CFP: Edited Collection, ‘MediAbility: Transforming Disability in the Media’

Critical disability studies has been a continually growing field of academic study. Its intersectional approach is frequently used in political and philosophical theorizing. However, very few scholars have paid attention to how disability has been constructed by dominant media institutions in the 21st century. This is true even when scholars focus on the social model of disability since they very often ignore how the social is formed out of the discursive representations that surround society. This collection, designed for publication with McFarland Press, is meant as a correction to this absence.

This collection seeks to demonstrate how media images influence disability and people with disabilities are viewed, or underviewed, in the imagination of those who consume it. This anthology aims to explore representations of disability in film using critical disabilities studies, media studies, cultural studies, and other interdisciplinary fields. Activists, academics, artists, and allies are invited to submit a 250-300 word abstract for MediaAbility along with a 100-word bio by April 1st to Chapters should focus on the theme of disability representations in media in film, television, print magazines, advertisements, and the internet. We are particularly interested in chapters that are interdisciplinary in scope and have an interest in liberation and anti-oppressive politics.

We are interested in essays that explore disability from the ever shifting and changing definitions of biological impairment, espoused by the medical model, to that of disability as a cultural phenomenon. This anthology will attempt to highlight the social and political factors that give rise to medicalization and the subsequent demonization of disability. We are interested in narratives that disrupt and challenge predominant negative assumptions about disability from an intersectional perspective. New frameworks, interpretations, and analysis that empower people with disabilities are particularly important. We’d like contributors to explore new perspectives on disability that may include an analysis of both people with disabilities as producers, consumers, and products of media. We invite the exploration of disability identity, culture, and intersections with other disciplines such as critical race theory, gender studies, and the other such viewpoints.

Our goal for this text is to increase awareness of disability in the media and highlight disability perspectives that are sometimes misappropriated, misused, or missing altogether. Topics of interest may include, but are not limited to the following categories, all of which are contextualized within media:

  • Academia and disability
  • Accessibility, technology, and universal design
  • Activism and community organizing
  • Advertising’s use of disability
  • Casting choices in relation to disability
  • Disability and animality
  • Disability and bioethics
  • Disability in children’s programming
  • Disability and classism
  • Disability, culture, and identity
  • Disability and education
  • Disability and language
  • Disability as metaphor
  • Disability and music
  • Disability and public policy
  • Disability and race
  • Disability and sexuality
  • Disability and science-fiction
  • Disability and televised sporting events
  • Eco-ability
  • Institutionalization and disability
  • International media
  • Internet and social media’s relationship to disability
  • Invisible disabilities
  • Media campaigns and video advocacy
  • Medical and social models of disability
  • Queering disability
  • Superheros and disability
  • Supercrips

All abstracts must be written in English (250-300 words) and contain a title, name(s) of the author(s) and contact information (institutional affiliation, mailing address, and email address), as well as a short 100-word biography. The deadline for submissions is April 1st, 2016. We will inform people no later than April 8th, 2016 of their acceptance. Please submit your proposal to Feel free to contact us if you should have any questions or ideas for a chapter.


Dr. Amber E. George, Cornell University

Dr. JL Schatz, Binghamton University

Contact Info: Please submit your proposal to Feel free to contact us if you should have any questions or ideas for a chapter.
Dr. Amber E. George, Cornell University

Dr. JL Schatz, Binghamton University

CFP: Special Issue of Disability Studies Quarterly, ‘Disability, Work and Representation’ (Autumn 2017)

Disability, Work and Representation: New Perspectives

Special Issue: Disability Studies Quarterly (Fall 2017)

Editors: David Turner, Kirsti Bohata, Steven Thompson, Swansea University

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.