Call for Papers: Disability And Media

Currents in the Mainstream – Where are we going?
22nd September, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK

Confirmed speakers include Dr Paul Darke1 and Deborah Williams 2.

Disability images of the 1980s and 1990s have received significant critical attention, but there has been little work to date on the development of disability imagery in the 2000s, especially in relation to new or changing representations of disability, disabled people’s participation within these processes, and the impacts of new media and changes in production, distribution and reception. This day conference aims to re-visit and re-evaluate the complex issues at stake in contemporary representations of disability and impairment from a variety of critical perspectives, investigating both continuities and new trends in representing disability. We encourage submissions (papers or otherwise) which examine how representation work is encouraged or circumscribed by questions of disability identity,funding, distribution and audiences. The conference will also reflect on the relationship between disability art and new disability imagery.

Topics may include:

  • disabled performers, directors and media workers
  • mainstream film with disability themes
  • mainstream television with disability themes
  • disabled people in media industries
  • the politicisation of disability images
  • ‘Post-disability’ genres
  • disability and comedy
  • disabled people and Reality TV/ documentary
  • gender, sexuality, ethnicity, the body
  • the non-disabled gaze

Proposals of approximately 200 words for a 20-30 minute presentation
should be sent to the organisers, Alison and Margaret at aw540[@] or MMontgomerie[@], by revised deadline of 30th July.

  1. Dr Paul A. Darke is an internationally respected academic, writer and cultural critic who has written and created extensively around the issue of identity and culture. He is also the originator of Normality Theory. As an artist Paul Darke is bringing, to various art forms, new insights and exciting concepts which challenge conventional views of both art and society.
  2. Deborah Williams – is a writer, theatre-maker, producer, digital composer and accredited coach with thirty years experience working across the sector as an artist, consultant and manager. She is an artist provocateur whose work is acknowledged as a catalyst for challenge and change in perceptions of disability and difference.

Recommended Reading, July 5

Warning: Offsite links are not safe spaces. Articles and comments in the links may contain ableist, sexist, and other -ist language and ideas of varying intensity. Opinions expressed in the articles may not reflect the opinions held by the compiler of the post and links are provided as topics of interest and exploration only. I attempt to provide extra warnings for material like extreme violence/rape; however, your triggers/issues may vary, so please read with care.

Blog Posts:

Katja at Broken Clay: Denise Through the Looking Glass

Let me start by saying that entering the world of disability (or alternative mobility) is a little like going through the looking glass, or moving to a foreign country. And like moving to a foreign country, things will work out better if you do some research in advance.

Tasha Fierce at Red Vinyl Shoes: Out of the (Gene) Pool: Disability and Biological Children:

People seem to think that when you have a disability that you could possibly pass down to a child, it’s their business to recommend that you refrain from having children. This is often disguised as fake concern for the well-being of the potential child-bearer, such as in cases where medication would have to be stopped due to the risk of harming the child in utero. Or, maybe they feel that it would be wrong for you to continue a bloodline that is tainted with disability, so they just have to speak up. Never mind that plenty of people who don’t personally have a disability are carriers of genes that may lead to disability. Disabled minds and bodies are viewed as acceptable topics of casual conversation, and your personal medical and life decisions are subject to critique and judgment. Basically, you’re a bad person if you make the decision to have a child despite the chance it will be defective like you.

SeekingFerret: [No Title]

But that wasn’t what I heard. I heard a Christian put a Jew on the defensive by reminding her that no matter how high she reaches, she still will be a minority in this country. I heard Senator Schumer, another Jew rendered uncomfortable by the question, jump in quickly to explain away the joke, to make sure it wasn’t taken the wrong way. I heard a nasty question, inadvertent or not, handled with a reasonable amount of tact by way of a reflexive display of “New York humor.”

And just once, I’d like to see this addressed for what it is. A minor but still noxious form of antisemitism. Jews are “allowed” to be funny. It’s one of the designated defense mechanisms they haven’t taken away from us. But they look down on us for it, sneer at the Jewish sense of humor and how nasty and edgy it is.

TorontoEmerg at Those Emergency Blues: Blatchford Bashes Health Care and Misses the Point [Part II]

This is the elephant in the room that no one will talk about: providing proper care for seniors is going to take significant and sustained expenditures now and into the future. In short, good care for seniors = higher taxes. I’m sure it will be a very cold day on Satan’s front porch before you would see Christie Blatchford, or even the editorial apparatus of the Globe and Mail, argue for that.

Daniel at Different Spokes: Travel Log: Shame On You, Savannah, GA!

During the second leg of our trip, we ventured to historic Savannah, Ga. to take in the sights. Beware, disabled travelers: do not take a trolley tour of Savannah! Not only was the fleet of trolleys not fully accessible (the one we used had no lift), but there was not even a place to put my wheelchair once Derin lifted me into my seat. We ended up taking the chair apart and storing it at our feet. Even more horrifying was the driver asking if I wanted to just leave my wheelchair with the ticket agent and pick it up once we returned. She failed to mention that the trolley lets off sightseers in a different part of town than it picks them up; So I’d be trying to tour the city without my chair…brilliant.

Access Tourism New Zealand: Catering for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Makes Good Business Sense

During Deaf Awareness Week (28 June – 4 July 2010), the UK Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) is reminding businesses, shops, and services to seize the opportunity to expand their customer base by ensuring they are fully accessible to the 9 million people in the UK who are deaf or hard of hearing. This includes businesses in the tourism, hospitality, and travel sector. RNID is the largest charity in the UK working on hearing loss


Toronto Call: No More Police State Tactics

We the undersigned call for:
1. The immediate release of all those detained
2. A full campaign to defend the civil rights of those facing charges arising from this extraordinary policing regime, especially those facing excessive charges and/or punitive bail conditions that criminalize, limit mobility, and curtail rights in the long term.
3. An independent public inquiry into police actions during the summit, including disclosure on the role of police infiltrators leading up to and during events, and the chain of command for the extraordinary crackdown on legal rights and protests.
4. An end to the targeting of anarchists by the Conservative government and the police.
5. The resignation of Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair

News Media:

Canada: CBC [Mainstream Media] : New resource aids families after youth suicide

If you’re on Delicious, feel free to tag entries ‘disfem’ or ‘disfeminists,’ or ‘for:feminists’ to bring them to our attention! Link recommendations can also be emailed to recreading[@]disabledfeminists[.]com

Recommended Reading, July 2

Warning: Offsite links are not safe spaces. Articles and comments in the links may contain ableist, sexist, and other -ist language and ideas of varying intensity. Opinions expressed in the articles may not reflect the opinions held by the compiler of the post and links are provided as topics of interest and exploration only. I attempt to provide extra warnings for material like extreme violence/rape; however, your triggers/issues may vary, so please read with care.

Dave Hingsburger: Disability Blog Carnival 67: Proud Voices!

People are proud of writing that comes from a place that’s often deep and secret. People are proud when they manage to put into words anger, fears, terror, tears, love, longing, regret, fury … I found myself going on a real journey here. My intros are brief, the blog is long. We have a huge number of contributors. I’ve only used the names that appear on the blog. These appear in no order, I did not attempt to group them, I did not attempt to make them flow. I think the haphazard way they bring up various topics works.

Jedifreac: It sucks to be right, it sucks to be right

Yesterday and today, Paramount screened The Last Airbender to for free as kind of an olive branch, and also to show us just how diverse the movie is–to prove us wrong. I’m a big bundle of emotions right now, I guess. Here’s the conversation I had with Ken about the movie, since he is better at ‘splainin feelings and stuff.

While we had a lot of concerns about racial sensitivity going in, we at least had some idea of what to expect. It was pretty much as bad as we thought. The poor way the movie treated women and feminism–in comparison to the animated series–other hand, floored me. I just…yeah. If you were expecting M. Night’s version of Airbender to at all reflect the way the animated series treated gender, well…

Stan at Teen Mental Health Blog: What Next?

If I had a dollar for every hour that a patient with a mental health crisis had to wait to be seen by the emergency physician in many of the hospitals that I have known, I could have retired a wealthy man. Why is it that people who have a mental disorder end up at the back of the line? Surely it can not be because of stigma in health providers? Surely it can not be because of inefficient care pathways? Surely it can not be because of inadequate numbers of mental health providers?

Links via Delicious (Thank you kind contributors!)

Matthew Palumbo at The Other Baldwin: Guest Post: Thoughts on Visual Disability

Another notable mention regarding activities with respect to visually disability regards movies and television programming. No matter the screen, even up close, I can’t ever make out everything that is going on. Thus, I largely rely on my wife, or a friend, to clear up those things I miss. Subtitles are a biggie for me in this regard. Interestingly enough, though, the exception to this issue comes when watching cartoons. The bright, vibrant colors of a cartoon seem to work well with my vision and, thus, I largely catch all that transpires in them. CGI and live action, though, are very hit-or-miss.

Mary Bullstonecraft at Hysteria:Rethinking Access, Rethinking (my) Feminism

Yes, yes, Justice Breyer. Anyone can use the steps to access the court. Anyone can walk under those grand “equal justice under law” columns. Anyone can access justice just by skipping up the front entrance.

Except, just kidding, they can’t. And we can see that they can’t if we just look at the Supreme Court’s illustration of the new entrances above, which is included with the New York Times article reporting otherwise. There, on the left: “This entrance is wheelchair accessible.” The main, grand, marble entrance–the one promising equal access, equal justice–isn’t equally accessible. It’s not accessible to people using wheelchairs, people with disabilities that make walking up giant marble staircases a problem, or people with children in strollers, or people who are several months pregnant, to name a few. People in these circumstances have always had to use the side entrance, the symbolically denigrated entrance. And the fact that using the same entrance as these people is cause for poetic outrage should make us stop and think a bit.


All videos have transcriptions.

By Mia at Leaving Evidence: Video: Crip Sex, Crip Lust, and the Lust of Recognition [Transcript available at source]

Recently, I met up with Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha and Ellery Russian for an evening and got to capture some of our musings, sharings and stories. Whenever i get to hear crip stories, i am entranced. i love hearing our words (all of them, in whatever way they come tumbling out) and feel ever-so appreciative, especially knowing how long i went without ever hearing any of our voices tell our own stories and stumble through sharing and asking and loving. It’s so important for us to tell our stories–to each other. As much as we can. There are so many different stories that we have to tell about (queer) crip sex and about our relationship to crip sex, to sex period, to sexuality and more. Our stories are so different and complex and they all have value–we have value. Much love and gratitude to Leah and Ellery for sharing some of your stories, knowing that it’s not all of your story.

By Lisa at A Voice For Neli: Neli Tells His Story [Transcript courtesy of terajk at Transcripts for Everyone]

I have been searching my heart, mind and soul trying to figure out why this has happened to my son. I feel so powerless as a mother. We are supposed to protect our children, yet, I couldn’t save him from this. I’ve been living in sheer torture since the events of 24 May 2010. Now my son, who had a future is locked away due to police harassment and brutality. And in spite of my best efforts, I have not been able to get any news outlets to bring this story to light. I pray every day and I hope every day that we will be delivered. Neli is holding on, but each day he is gone like this, I’m losing a little part of him.

Comment is Free

Comments are not disability-friendly.

Disability Living Allowance Exists for a Reason

Why should I again prove my disability to satisfy George Osborne?

Disabled People are Not Scroungers

If you’re on Delicious, feel free to tag entries ‘disfem’ or ‘disfeminists,’ or ‘for:feminists’ to bring them to our attention! Link recommendations can also be emailed to recreading[@]disabledfeminists[.]com

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