A two-day conference at Centre for Culture and Disability Studies, Liverpool Hope University, 1st – 2nd July 2015.
When we think of disability in Higher Education we are likely to think in terms of access, Learning Support Plans, and so on. These and other such things are of great importance but only represent part of the approach proposed at the biennial CCDS conference. What we explore is a more complex understanding of disability that challenges assumptions and prejudicial actions but also recognises qualities and positivity.
While inclusive education is generally an improvement on integration and segregation, it often constitutes little more than what, in The Biopolitics of Disability (2015), David Mitchell and Sharon Snyder call a weakened strain of inclusionism. Until disability is recognised in the context of alternative lives and values that neither enforce nor reify normalcy we cannot truly encounter the material and ethical alternatives disabled lives engage.
Inclusion may well be a legal requirement in some parts of the world, and perhaps a moral imperative everywhere, but it is also an educational opportunity. Not only students but also staff who identify as disabled should, as Mitchell and Snyder assert, recognize this peripheral embodiment as something to be cultivated as a form of alternative expertise, meaning that disability can become an active, unabashed, and less stigmatising part of classroom discourse. The aim of this biennial conference, then, is to encourage the transformation of academic disciplines by appreciating rather than avoiding disability.
We welcome proposals from professors, lecturers, students, and other interested parties for papers that explore the benefits of interdisciplinarity between Disability Studies and subjects such as Aesthetics, Art, Business Studies, Creative Writing, Cultural Studies, Film Studies, Holocaust Studies, International Studies, Literary Studies, Literacy Studies, Management Studies, Media Studies, Medical Humanities, Museum Studies, Philosophy, Professional Studies, Special Educational Needs, and Technology. This list is meant to be suggestive rather than exhaustive.
Paper proposals of 150-200 words should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org on or before 1st February 2015.
Paper presentations are allocated 20 minute slots and themed panels of 3 papers are also encouraged.