Avoidance and/in the Academy
The International Conference on Disability, Culture, and Education
11th-12th September 2013
Centre for Culture and Disability Studies
Liverpool Hope University, United Kingdom
Sharon Snyder, Brenda Brueggemann, and Rosemarie Garland-Thomson
It has been nearly two decades since Lennard Davis, in Enforcing Normalcy (1995), remarked that when he talked about culturally engaged topics like the novel or the body he could count on a full house of spectators, but if he included the term disability in the title of his session the numbers would drop radically (xi). Things have certainly improved since then, as is demonstrable in Sharon Snyder, Brenda Brueggemann, and Rosemarie Garland-Thomson’s key work on how the humanities can be enabled by disability studies (2002). Progress, however, is frequently obstructed by bigoted and dated notions about disability. Accordingly, Stuart Murray’s “From Virginia’s Sister to Friday’s Silence” (2012) recognises the persistence of disability in contemporary writing, but David Bolt’s chapter in the Routledge Handbook of Disability Studies (2012) argues that the academy is still dragged down by critical avoidance.
Bringing together work in the humanities, as well as education, and the social sciences more generally, the purpose of this project is to aid curricular reform by exploring and demonstrating ways in which we can make more explicit the interdisciplinary significance of disability studies and disability theory. In the spirit of Snyder, Brueggemann, and Garland-Thomson’s work of a decade ago, we want to enable not just the humanities but the academy more broadly, to reveal and address avoidance at all levels.
The project will take the form of a conference, scheduled for September 2013, and a proposed book edited by David Bolt and Claire Penketh in which Routledge has already expressed an interest. If you would like to contribute by presenting your take on the theme at the conference and thus being considered for the proposed book, please send a 200 word proposal here. Paper presentations will be allocated 20 minute slots (although themed panels of 3 papers are very welcome) and the deadline for proposals is 1 April, 2013.
For further information please visit the CCDS website.
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