Date:March 4-5, 2021
Place: Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI

Disability is a living human experience. It is not merely a medical or biological phenomenon, and, hence, not only a subject for the sciences. Perspectives on disability are deeply rooted in culture, religion, and in medicine. Academics and disability activists have increasingly come to view disability as more than a medical diagnosis, often highlighting it as an issue of social justice and equity. As such, our understanding of disability in all of its complexities would tremendously benefit from collaboration between sciences and humanities. Using interdisciplinary approaches to examine disability as a fluid and dynamic concept may help us to explore disability as an identity and as social construct as well.

The conference seeks to encourage open discussion, deeper understanding, and breakdown of stigma associated with disability. To accomplish these goals, the conference aims to generate inclusive dialogues and interdisciplinary interactions between academia, community organizers, religious leaders, social and legal activists, and health care providers. The conference will serve as a platform to foster collaboration between various groups to improve our understanding of various ramifications of disability and improving disability conditions.

We invite papers that offer critical analysis of how disability has been viewed in historical terms, as a medical condition and as social and cultural constructs. We also welcome papers that dissect 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 disability in marginalized communities with an emphasis on the intersection of disability with gender, culture, and religion in these communities.

    Core conference themes include, but are not limited to:
  • Disability and identity
  • Social and cultural construction of disability
  • 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 social and legal rights issue
  • Community activism, policy making, and service
  • Lived experiences, life-writing and narratives of people with disability

We invite proposals of individual papers, panels, workshops, roundtable, and thematic conversation. 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 Microsoft Word format must be submitted through the electronic system by October 1, 2020.
You will be notified of the decision by February 15, 2021.

    Preliminary organizing committee members:
  • Tara Baillargeon
  • Behnam Ghasemzadeh
  • Orusa Hassan
  • Michael McNulty
  • Enaya Othman
  • Karalee Surface
  • Brittany Pladek

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