Call for papers

The call for papers will be updated and re-issued in January 2022 with a dealine of 31st March 2022. 

Call for papers

Disability Studies has evolved at pace since the inaugural Lancaster Disability Studies Conference took place in 2003. Then Colin Barnes asked ‘Disability Studies: what’s the point?’, while Gerry Zarb asked whether disability research was ‘running out of steam’?

Over eight subsequent conferences we have consistently returned to these questions as the scope of Disability Studies as area of research, teaching, activism and practice as grown and permeated many new areas and fields. It is fair to say while we might continue to debate what the purpose and scope of Disability Studies is, it certainly hasn’t run out of steam. New theoretical perspectives have emerged and voices from the global south increasingly inform our discipline. Developments in aligned fields like Mad Studies and Neurodiversity have enriched our discussions.  We continue to strive to ‘do’ Disability Studies in ways that are accessible, inclusive and welcoming of all who want to participate.

Austerity, the rise of populism, the creation of hostile environments, climate change, and large-scale migration raise huge new challenges for Disability Studies. It would be easy to lose heart and be dismayed in the face of the growing inequalities disabled people face. However, the potential to grow and thrive an inclusive and expansive disability commons where we focus on practices of hope, resistance and organisation remains.

The conference remains an opportunity to present research about the experiences and aspirations of disabled people, to question and provide new answers about what the point of Disability Studies is and to develop new strategies for collective and co-operative action.

We welcome papers that engage with all areas and forms of Disability Studies, that consider disability across the life course, in relation intersectionality, in different contexts, spaces and places. We especially welcome submissions from those new to the field, as well as those more established, and from those whose work speaks to local, national or global concerns.

We are also hosting a special conference stream on Inclusive Creative Methods convened by Sue Cranmer, Alex Kaley and Ann-Marie Houghton. You can read their call for papers and other information

The deadline for abstract submissions is 31st March 2022. All abstracts will be reviewed by the Reviewing Committee and corresponding authors will be notified of the outcome by 1st May. At least one presenting author must register as a delegate by 19th June to be included in the conference schedule. After these deadlines any additional submissions or inclusions are at the discretion of the conference organisers.

Practical information

Abstracts of up to 300 words should be submitted using the online form (which will go live in January 2021). This form will ask you for the name, institutional affiliation and email address of the corresponding author and the names of any co-authors, the title, and a 300 word abstract. You will be asked if you are submitting an abstract for a paper, a poster or a symposium (details below) and whether it is for consideration for the main conference or the Inclusive Creative Methods Stream.

Papers are allocated a 30 minute slot which we recommend includes 20 minutes presentation and 10 minutes for questions. Papers will be grouped into sessions of 2 (60 minute) or 3 (90 minute) sessions which will each have a chair.

Posters are displayed during the conference and there will be a poster reception on Tuesday 15th when authors are available to discuss their papers with delegates. Each poster is allocated a poster board (which can be set up as either landscape or portrait) and can also have a table for accompanying material. The boards can accommodate an A1 size poster or collection of materials.

Symposia are 30 or 90 minute sessions that run alongside the paper presentations. They might be a themed collection of papers or take a more creative format. Authors should submit an abstract for the overall symposium with a named corresponding author (who also acts as session chair). If there are individual papers within the session then each author should also submit a separate abstract and include the name of the overall symposium so they can be matched up.

Please note at least one presenter must register as a conference delegate (and pay the relevant delegate fee) by 19th June for an accepted paper or poster to be scheduled during the conference. All presenting authors must register as conference delegates.