

Many fans and fan creators have identified online as disabled and/or people with disabilities/impairments. Fans are sharing their experiences and having discussions about disability representation in fandoms and fanfiction, about ableism and accessibility. How disability manifests in online fanfiction works and communities remains to be brought into play in critical disability studies and in fan studies.

This special issue invites works that explores disability in fanfiction, disability and fanfiction, and disability through fanfiction. How do disability and fanfiction interact with each other in fanfiction communities? How is disability represented in fanfiction and what meaning does/can/should it have? What roles do disabled fans play in how disability and disabled characters are understood in fandoms? How does white supremacy and heteropatriarchy/cissexism impact where disabled people feel included in online fanfiction communities? How do queerness, racialization, transness, gender, sexuality, class, as inseparable from our experiences of disability, inform and shape our love of fandom and fanfic? How do adaptive technologies influence the presence of which disabled fans can contribute in fanfic and in fanfic communities? What role does accessibility play in fanfiction communities, and for disabled fans?

This special issue aims to collect the work that has been done and is being done by disabled fans and aca-fans (and allies) that reflects on the multiple layers of meaning disability has in fanfiction narratives, processes, communities, and studies. We welcome the contributions of fans, aca-fans, community members (authors, betas, mods, readers, and lurkers), academics, non-academics, writers and reviewers. Contributions can take the shape of academic and non-academic, articles, commentaries, reflections, fanfiction, fanvids and other fan art and fan works that critically examines the roles, representations, deployments, reifications, subversions, challenges, queering and cripping of disability, illness, disease, (in all its multiple enactments and embodiments), cripness (criptitude?), accessibility, disablism, ableism, and fanfiction.

We welcome single and multiple authored pieces. Formats can be written, video (must be captioned), audio (must include transcript).

Possible themes:

  • Disability, gender, queerness and race: politics of intersectionality (and beyond) in fanfics
  • Disabled fanfiction writers and fans
  • Disability tropes in fanfiction
  • Writing disabled characters
  • Disability and Hurt/Comfort
  • Disability and/as kink in fanfic
  • Disability erotics in fanfic
  • Politics of accessibility in fanfic communities
  • Economies of desirability and disability
  • Fanfic and web accessibility/Adaptive Technology
  • Fan activism about accessibility/ ableism/disablism
  • Disability erasure by non-disabled fans
  • Disability fic as knowledge production/dissemination
  • Disability community making and fanfiction
  • Autism and/in fan fic
  • Madness and/in fanfiction
  • Deafness and/in fanfiction

Submissions are due 15 April 2016 and can be emailed to Cath Duchastel de M. at: and Bridget Liang at

Bridget Liang is a mixed race, queer, transfeminine, neurodiverse, disabled, fat fangirl. They are a (guilty) fan of One Direction and Teen Wolf and is definitely team Ziam and Stanny/Sterek/Skittles. Their research meanders around story telling as methodology to best convey intersectionality. They have been involved with community research, workshop and group facilitation, and doing performance art. Blog:

Cath Duchastel de M. is a white, gender-variant, queer, disabled and fat aca-fan. She is also a PhD student in Science and Technology Studies, with an M.A. in Critical Disability Studies. She studies disability and fanfiction. She fell into fanfic in the early 2000s and never got up (or wanted to). She is a Xenite with a Buffy ascendant   and a moon in Trekkie, and is also perversely attracted to het pairings such as Belle/Gold and River/Jayne.

The Canadian Journal of Disability Studies is Published by the Canadian Disability Studies Association-Association Canadienne des Études sur l’Incapacité, and is hosted and supported by the University of Waterloo.

ISSN 1929-9192 Canadian Journal of Disability Studies (Online)

CFP: Disability Studies Student Society Symposium, Liverpool Hope University

The Disability Studies Student Society Symposium at Liverpool Hope University hopes to bring together students across the North-West (and beyond) to share, discuss and advise on research methodologies in disability studies.

We invite submissions of abstracts of up to 300 words for paper presentations that detail methodological approaches to research projects, both those that have been completed and those that are currently underway. We are not expecting polished papers, rather we want to create a safe and open space to share ideas, concerns and questions.

The symposium is open to students, both undergraduate and postgraduate. We are interested in hearing about a range of innovative and creative methodologies within the growing field of disability studies.

The student symposium will be held at Liverpool Hope University on Wednesday 22nd June 2016. A full schedule for the symposium will be updated and available shortly as will be details for registration.

Abstracts of up to 300 words should be submitted for consideration by Friday 22nd April 2016 to Presenters will be informed via email by 22nd May 2016.

For more information regarding submission, or general information concerning the symposium please contact: Leah Burch at

Workshop: ‘Undercover: Institutional Abuse, Covert Investigations and History’, London

Undercover: Institutional abuse, covert investigations and history

16 April from 14.30 – 17.15

This half-day workshop will bring together cultural historians and media practitioners to explore how ideas of authority and ‘truth’ are embodied in both the person recording the abuse and the means or medium through which it is exposed.  

Speakers include:

  • Joanna Bourke (Birkbeck) on the interviewing of a rape victim in Police, 1982
  • Helena Goodwyn (QMUL) on W.T. Stead and the exposure of child prostitution in 1885
  • Joe Plomin (Panorama, BBC) on Winterbourne View, 2011
  • Matthew Rubery (QMUL) on Nellie Bly and Ten Days in a Mad-House, 1887

The event will be held at the Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD 

Full details can be found here: 

Places are limited. If you can attend, please email as soon as possible telling us very briefly why the event is of interest to you. We will contact you if we have a place.

Interdisciplinary One-Day Seminar (MVLS and Arts): ‘The Child’, Glasgow

MVLS/ARTS inter-disciplinary seminar: ‘The Child’.

Date: Friday 8th April 2016

Location: Rooms 408 and 409, Gilmorehill Halls, University of Glasgow

All welcome – attendance is free and lunch provided so please email Professor Lury ( if you are planning to attend.

The aim of this seminar/workshop is to bring together colleagues from diverse disciplines – media studies, historians, clinicians and social scientists – who may have various interests and investment in the ‘child’ and their medical and social well being. As a starting point for wider discussion the seminar will organise around two specific themes:

  1. Questions of childhood well-being and mental health
  2. The status and representation of the disabled child within social and media discourse.


9.30am             Welcome: coffee/cake available

9.50am            Introduction: Karen Lury, Amy Holdsworth, Sarah Cockram.

10-11am          Roundtable: mini-introductions from participants as to interests and disciplinary background.

11-12.15 pm    The child and well being

  • Professor Lynn Abrams and Dr Valerie Wright: ‘All children need the opportunity to play with other children’
  • Dr Ruchika Gajwani:   ‘Child and adolescent mental health and wellbeing.’

12.15-1.30 pm Lunch, including screening of television programme/film

1.30-2.45pm    The child and disability

  • Dr Katherine Runswick-Cole: ‘The Dishuman Child’
  • Dr Amy Holdsworth: ‘Disability, care and the tactile address of pre-school television’

2.45-3.30 pm Discussion: coffee/cake, feedback and next steps.

Conference: ‘Mind, Madness and Melancholia’, Royal Society of Medicine, London

Date: 10th May 2016

Location: Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole Street, London, W1G 0AE

This conference will entertain and educate, exploring mental health through the eyes of the ancient world, and taking a tour through history. It will include highlights by Professor Julian Hughes such as “If only the ancients had DSM 5, all would have been clear.”

Additionally, the well-known author of several books on the history of psychiatry, Professor Andrew Scull, Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Science Studies University of California, will be joining us from San Diego.

Professor Glen Most, Professor of Ancient Greek, Scuola Normale, Pisa, Italy and Professor at the Committee on Social Thought Chicago University is another notable speaker.

The aims and objectives for this meeting are to:

  • Understand the way psychiatry was seen through the eyes of the Ancient, Arab and early modern world
  • Understand the development of the specialty of Psychiatry in the context of prevailing culture
  • Explore the history of ideas about mental illness and develop an awareness of our own position in the arc of the history of psychiatry
  • Critically examine the current state and future of psychiatry and its institutions

This event is part of the “Psychiatry in dialogue with neuroscience medicine and society” series and is being held in associated with the Royal College of Psychiatrists History of Psychiatry Special Interest Group.

Visit the Royal Society of Medicine for more details and to register for the event.

CFP: ‘Discourses of Care: Care in Media, Medicine and Society’, Glasgow

Location: Gilmorehill Halls, 9 University Avenue, University of Glasgow, G12 8QQ

Date: Monday 5th – Wednesday 7th September 2016

Deadline for proposals: Friday 3rd June 2016

Keynote speakers:

  • Eva Feder Kittay, Stony Brook University NY
  • Andrew Kötting, artist and filmmaker, University for the Creative Arts

This Wellcome-funded interdisciplinary conference aims to support and foster collaborative work in relation to media and questions of care and well-being, focusing on care and care giving as critical concepts. Bringing together scholars from film and television studies, medical humanities, disability studies, and philosophy, we will debate how understandings of medical and social care are (and might be) positioned in relation to media and cultural studies. This would be a significant first step toward building inter-disciplinary alliances and driving forward work within the as yet under-determined field of ‘visual medical humanities’.

The specific focus of the conference and anticipated publication/s is to explore the ways in which media do more than simply represent care and caring (although representation, of course,  remains an important issue). Taking a new approach, the conference will explore how media forms and media practices (the creation, exhibition and reception of media) may act as a mode of care. Thus we wish to explore how different kinds of media programming, media technologies and media practices present opportunities in which care is manifest as both an ‘attitude’ and  a ‘disposition’ (Feder Kittay).

The event will underpin at least one multi-authored publication. Through this conference we will explore the politics and ethics of care-relationships and contest binary understandings of autonomy and dependency amongst individuals with cognitive and physical disabilities, carers and medical professionals. We are particularly interested in the nexus of youth (the ‘child’), age (the ‘aged’) and disability as a way of opening up alliances and challenges to popular cultural notions and representations of care and dependency.

We are now looking for academics, care providers, and creative practitioners of all levels, periods, and fields to submit proposals for 20 minute conference papers. We invite papers on topics that include (but are not limited to):

  • Relationships between care and media
  • Definitions of care in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries
  • Autobiographical representations of and reactions to care
  • Disability studies approaches to care and dependency
  • Media practices and outputs as modes of care
  • Care and the visual medical humanities
  • Adaptive technologies and care
  • Spectatorship, care, and media
  • Care, media, and children
  • Care, media, and ageing
  • Use of media in health education and rehabilitation
  • Consumer ‘choice’ and ‘autonomy’ in popular culture
  • Screen cultures in our ‘institutions of care’ (e.g. the NHS and the BBC).

Please email an abstract of up to 300 words and a short bio (100-200 words) to the conference organisers ( by Friday 3rd June 2016. The conference team will respond to proposals by Friday 10th June 2016. There are a limited number of travel bursaries available for postgraduate and/or early career presenters; the recipients of these grants will be asked to write a short reflection on the conference, which will be published on the Glasgow Medical Humanities Research Centre blog, and the conference website.

If you wish to be considered for one of the travel bursaries, please email us for an application form and submit it with your abstract and bio. We will contact all respondents on the outcome of their proposal by the end of June 2016. Thanks to funding from the Wellcome Trust, this conference will be free to attend.

The conference venue, the Gilmorehill Building, is fully accessible, and the conference will include accommodations such as pre-circulated papers and discussion topics, ending with an interactive roundtable discussion. For more information on access, transport, and the venue please visit our website. If you have any questions, please email the conference team at, or contact us via @CareDiscourses.

Conference team: Prof. Karen Lury (Film and TV), Dr Amy Holdsworth (Film and TV), and Dr Hannah Tweed (English Literature).


Wellcome logo

Registration Open: Disability and Shakespearean Theatre Symposium, Glasgow

Location: Sir Alwyn Williams Building (L5), Lilybank Gardens, University of Glasgow

Date: Wed 20th April 2016

Attendance: £25 full, £15 concession, free for BSA members

Registration is now open for the Disability and Shakespearean Theatre symposium. Please visit our Eventbrite page to register – all welcome!

This symposium draws together growing research interest in disability studies and Shakespearean theatre. In discussing the depiction, treatment, and uses of disability in Shakespeare’s work (and that of his contemporaries) alongside analysis of the role of disability in staging of his plays, we hope to encourage interaction between creative practitioners, historians, and literary scholars. Playwright and disability studies scholar Prof. Chris Mounsey (University of Winchester) will give the keynote address on “VariAbility in Shakespeare”, in which he will explore alternative ways of responding to the question of the existence of disability in the Early Modern period, and to one of Shakespeare’s most infamous characters: Richard III.

The symposium venue, the Sir Alwyn Williams Building, is fully accessible, and the symposium will include accommodations such as pre-circulated papers and discussion topics, ending with an interactive roundtable discussion. For more information on access, transport, and the venue please visit our website. Thanks to funding from the British Shakespeare Association, this symposium will be free to attend for BSA members. Symposium attendees are welcome to join the BSA in advance of the event or on the day. School teachers attending the final session of the day (the presentation from Shakespeare Schools Festival) are not required to pay a fee.

If you have any questions, please email the symposium team at, or contact us via @Disability&SS.

Symposium Schedule:

08.30 – 09.15  Registration and coffee

09.15 – 09.20  Opening remarks

09.20 – 10.20  Keynote address: Prof. Chris Mounsey (University of Winchester), ‘VariAbility in Shakespeare’

10.20 – 10.40 Break (order lunch options)

10.40 – 12.00 Panel 1: Contemporary Rereadings of Shakespeare

  • Sarah Olive, University of York. ‘“Miching Mallecho. It means mischief”: problematising representations of actors with learning difficulties in Growing up Downs’
  • Katarzyna Ojrzyńska, University of Łódź. ‘Hamlet in a Wheelchair – a Much Needed Icon?’
  • Jessica Parrott, University of Warwick, ‘Shakespeare with Chairs – The Bard, Disability and London 2012’

12.00 – 13.00  Lunch (delivered but not included in conference fee)

13.00 – 14.20 Panel 2: Contexualising Early Modern Disabilities on Stage

  • Jennifer Nelson, Gallaudet University. ‘Turn a Deaf Ear: The Literary Function of Deafness in Shakespeare and Early Modern England’
  • Angelina Del Balzo, UCLA. ‘Limping Witches: Colley Cibber’s Richard III and the Untimely Deformed Woman’
  • Kaye McLelland, UCL. ‘Spiritual and Musculoskeletal Integrity in Shakespeare and Early Modern Sermons’

14.20 – 14.40 Break

14.40 – 15.30 Panel 3: Theorising Disability and Stagecraft in Shakespeare

  • Morwenna Carr, Lancaster University. ‘The Dramatic Prosthetic: Shakespearean Disability as Stagecraft’
  • Christine Gottlieb, UCLA. ‘King Lear as Dismodern Tragedy’

15.30 – 16.45 Wine reception and presentation from Shakespeare Schools Festival

16.45 – 17.15 Move to Gilmorehill Theatre (post-conference performance of Let Her Come In, limited tickets available)

17.30 – 18.30 Performance of Let Her Come In, a one act rewriting of Hamlet, focused on mental illness, gender, and disability, followed by dramatist/director’s Q&A with Molly Ziegler.

CFP: Special Issue of Interjuli, ‘Disability and Illness in Children’s Literature’

Children’s literature, Lois Keith argues, has long tended to use disability and illness as metaphors, as “devices to bring the character through a period of trial and desolation into the bright light of resolution and a happy ending” (2001, 194). Where they were depicted at all, disabled and ill characters have mainly been described in terms of pity, their physical or psychological difference has been portrayed as a punishment for a transgression, or euphemistically been glossed over altogether. Over the course of the last decade, however, a decided shift in the quantity and quality of children’s books featuring disability and illness has occurred, and an exciting trend seems to be emerging: The number of disabled characters in children’s literature is increasing and so is their psychological depth. From The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time to The Fault in Our Stars, there are more narratives featuring disability and illness, and those texts tend to be more authentic, varied, and positive about non-normative characters.

interjuli 01/17 will deal with Disability and Illness in Children’s Literature. Possible aspects thereof are:

  • Intergenerational aspects of disability and illness in children’s literature
  • Children’s literature’s negotiations of disability and illness in the course of history
  • Concerns for age appropriateness in disability and illness narratives
  • Illness, disability and health in non-fiction
  • Fictions of “normalcy” and bodily deviance
  • Disabled characters between victims and supercrips
  • Problematising “inspirational” narratives
  • Disability and illness writing as problem literature
  • Disability culture and the disability rights movement in children’s literature
  • Disability and illness media as tools in medical settings

As always, we also welcome contributions that do not directly pertain to our focal topic. Please send in your manuscripts by 1st August 2016 to Guidelines concerning formatting and editing standards will be sent out upon request and can be found at

interjuli is an open access interdisciplinary journal dedicated to the research of children’s literature. We publish research papers and interviews as well as reviews of primary and secondary works.


CFP: Special Issue of Disability & Society, ‘Learning from the Past: Building the Future’

Disability & Society, ‘Learning from the Past: Building the Future’

Deadline: 31st August 2016

Special Issue Call for Papers

It has been more than 30 years since Disability & Society first began publishing. The journal now provides a world-leading focus for debate about such issues as human rights, discrimination, definitions, policy and practices against a background of change in the ways in which disability is viewed and responded to. It is 40 years since The Union of the Physically Impaired Against Segregation (UPIAS) pioneered the distinction between impairment and disability that enabled social model thinking to transform disabled people’s rights. In the US the Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted in 1990 and in the UK the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) has been in place for more than twenty years. At the turn of the 21st Century the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) was established as a human rights treaty to reaffirm disabled people’s human rights and entitlement. In the light of all this, we are wondering how much, and in what ways, have disabled people’s lives and entitlements changed in the past 30 years?

In the next Special Issue of Disability & Society we wish to bring together cutting-edge discussion of the changing role Disability Studies has played, and is playing, in bridging the gap between the academy and the actuality of disabled people’s lives; what learning has come from our discipline’s past and what issues arise for building the future?

We welcome contributions on a wide range of themes. The list below is not meant to be exhaustive and we encourage creative interpretation of topics which fit with ideas of Learning from the Past & Building the Future in relation to any matters of disability and society.

Topics you may wish to address include:

  • Disability theory
  • Research methods – appropriate and innovative
  • Research into practice
  • Disability policy
  • Globalisation
  • Welfare states
  • Personalisation
  • Migration
  • Citizenship
  • Inclusion
  • Changing technology
  • Changing places and spaces

Instructions for Submissions:

Submissions should be made online at the Disability & Society ScholarOne Manuscript site  New users should first create an account. Once a user is logged onto the site submissions should be made via the Author Centre.  Maximum word length is 8,000 words (including bibliography).

The final deadline for receipt of papers is 31st August 2016. No papers will be considered after this date.

This Special Issue will be published in 2017. For further advice on the submission procedure please go to the journal homepage.

CFP: ‘Voices of Madness, Voices of Mental Ill-health’, University of Huddersfield

Voices of Madness, Voices of Mental Ill-health

Centre for Health Histories, University of Huddersfield

15th- 16th Sept 2016

In the thirty years since Roy Porter called on historians to lower their gaze so that they might better understand patient-doctor roles in the past, historians have sought to place the voices of previously, silent, marginalised and disenfranchised individuals at the heart of their analyses.

Contemporaneously, the development of service user groups and patient consultations have become an important feature of the debates and planning related to current approaches to prevention, care and treatment. The aim of this conference is to further explore and reveal how the voices of those living with and treating mental illness have been recorded and expressed.  We hope to consider recent developments in these areas with a view to facilitating an interdisciplinary discourse around historical perspectives of mental health and illness.

The organisers invite proposals for 20 minutes on the themes of voices of madness and mental ill health under headings including but not limited to:

  • Oral history and testimony
  • Mental ill-health and community care
  • Mental ill-health and institutional histories
  • The role of informal carers
  • The growth of the mental health professions
  • Mental ill health and the voice(s) of adolescentsand children
  • Museums and the ‘heritage’ of mental ill health
  • The literature (fiction and non-fiction) of mental ill health
  • Language of madness (if not covered by ‘heritage’)
  • Dissenting voices
  • Appropriation of voices
  • Absent voices
  • Voices and art
  • Voices and stigma
  • The voices of mental ill-health on TV and radio
  • Individual, activist and social media

For more information contact Dr Rob Ellis (, Dr Sarah Kendal ( or Dr Steven Taylor ( To submit a paper proposal (250 words maximum) or express an interest, please contact Steve Taylor by 14 March 2016.

We hope to offer some bursaries for postgraduate and early career researchers.