CFP, Special Issue of Societies: ‘Interrogating Representations of dis/Ability within and through Material Culture’

Manuscript Deadline: 31st December 2015

This Special Issue invites manuscripts that engage with examining “things” in contemporary society that are about people with differing abilities or have been created forwith or by people with differing abilities. These “things” of material culture came to existence through a creation process that either imagined or included people with different abilities, yet once in existence these things are created and re-created by people through consistent engagement and re-engagement. Things and people are entwined in a loop of dynamic flux and performance. When considering material culture and dis/Ability, research is typically approached as universal design, inclusion and accessibility. This Special Issue takes an alternative approach by aiming to question societal representations of differing abilities and disability within and through material culture. For the purpose of exploring dis/Ability through material culture, representations refer to explicit representations through mediums such as photographs and drawings, as well as more implicit representations through codes, symbols and systems that speak to different abilities (e.g., ramps, stairs, Braille signage). As such, papers that explore things (large or small, from spaces to objects) through description and deep analysis will make up this Special Issue.

Manuscripts for this Special Issue should make connections among people, objects and sociocultural issues, which may include explorations, for example, into embodiment, equity, ethics, representation, or sustainability as these relate to dis/Ability and material culture. As such, of particular interest are research enquiries that look at themes through material culture including but not limited to: attachments, values, identities, and the meanings of objects for individuals within or in relation to society. Interdisciplinary researchers are particularly encouraged to submit work for this Special Issue to reflect the scholarly fields of ability studies, disability studies, design studies, material culture studies and science/technology studies.


Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on theInstructions for Authors page. Societies is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 300 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.

Special Issue Editor:

Dr. Megan Strickfaden
Department of Human Ecology, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2N1, Canada

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