Chicago Disability Studies Conference 2018 -- From the Margins to the Center: Disability Studies in Other Disciplines
Friday, April 20, 2018 (9:00 am - 3:00 pm) to Saturday, April 21, 2018 (10:00 am - 4:00 pm)
University of Illinois at Chicago
750 S Halsted St
Chicago, Il 60607
PROPOSAL DEADLINE: February 23rd, 2018 by 11:59 pm
Organized by: UIC Disability and Human Development Student Association & University of Chicago Organization of Students with Disabilities
Disability Studies has radical potential to revolutionize other fields of study. Disability Studies has brought into question foundational narratives of modern societies and has forced us to rethink how we conceive of ourselves, our bodies, communities, and nations. It has challenged academic communities to turn their attention to the accessibility of classrooms as well as the built environment on campuses. It has encouraged activists to reconsider what intersectionality can look like in practice and broadened conceptions of access. And it has prompted professional communities, such as medical experts and social workers, to profoundly transform practice by redefining notions of care. This conference encourages deeper conversations between academic and non-academic spaces, university administration, social work, medical professional fields, and activism, to promote the valuable connections between theory and practice in all of those spaces. The 2018 Chicago Disability Studies Conference asks: What does it mean to bring disability, and the academic approaches based around disability, out of the margins and into the center? “Centering,” in this context, means to treat as essential the issues, perspectives, and insights that have often been placed at the margins. It does not mean to crowd out other perspectives but to occupy the same space.
This event is free, accessible, and open to the public. We invite submissions from graduate students, undergraduate students, activists, and community members. Papers and presentations that approach disability practically, conceptually, politically, affectively, epistemologically, and/or ontologically are welcome. Presenters from other fields often considered alongside Disability Studies—Deaf Studies, Mad Studies, etc.—are welcome to apply and explore the boundaries of these disciplines and categories.
Possible topics and questions to explore include, but are not limited to:
- Intersectionality (Crenshaw 1991): How does centering disability impact our understanding of class, race, gender, and sexuality? What does it mean to center disability as an identity category and embodiment? How does our thinking about disability change when we think about intersections rather than margins and centers?
- Inside and Outside Disability Studies: What are the borders of disability and Disability Studies? How do other embodied experiences, identity categories, and academic fields, such as Deaf Studies, Mad Studies, Life Course Studies, etc., speak to or with Disability Studies?
- Social justice: What does it mean to center disability in other social movements, such as feminism, reproductive justice, labor, anti-racism, and anti-violence work? How can different identity-based movements re-center issues around each other? What critical and utopian horizons open when disability is included?
- Citizenship: How does centering disability inform, complicate, and shift current debates regarding national identity, citizenship, refugee/immigrant status, etc.?
- Environment, ecology, and climate change: What does it mean to center disability in discussions about natural disasters and climate change? Does this change how we think of vulnerability and resiliency?
- Professional spheres: How is training in disability studies benefitting other professional disciplines, particularly the medical or rehabilitation sciences? Why should other professional disciplines incorporate and center disability?
- Pain and trauma: How does centering disability in discussions of pain and trauma complicate current narratives surrounding these issues?
- Academia and accessibility: How does centering disability affect or transform the classroom and/or the campus? How can Disability Studies and related fields change our models of accessibility and accommodation?
We invite everyone to consider these questions and others as they submit papers that demonstrate how disability are being centered in their scholarship, practice, and activism by Friday, February 23rd, at 11:59 PM. Abstracts should be no more than 250 words.
Graduate Students: 10-15 minutes
Undergraduate Students: 5-10 minutes
Community Members: 5-15 minutes
Please submit abstracts using the following Google Form:
If you have any questions or have difficulty accessing the submission form, contact Courtney Mullin at: firstname.lastname@example.org.