Disability is a living human experience. It is not merely a medical or biological phenomenon, and it is not only the subject of the sciences. Perspectives on disability have evolved historically, theologically, and medically. Academics and disability activists have increasingly come to view disability as more than an individual medical diagnosis, often highlighting it as an issue of social justice and equity. As such, there is a need for further collaboration between the sciences and the humanities to deepen our understanding of disability in all of its complexities. Using interdisciplinary approaches to examine disability as a fluid and dynamic condition can help us understand it as an identity and as a social construct.
This conference aims to encourage open discussion and better understanding as well as to break down the stigma associated with disabilities. To accomplish that, the conference aims to generate inclusive dialogues and interdisciplinary interactions between academia, community organizers, social and legal activists, health care service/providers, and religious leaders. The conference will serve as a platform to foster collaboration between various groups engaged in understanding and improving disability conditions.
We invite papers that offer a critical analysis of how disabilities have been viewed in historical terms as medical conditions, social/cultural constructs, and as the norms that produce and reproduce perceptions of normalcy or normative bodies. We particularly welcome papers dealing with normalcy narratives, discourse, and issues of stigmas evolving around disabilities in marginalized communities with an emphasis on the intersection of disability (as an identity and minority) with gender, culture, and religion.
Core conference themes include, but are not limited to:
- Disability and identity
- The social and cultural construction of disabilities
- Religious and cultural perspectives on disability
- Bodies and construction of normalcy
- Gendered disabilities and feminist approaches to disability
- Language terminology and conceptualization of impairment and disability in literary, cultural, and artistic production
- Disabilities as a social and legal rights issue
- Community activism, policymaking, and service
- Lived experiences, life-writing, and narratives of people with disability
We invite proposals of individual papers, panels, workshops, roundtables, and thematic conversations. Graduate student submissions are encouraged. Panels will be composed of 3- 4 presenters (time must be divided equally among panel presenters allowing 10-15 minutes for questions). Roundtable and thematic conversation may consist of more than three participants. The time for all panel types is one hour.
Abstracts up to 300 words in Word format must be submitted through the electronic system by November 8, 2021. You will be notified of the decision by December 25, 2021.
Conference proceedings and selected papers will be published in a special issue of the Journal of Gender, Ethnic, and Cross-Cultural Studies.
Preliminary organizing committee members: