CFP: ‘Disabilty and Sustainability’, Society for Disability Studies, Minneapolis

Disability and Sustainability

27th annual meeting, Society for Disability Studies

11th-14th June 2014, Minneapolis, USA

Submission system will open 1st October 2013 at

Deadline for submissions: 13th December 2013


The program committee of the 27th annual meeting of the Society for Disability Studies invites you to consider the multiple and significant possibilities at the intersection of sustainability and disability.

We offer the term sustainability to explore both its traditional meaning–the ability to be sustained, supported, upheld, or confirmed—and to engage the more recent deployment of sustainability as an environmental, ecological, agricultural, and economic concept that advances the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, thereby
supporting long-term ecological balance.

As you plan your proposal for participation in the 2014 conference, we offer these broad intersectional and interdisciplinary questions that emerge from a critical engagement with disability (and) sustainability:

  • What does it mean to sustain disability? How do/might/should/will we sustain disability?
  • How does/doesn’t your own academic or professional field engage with disability and sustainability?
  • What local, regional, national, continental, transnational, global practices and policies are available—or need to be developed—in the intersection between disability and sustainability?
  • What practices, processes, policies, and products of the sustainability movement most impact, intersect, overlap, inform, or resonate with disability practices, processes, policies, and products?
  • How can/do people with disabilities best carry out—or critique—the sustainability movement?
  • Where and how do identities based on class, race, gender, geography, politics,  or sexuality further inform, influence, and interact with disability (and) sustainability?
  • In what ways do interactions with and practices of Native communities affect or shape disability (and) sustainability?
  • How can access be imagined as an element of sustainability?
  • Where do current theoretical models—such as impairment/disability; social/medical; (in)dependence/interdependence–coincide or collide with disability (and) sustainability?
  • How do disability (and) sustainability fold into or against our understanding of transnational, international, global, and geopolitical “work”?
  • What can conversations about disability (and) sustainability offer to global, national, regional, and local healthcare policies and debates?
  • When disability (and) sustainability enter into global, national, regional, and local policies and practices around employment, what difference(s) can/does this make?
  • How do/can disability (and) sustainability contribute to notions/systems of sustainable food, farming, and land development?

We welcome proposals in all areas of disability studies, especially those submissions premised on this year’s theme.

This year’s program committee is continuing the idea of specific “strands” that relate to the larger more general theme of the SDS conference. Each strand may have 3 or 4 related events (e.g. panels, workshops), organized to occur throughout the conference in a way that will eliminate any overlap of sessions in an effort to facilitate a more sustained discussion of specific issues that have arisen as areas of interest within the organization.

Our planned strands this year are as follows. Others may emerge from member proposals:

  • Minnesota disability/sustainability movement histories: How can we think both locally and globally about disability and sustainability in Minnesota or the upper Midwest?
  • Communities / Identities: Explores challenges and possibilities that shape collaboration, culture, and community for people who experience disability.
  • Power and privilege: Explores the workings of power and privilege broadly, in this case within the disability (and) sustainability
  • movement(s), and within SDS itself. 
  • Professional development: Pertains to matters such as locating funding, pursuing academic and non-academic jobs, surviving the tenure track, etc. Special consideration will be given to proposals that make an explicit link between sustainability and professional development.

Translational research in disability studies and health sciences: Using translational research here to refer to research that translates between disciplines, and from basic research to applied research and to practice, the goals of this strand are: (1) to demonstrate how disability studies theory contributes to the conception of health sciences research and practice; (2) to provide best practice examples of disability studies translational research and practice; and (3) to mentor a new generation of federally funded disability studies researchers and practitioners. We particularly welcome submissions from disabled clinicians/clinical researchers interested in cutting edge disability studies perspectives.

If you would like your proposal to be considered as part of one of these thematic strands, mark this in your submission.

For further information contact the Program Committee of the SDS 2014 program committee at

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