Society for Disability Studies
23rd Annual Conference
San José California, Doubletree Hotel
June 15-18, 2011
Beyond Access: From Disability Rights to Disability Justice
Deadline for submissions: December 15, 2010
[Disability justice is] not self-sufficiency but self-determination, not independence but interdependence, not functional separateness but personal connection, not physical autonomy but human community.
--Paul K. Longmore
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and 2008 witnessed both the passage of the ADA Amendments Act and, on the international stage, the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD). In passing the ADA Amendments Act, the U.S. Congress sought to redress nearly twenty years of rulings that severely narrowed the scope of protections afforded in the original bill. The Convention formally marks a paradigm shift towards considering people with disabilities as subjects who must be able to exercise their own rights, rather than objects of medical inquiry or charitable intervention. These developments seem to suggest gains in the history of disability rights, and yet many disability activists contend that real gains can only be made if disability is conceptualized as part of an intersecting network of historic and contemporary power structures that must be addressed holistically and systemically.
We invite conference participants to reconsider the issues of rights and access in light of local, national and global commitments and resistance to achieving disability justice. We offer the following broad questions in a variety of disciplines and encourage interdisciplinary perspectives:
* How is social justice conceptualized? What competing visions emerge within these conceptualizations?
* What tensions have hampered social justice gains for people with disabilities?
* How might disability-based conceptualizations of social justice complicate and enhance other issues of social justice?
* How have coalitional politics shaped momentum---or barriers---to achieving disability justice?
* How do various technologies---and access to them---shape coalitions and enhance or hinder progress?
* How are or how can societies address the enduring poverty that people with disabilities face throughout the world? How does poverty shape / limit access to opportunities?
* How might institutions and agencies be transformed to better ensure justice for individuals with disabilities and their communities?
* How might community engagement serve the cause of enhancing disability justice?
* How does cultural context shape a local agenda for rights and access?
* How does the intersection of disability studies with other critical scholarship (critical race studies, gender/feminist studies, queer studies, immigrant studies, post-colonial studies) promote more nuanced understandings of social justice?
* How can and how do liberatory textual and / or performative practices enact disability justice?
* What liberatory moments, paradigms, practices, and aspirations have shaped the path(s) towards disability justice?
We welcome proposals in all areas of disability studies, as well as submissions premised on this year's theme.
(See the website for the rest of the call, which is mostly logistical information about the proposal submission process.)