The Lancaster Disability Studies conference brings together researchers, practitioners, policy makers and activists from around the world, to share and debate research, ideas and developments in disability studies. In the 21st Century disability activism plays a vital role in identifying and challenging disablist policy and practices which limit and deny the rights of disabled people across the globe. Disability activism has provided a road map of good practice, offering ways to consider the means by which disabled people can live independent lives. Key questions for Disability Studies in this context are
- what role does/can/should the academy play in supporting disability activism
- In what ways can the relationship between the academy and activism develop praxis?
We invite submissions of abstracts for either symposia, paper or poster presentations on current research, ideas, issues and new developments in disability studies. In particular we welcome submissions in (but not limited to) the following areas
- Disability activism
- Participatory research approaches and practices
- Impact of global economic changes
- Welfare reform
- War, conflict and political change
- Institutions, independent living and citizenship
- Normalcy and Diversity
- Mad studies
- Media Cultures
- History, Literature and Arts
- Transnational perspectives and the ‘Global South’
- Borders, boundaries, migration and citizenship
- Theoretical and methodological ideas and debates
- Assistive technologies
- Death, dying and end of life
- Hate crime, violence and abuse
- Social policy and legislation
- Human rights and social justice
We are also hosting a special conference stream on Critical Dialogues in Neurodiversity convened by the Participatory Autism Research Collective (PARC). You can read their call for papers here
Abstracts of up to 300 words should be submitted by 31st March 2018. Abstracts should be submitted via the Conference’s Easy Chair webpage [nb, you have to create an easychair account to make a submission.].
Please contact Hannah Morgan with queries about the call for paper or abstract submission.
Critical Dialogues in Neurodiversity
Whilst there have been a growth in publications and events on this topic, there are also tensions and divides within this area of scholarship (Milton, 2016). In addition, critical research on neurodivergent ways of being other than autism, such as ADHD, is often situated outside of Disability Studies, primarily within the fields of medical sociology or critical mental health.
The vast majority of research published regarding neurodivergent ways of being is closely aligned with clinical practice, resulting in a focus on establishing ways to ‘remediate disorder.’ Whilst there may be indications that this is changing in some quarters, and the view that a neurodivergent way of being can involve potential cognitive strengths as well as limitations is emerging, such views have traditionally been held on the margins. One implication of this has been the exclusion of neurodivergent voices in the processes of knowledge production, leading to research in the field being epistemologically and ethically suspect (Milton and Bracher, 2013).
Whilst seeking and obtaining the views of disabled people is now often a requirement of policy formation or legislation within and across national boundaries, such efforts often remain tokenistic in nature. Another implication is that researchers and policymakers often fail to examine the varying personal and social conditions in which neurodivergent people live, and the impact these have on disablement. Academic narratives about neurodiversity and neurodivergent people and cultures often do a disservice to the diversity of views therein, and can create further barriers by constraining or controlling the way neurodivergent people make their own contributions, are interpreted and are talked about.
This stream led by the Participatory Autism Research Collective (PARC) seeks to facilitate a sharing of views across critical perspectives within the neurodiversity field. We seek to broaden the field to include a diverse range of neurodivergent ways of being, bridging fields and connecting concepts and experiences, and also to make a positive change regarding the input of neurodivergent scholarship and to further a participatory ethos.
We welcome papers contributing to these goals. Indicative themes:
- Participatory and emancipatory research with and by neurodivergent people – theory, method and impact on policy.
- Defining and diagnosing: Issues of identity, diagnostic categories, and the use and impact of diagnostic categories.
- The dynamics of knowledge production about neurodivergent people, such as within critical autism studies.
- The barriers and opportunities in considering embodied situated knowledge and academic expertise, in particular for neurodivergent people working within academia.
We will welcome submissions for papers, workshops, or other activities. We will also be looking to compile a publication from submissions to the stream.
If you have questions, please contact the chair of the PARC network: Damian Milton, firstname.lastname@example.org