Doctoral Fellowships (x3) in Medicine and the Humanities, Mainz, Germany

As part of the German Research Foundation (DFG) funded research training group “Life Sciences, Life Writing: Experiences at the Boundaries of Human Life between Biomedical Explanation and Lived Experience” (GRK 2015/1), the University of Mainz and the Mainz University Clinic are jointly inviting applications for three doctoral fellowships.

At the intersection of biomedicine, individual and society, experiences at the boundaries of human life arise which pertain to the entire human life span, from technologically assisted reproduction to end-of-life decisions accompanied by intensive care. These experiences at the boundaries of human life confront both biomedicine and the humanities with the necessity of reassessing their established approaches to problem solving and definitions of agency, and require an interdisciplinary dialogue. Therefore, we invite doctoral students from the following disciplinary backgrounds:

  • History of Medicine and Science
  • Theory of Medicine and Science, particularly with a focus on Science and Technology Studies (STS)
  • Ethics of Medicine, Ethics and Theory of Action
  • American Studies with a focus on literature and culture studies, particularly Early American Studies, North-American history, Transnational American Studies, Medical Humanities, Disability Studies

to apply for one of the doctoral fellowships. Our interdisciplinary research training group provides you with the opportunity to bring your skills and competencies to a structured doctoral program based on interdisciplinary dialogue.

Your contacts for academic questions are the speakers of the research training group: Univ-Prof Dr Norbert W Paul (tel: 0049 (0)6131 179545) and Univ-Prof Dr Mita Banerjee (tel: 0049 (0)6131 3922250).

Your application should include a cover letter, CV, credentials, exposé of the planned project (1-2 pages), motivational letter (1-2 pages) and reference letters by two academic instructors. Please send applications by email here, ideally as a single PDF file, referencing job opening 797/16-2. The closing date for applications is 20th January 2017.

To find out more about the fellowships and the program, please visit the GRK-homepage.

CFP: Crip Genealogies

CFP: Crip Genealogies
Co-edited by Mel Chen, Alison Kafer, Eunjung Kim, and Julie Avril Minich
Abstracts: March 15, 2017
Full Papers: September 15, 2017

What is the color of disability? What are the possibilities for narrating an anti-racist, feminist story of disability studies? What relationships, orientations, and practices do different histories of the field foster—or foreclose? As the field continues to develop, it has begun reproducing a hegemonic account of its emergence: the “second wave” of the field is growing; the field has finally “arrived.” But as scholars deeply committed to studying disability, illness, and health status in relation to other movements for social justice, celebratory rhetoric of “arrival” and “waves” troubles us. We, too, recognize the field’s growth, but it is an uneven growth, one that doesn’t simply progress neatly from one wave to the next. Yet as the field becomes more and more institutionalized in the US, its intellectual histories and genealogies become equally solidified and condensed. The field is sometimes introduced to non-English speaking countries through the publication of translated books, as if disability studies has only a Western origin, thereby excluding multiple sites of criticism against colonial medicine and institutionalization as well as decolonial efforts to challenge ableism and imperialism. What and who gets left out in such tellings? What gets disappeared? What forms of anti-ableist social justice work is rendered illegible as “disability studies” when this happens?

We use the word “crip” instead of “disability studies” to signal our investment in disrupting the established histories and imagined futures of the field, and to keep questions of institutionality afloat. In The Archeology of Knowledge, Michel Foucault notes that “the history of ideas credits the discourse that it analyzes with coherence. If it happens to notice an irregularity in the use of words, several incompatible propositions, a set of meanings that do not adjust to one another, concepts that cannot be systematized together, then it regards it as its duty to find, at a deeper level, a principle of cohesion that organizes the discourse and restores it to its hidden unity.” Yet as Audre Lorde reminds us, this mandate for coherence imperils the very project of building knowledge across difference: “When language becomes most similar, it becomes most dangerous, for then differences may pass unremarked. […] But it is an error to believe that we mean the same experience, the same commitment, the same future, unless we agree to examine the history and particular passions that lie beneath each other’s words.” We seek to bring together scholars whose work resolutely explores the divergent experiences, commitments, and histories that necessitate a cripping of disability studies.

Some questions become essential: How does a mandate for coherence in disability studies serve whiteness, white supremacy, and forms of cultural or intellectual imperialism? How does the insistence on a single, coherent narrative allow, above and beyond mere disciplinarity, the whitewashing of disability studies, of disability histories, and of histories of disability studies? Contradictions rarely explored—because papered over in the name of coherence—might include the insistence on the rhetoric of independence and pride within the disability rights movement and disability studies, even as such rhetoric clashes with the experiences of many disabled people; or a reluctance to engage with religion and spirituality in disability studies even as both play a key role in many people’s engagements with disability; or a longstanding refusal among many in the field to engage critically with notions of healing, overcoming, or recovery, even as such ideas are precisely how some communities prefer to engage with disability rights and justice. Each of these refusals to reckon with contradiction in the field serve to maintain the whiteness of disability studies.

In this anthology, we want to push back against the expectation of a coherent narrative of disability studies, one without contradictions, and its limited and limiting approach to race. In its place, we want stories of a disability studies very much entwined with, and indebted to, the fields of feminist studies, queer studies, postcolonial studies, and race and ethnic studies. We want to think through alternative intellectual histories and genealogies. We suggest that offering critical genealogies, ones that recognize critical race theorists’ and theory’s contributions to disability studies, counters hegemonic genealogies and in so doing re-makes the field.

We’re interested not only in tracing the vexed legacies of what Christopher Bell famously called “white disability studies” and its effects, but also, and especially, in delineating histories and habits of quiet—sometimes troubled—alliances. How might we begin to recognize the capacious and generative possibilities of a disability studies that is less interested in “incorporating” race—a formulation that suggests a tokenizing inclusion that preserves structures of whiteness—and more interested in engaging deeply with the fields, practices, and knowledges of critical ethnic studies and related areas? Moreover, naming the whiteness of disability studies can be a way of preserving that whiteness; to begin and end with a statement about dominance too often serves to obscure the work that has always been there, waiting to be acknowledged. Are there not moments when we might best be served by assuming that the field has not always been already and only white, because it might push us to expand our notions of what counts as disability studies?

Possible topics for discussion include:

  • tracing relationships between the disability rights movement and other civil rights movements (including health and ability activism within racial justice movements; labor movements; movements for reproductive freedom; resistance to police brutality and other forms of state-sanctioned violence; and anticolonial movements);
  • exploring crip theories emerging from women of color feminism, queer of color critique, transnational/postcolonial feminism, or anti-militarization movements;
  • transnational and decolonial movements for sovereignty, disability justice, and anti-ableist resistance;
    tracing critical ideas about bodies and minds in early feminist, queer, or critical race and ethnic studies;
  • linking disability studies and HIV/AIDS activism and theory or disability studies and “public health” initiatives;
  • grappling with the methodological/epistemological/political/ethical questions in doing this kind of bridge work, which always carries a risk of appropriation, co-optation, and/or erasure;
  • reflections on key figures in a scholar’s “archive” who have influenced that scholar’s disability studies work but who aren’t widely known or recognized in disability studies or did not identify as disabled;
  • discussion of various investment in the name “disability studies” and the question of whether to broaden the inclusivity of the field or pursue other ways to name scholarship and activism (e.g., crip theory; critical disability studies; debility and capacity studies);
  • interrogating the profound ableism of the academy and exploring how and why, despite current interest in the field, our research and teaching continue to be shaped by access barriers.

Please submit 500-word abstracts to by 15th March 2017; full submissions will be due 15th September 2017. We welcome questions and inquiries.

Funded PhD on Disability Studies and Contemporary Art, Manchester Metropolitan University

Challenging ‘outsider’ art: how are learning disabled artists informing contemporary arts?

This project explores the participation of people with learning disabilities in the world of contemporary arts.  The focus will be on how artists who until recently might have been considered ‘outsider artists’ are collaborating within contemporary art and to consider the impact of this on arts practice and community connectedness.

Aims and Objectives

This timely study situated within and building upon current institutional research excellence areas (see below for more details will  explore learning disabled artists’ participation in the arts across Manchester and the north of England.  In the past, learning disabled artists have struggled to have their work taken seriously, however, there is a growing interest in the case for creative diversity and recognition that the participation of diverse people in the arts can enhance and enrich culture. This project builds on a growing interest in the participation of ‘outsider artists’ in the arts. The project offers a lens through which to consider a number of  current debates in contemporary art  / social art practice including: participation, making publics; disability studies, and disability politics.  politics.   It is built on existing university partnerships and will speak to the devolution Manchester agenda in term of services offered to people with learning disabilities in health, education and social care.

Specifically, this project aims to:

  1. explore the character of collaboration between learning disabled and other artists within contemporary art;
  2. consider how the presence of learning disabled artists influences collaboration
  3. explore how learning disabled artists inform the practice of artists
  4. explore how participation in the arts can create opportunities for the emergence of counter-cultural narratives that challenge images of learning disabled people which focus only on the exceptional, the sensational and the negative in their lives
  5. consider, if and how, participation in the arts creates opportunities for community connectedness that are different from other forms of community participation
  6. show case the art and the research, working alongside community partners, and to participate in the Sick Festival (2019)
  7. develop an evidence base to inform policy and practice across Greater Manchester, the north and nationally, for people with learning disabilities.

The aims of will be met through the following research phases

1. Co-produce research design

Establishment of stakeholder forum with Venture Arts for the duration of research with the ambition to co-produce research design with partners and representative stakeholders

Review of sources and development of a conceptual framework that links salient areas of enquiry (collaboration, artist development discourse; counter-culture/counter-publics;  social art practice) together with appropriate methods/ methodologies (practice-as-research/artistic research, ethnographic methodologies, co-production/co-produced research design).

2. Experiential practice/data collection and testing period

A period of ‘fieldwork’ or ‘practice-led research period to meet the research aims above so to include:

  • exploration of models of collaboration between learning disabled and other artists in contemporary art that presently exist (review of theory and practice in field);
  • exploration of what happens at venture arts (participation, interview);
  • co-production with stakeholders of what would best practice look like in light of findings);
  • exploration of the resources that would be needed to achieve this: policy, political, economic, cultural, aesthetic.

3. Analysis

Analysis will be iterative and involve stakeholders and participants in workshops to address each of the research aims above.

4. Outcomes and outputs

The project will generate an exhibition to be displayed at Sick Festival, 2019, Manchester.  This will strengthen links between the festival and the university.. Sick Festival is at the forefront of arts and health, taking the conversation into communities (

The research team will work with the student to develop pathways to impact for the research and to co-author high quality journal articles (REF 2021 +).

Required Qualifications:

Good honours degree (or equivalent) in the arts, social care, psychology, sociology, disability studies, education or related discipline.

Masters level qualification or equivalent professional experience.

The scholarship is open to UK and EU students.


Informal enquiries can be made to Cate Lawton,

The supervisory team for this project will be Dr Amanda Ravetz, Prof Katherine Runswick-Cole, Mr Andrew Stevenson and Ms Brigitte Jurack. Specific queries regarding the research project will be forwarded to the supervisory team for response.

For more information, visit the MMU website.

The project start date is expected to be September 2017.

CFP: ‘The Globalisation of Autism: Historical, Sociological, and Anthropological Reflections’, QMUL

Autism is not limited to a single region or a country; it is a worldwide challenge that requires global action’ – Ban Ki Moon, UN Secretary General, 2012

The autism diagnosis has become an important category of global health; capable of attracting large amounts of funding, shaping disability rights legislation, and impacting education, health and welfare policies internationally.

This symposium, which will take place at Queen Mary, University of London, 20th and 21st April 2017, will bring together scholars from across the world. We will be  reflecting on how and why the autism category has achieved such significance in shaping international healthcare, research, and policy interventions, since the middle decades of the twentieth century. The symposium will consider how and why autism became a global category, and what the implications of this are for understanding autism, research networks, and health policy in the future. It will lead to a groundbreaking edited collection on the globalisation of autism for a wide international readership.

The symposium will address questions such as:

  • How has the autism diagnosis been employed in different national contexts to ensure education, healthcare and disability rights?
  • How have facts about autism travelled, and what impact has travel had on these facts?
  • How has the neurodiversity movement arisen in response to the growth of autism diagnoses, and what opportunities and challenges has this movement created internationally
  • How has the autism diagnosis changed ideas about children’s typical emotional development in different national or international contexts?
  • What role have the neurosciences played in establishing international models of autism?
  • How have the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) influenced legal, political, medical and research approaches to autism internationally?
  • What has been the role of caregivers and other stakeholders in challenging models of autism developed in the scientific literature both nationally and internationally?

The symposium will consider the political dimension of the autism diagnosis, in particular its role in establishing education, health and welfare rights internationally, and its entry into international human rights discourse.  It will also consider its role in generating new forms of knowledge and research programmes internationally. It aims to encourage dialogue across countries in order to generate new perspectives on how the autism diagnosis has been integrated into different cultural contexts, and the impact that this has had on models of psychological development and individual identity.

Confirmed contributors already include Francisco Ortega (Rio de Janeiro State), Stuart Murray(Leeds), Richard Ashcroft (QMUL), Jonathyne Briggs (Indiana U. Northwest), Des Fitzgerald(Cardiff), Gregory Hollin (Leeds), Kristien Hens (Antwerp), and Bonnie Evans (QMUL).

We encourage applications from countries across the world, and from scholars at all stages of their career. We also encourage applications that adopt interdisciplinary approaches and that employ innovative methodological approaches. We have some travel bursaries available for those travelling from abroad.

Please send the title of your paper together with an abstract of up to 500 words to Bonnie Evans. Please include your name, email address, and your affiliation. Please state clearly if you would like to be considered for one of the bursaries for your travel and/or accommodation. The deadline for submissions is 27th December 2016.

This symposium is organised by Bonnie Evans, QMUL, and funded by the Wellcome Trust.

CFP: Edited Collection, ‘Literatures of Madness: Disability Studies and Mental Health’

Deadline: 15th January 2017

We are seeking essay proposals for a peer-reviewed edited volume, Literatures of Madness: Disability Studies and Mental Health, which will be submitted to the Literary Disability Studies book series at Palgrave Macmillan ( The volume will collect disability studies essays that focus on mental health, madness, and addiction in literary texts. Papers that engage with the place of psychiatric disability within the larger field of disability studies are especially welcome. Topics may include, but are certainly not limited, to the following:

  • Intersections of addiction/psychiatric disability and race, class, gender, and queer identity in literature
  • Autobiography, authority, and mental illness
  • Disability and madness post-Foucault
  • Neurodiversity and psychiatric disability
  • Feminist and queer disability studies of psychiatric disability and addiction in literature
  • Cross-cultural perspectives on mental illness and disability
  • Madness studies in literature
  • C/S/X (consumer/survivor/ex) patient narratives and disability studies

Please submit abstracts of 250-500 words, plus a short biography, to Elizabeth J. Donaldson, by 15th January 2017. Queries about the CFP before this deadline are very welcome. Accepted authors will be notified by 1 February 2017, and first drafts of chapters (approximately 6000 words) will be due on 15 June 2017 for peer review.

Conference Registration: ‘Other Psychotherapies – across time, space, and cultures’, Glasgow

Other Psychotherapies – across time, space, and cultures

Date: Monday 3rd – Tuesday 4th April 2017

Location: Wolfson Medical Building, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8LQ

Organizing Committee:

  • Dr Gavin Miller (Chair), Medical Humanities Research Centre/English Literature, University of Glasgow
  • Dr Sofia Xenofontos, Classics, University of Glasgow
  • Dr Cheryl McGeachan, Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow
  • Dr Ross White, Psychological Sciences, University of Liverpool

Keynote Speakers:

  • Dr Claudia Lang, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich: ‘Theory and practice in Ayurvedic psychotherapy’
  • Dr Chiara Thumiger, Classics and Ancient History, University of Warwick: ‘Therapies of the word in ancient medicine’
  • Dr Elizabeth Roxburgh, Psychology, University of Northampton: ‘Anomalous experiences and mental health’
  • Dr Jennifer Lea, Geography, University of Exeter: ‘Building “A Mindful Nation”? The use of mindfulness meditation in educational, health and criminal justice settings’

The Wellcome Trust-funded conference ‘Other Psychotherapies – across time, space, and cultures’ brings contemporary Western expertise into dialogue with psychotherapeutic approaches from ‘other’ spatially, historically or otherwise ‘distant’ cultures. Having confirmed the programme of speakers for the event, we are delighted to announce that general registration is now open.


Registration costs £40 for general admittance, and £15 for students/service users. Ticket price includes attendance at the conference on 3rd-4th April 2017, including lunch and refreshments on both days, and a buffet dinner on Mon 3rd April.

To register, and to see our full programme of speakers, please visit our Eventbrite page.

Please email the organisers at if you have any queries.