Call for papers…

Go for it!

We’re now searching out radical papers written by postgraduate researchers – and where you are working with activists and others, all the better.

Here’s the text of the ‘Call for Papers’:

Postgraduate Disability Research: A critical space to engage

An Interdisciplinary Disability Research conference

University of Warwick

Wednesday 13th July 2011


We are pleased to announce this one day conference, Postgraduate Disability Research: A critical space to engage, taking place at the University of Warwick on Wednesday 13th July 2011. The event is sponsored by the British Sociological Association as part of a series of events for postgraduate students. We would therefore like to invite postgraduate student researchers working in the broad field of disability to present at the conference. Internationally renowned academics Professor Dan Goodley, Manchester Metropolitan University, and Professor Carol Thomas, University of Leeds, have been confirmed as keynote speakers.


In concluding his ground-breaking work mapping the terrain for critical disability studies, Goodley (2011 p.157) asserts: ‘while critical disability studies might start with disability, they never end with it’. Whilst the journey might well be non-linear, along the way ‘intersections’ are encountered and engineered which ‘connect disability studies with other important agendas of class, feminist, queer and postcolonial studies’ (p.157). The literatures and debates surrounding disability continue to expand and diversify.  And yet, these flows are happening against economic, social and policy backdrops which serve to further challenge the potentials for change.  There is then, ever more, a need to open up spaces for transdisciplinary debate about the position and future(s) of critical disability studies.  Postgraduate students addressing and engaging with these issues and debates are part of the vanguard of this work.


Critical disability studies is an emerging subfield within the UK, but collective and collaborative spaces within which to explore and interrogate its options are infrequently opened up.  This conference will bring together postgraduate students, disability activists and professionals/practitioners to explore some of the key questions which connect to the embrace of a critical perspective to disability research.  In particular, what kinds of critical disability researchers might we ‘be’ and how should critical disability studies research be ‘done’? 

Excitingly, the event will see the launch of a postgraduate disability research network, Critical Disability Space, which will provide a critical space for postgraduates on a longer term basis. Please see our new website for more details.


We welcome papers that address issues, agendas and debates which take, at least broadly, a critical disability studies approach.  Topics may include, but are by no means limited to:

  • Concepts and their Re/Conceptualisations:  ‘disability’, ‘impairment’, dis/ableism, as well as approaches based upon models, theories and ideological standpoint positions;
  • Performances of Power: artistic, cultural, political, poetic, ritual; protest and activism; violence/non-violence; politicized and contested spaces
  • Histories and Historical Ontologies: globalisation; colonialism and the postcolonial; empire; industrialization; materialism; gender; ethnicity; sexualities; time and memory.
  • Difference and Dialogue: single impairment through to collective disability identity emphases; identity; intersectionalities; diversity; subjectivities; individualism; normalisation
  • Bodies: impairment; embodiment; self and others; performativity; corporeality, materialization; discursive/transgressive/queer bodies; gendered/raced/classed/sexed bodies; cyborgs and hybrids
  • Action, Motivation and Practice: choice, desire, dependence/independence/co-dependence;  freedom/constraint; 
  • Methodology and methods:  examples and experiences of empirical research taking approaches such as: critical; emancipatory; participatory; emerging;

Please submit a 300 word abstract or poster proposal accompanied by a 100 word biography to the conference organisers, Kirsty Liddiard and Simon Blake at Presentations must be no longer than 30 minutes inclusive of 10 minutes for questions. We would also like to welcome the submission of research posters. Posters must be between paper sizes A3 – A1.

The deadline for submissions is Monday 28th March 2011.

The event is free to attend for British Sociological Association members and £25.00 for non-members.


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