Final CFP: Disability and Human Rights, Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies

Guest editors: Gian Maria Greco and Elena Di Giovanni

Deadline: 1st August 2015

This special issue of JLCDS will investigate issues of disability rights within the human rights agenda from the points of view and methodologies of cultural studies.

“Human Rights” has been one of the most influential concepts of the past three centuries and it is still an essential constituent of modern conceptions of State and society. With the 1948 UN Declaration, human rights has become an even more pervasive concept, shaping everyday interactions at all levels, changing the language and rhetoric of politics, permeating literary works, movies, arts and media.

Over the past decades, research in human rights has been through two major changes. On the one hand, disability rights have come to gain a central position within the human rights research agenda, after many years of scanty attention, particularly if compared to issues of gender and ethnicity. Disability itself, and the rights of persons with disabilities, have thus become major issues within the human rights debate and research. On the other hand, the dominance of the legalistic approach has been challenged. Scholars have come to realize the need for a more complex approach, taking into account the social, anthropological, and cultural aspects involved in the human rights discourse.  Indeed, both human rights and disability are multidimensional and multi-layered concepts, whose richness and complexity cannot be catered for solely through a legalistic approach. Over the last few years, many scholars have argued that the interdisciplinary methodology of cultural studies is a fruitful approach to best face the challenges posed by the complexity of human rights discourse.

Within the emerging domain of cultural studies analysis of human rights, disability rights are still virtually non-existent. This special issue of JLCDS aims to fill this gap by gathering contributions focusing on disability and human rights from a cultural studies perspective. To this purpose, we invite scholars to submit proposals within the framework set out here.

Contributions might focus on, but should not be limited to:

  • foundational questions concerning the cultural studies analysis of disability rights;
  • methodological issues in the cultural studies analysis of disability rights;
  • the rhetoric of human rights and disability rights;
  • defining and discussing disability rights;
  • the meaning of “human” in the advocacy for rights, especially disability rights;
  • portraying disability rights from a cultural point of view;
  • disability, cultural specificity and human rights;
  • the representation of disability and human rights in literature;
  • cultural inclusion and the rights of people with disabilities.

Submission Information

Prospective authors are asked to send a 500 words proposal and a 300 words curriculum vitae to the guest editors.Authors of accepted proposals will be asked to submit a full paper. Papers submitted should not exceed 7,000 words, including an abstract of no more than 200 words, footnotes, and a list of works cited. The author’s name should not appear anywhere on the manuscript, nor in the file name. If the content refers to the author, it should do so covertly. The journal uses the MLA style for referencing.

Further information concerning style guidelines available here.

Proposal submissions should be sent by email to both guest editors. Emails should use the subject “Proposal special issue Disability and Human Rights – JLCDS”.

Important Dates:

1st August 2015: submission of a 500 words proposal and a one-page curriculum vitae to guest editors.
1st September 2015: prospective authors notified of proposal status.
1st March 2016: final versions of selected papers due to editors.
1st July 2016: decisions and revisions on submissions sent to authors.
15th September 2016: final, revised papers due.

Questions may be directed to guest editors: and

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