Thinking about loss

This week, for various reasons, I have been thinking about loss and the Academy. As a result this post is a bit of a melancholic ramble, but it was cathartic to write and I hope has some value. I want to begin to consider how loss and grief takes shape in the Academy; where there is space for it, and where it is closed down. For who/m and what are we allowed to grieve and who/m and what are we not? This is related to how we locate and make space for emotion in our work – how academic structures, which are built upon Humanist histories of rationality and reason, render emotion and feeling as excess. In my own research and scholarship, I follow Burkitt (2012: 458), conceptualizing emotion and feeling not as barriers ‘to clear reflexive thought’ but as necessary forms of affective labour for reflexivity itself. In this short post, I consider some recent and not-so-recent losses.

Today (Monday 20th November) is International Transgender Day of Remembrance – a time to remember those who have had their lives taken away from them, largely in deeply distressing and violent ways. It should be a time to reflect upon where violence ends, where it culminates – the tragic loss of a life – but also where it begins: in the subtle (and not-so-subtle) violences to which trans people are subjected as routine every day. As someone who knows, loves and cares for a trans person, it’s a time to pause and think about how we might be complicit (largely through silence) in these violences: some of us knowingly and consciously. In HE it’s time to think about how our disciplines, networks, offices, lectures and academic events reify or respond to transphobia: do we counter transphobia as routine where we come across it? Do cis academics and researchers take the time to learn and understand what transphobia looks like, or its effects – in the Academy and outside of it? How might we, as researchers and scholars, unpack the transphobia that often comes in the form of seemingly ‘reasonable’ and ‘rational’ arguments – most recently around childhood, medicalisation and future?

I’ve also been reflecting on another serious loss of life: the publication of an analysis in BMJ Open entitled, Effects of health and social care spending constraints on mortality in England: a time trend analysis (2017). This analysis confirms what many of us have known for a long time. What disability activists and allies have been saying for ages – through their cries of “cuts kill” – is that cruel Tory austerity politics, an amoral ideology that routinely dehumanises so many, has taken the lives of (almost) too many disabled, sick and ill people to count. According to The Independent, the research ‘found that there were 45,000 more deaths in the first four years of Tory-led efficiencies than would have been expected if funding had stayed at pre-election levels’ (Matthews-King 2017). As disability studies proponents and activists, how do we both stand against and mourn this loss of life? The Independent has called it ‘economic murder’, which doesn’t quite embrace the scale nor the depth of the loss: people’s loved ones; children; friends; and neighbours. These are lives lost through people being so scared and harassed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that they take their own life. These are lives lost via the worsening or progression of existing illness and sickness that is inevitable when one is under siege by the government. These are lives lost through abhorrent cuts to health and social care; critical services upon which we all know many depend. Lost sounds so careless; these are stolen lives.

In a week of so much loss, it’s natural to look inwards to our own lives, loves and losses. I’ve been preoccupied thinking about the publication of my book (Liddiard 2018), and its dedication to my aunt – a woman who inspired me in so many ways, with her talent and flair, as well as the endless love that she gave to those around her. My aunt died while I was writing up my thesis – her death floored me. The final few months of writing and grieving and grieving and writing were, in all honesty, agony. But, with lots of support, love, time and investment from others, I carried on. Thus as the dedication in my book reads, she really is/was the determination in every page. As I wait for the book to be delivered – the exciting moment when I can hold it in my hands as a real thing (!) – I am contemplating how important it is to remember our many supports in the face of academia’s individualising culture, but also about the ways that we can creatively remember people we have loved and lost in and through our research and writing. You can see some of my aunt’s artwork here in this short film I made.

I have no real conclusion to this ramble; it is little more than a collection of thoughts about life, loss, death and grief in and amongst a sad week. I end with the fitting words of disability justice activist, Mia Mingus, who sums it up powerfully:

We must leave evidence. Evidence that we were here, that we existed, that we survived and loved and ached. Evidence of the wholeness we never felt and the immense sense of fullness we gave to each other. Evidence of who we were, who we thought we were, who we never should have been. Evidence for each other that there are other ways to live–past survival; past isolation.

This post is dedicated to the memory of Lisa Procter, a vibrant and brilliant scholar whom I was lucky to know, and even luckier to have the opportunity to work alongside.

References:

Burkitt, I. (2012) ‘Emotional Reflexivity: Feeling, Emotion and Imagination in Reflexive Dialogues’, Sociology, 46: 3, 458-472

Liddiard, K (2018) The Intimate Lives of Disabled People. London: Routledge, ISBN 978-1-4094-6090-9

Matthews-King, A. (2017) Landmark study links Tory austerity to 120,000 deaths, The Independent, Wednesday 15th November.

Mingus, M. (year unknown) About. Online. Available from: https://leavingevidence.wordpress.com/about-2/ [accessed 20/11/2017]

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The Intimate Lives of Disabled People…

I’m thrilled to be able to say that I have finally submitted my book, The Intimate Lives of Disabled People, to its publisher, Routledge. It will be out in December 2017. Below I share the cover and its accompanying text. The book has been a long time coming and has taken immense amounts of graft, as well as copious amounts of support from colleagues, family, friends and allies, to who I will always be indebted. Big thanks, of course, go to #ScholarTed, who wrote most of it…

Disabled people are routinely assumed to lack the capabilities and capacities to embody and experience sexuality and desire, as well as the agency to love and be loved by others, and build their own families, if they so choose. Centring on the sexual, intimate and erotic lives of disabled people, this book presents a rare opportunity to understand and ask critical questions about such widely held assumptions.

Book coverIn essence, this book is a collection of sexual stories, told by disabled people on their own terms and in their own ways. Stories that shed light on areas of disability, love and life that are typically overlooked and ignored. A sociological analysis of these stories reveals the creative ways in which disabled people manage and negotiate their sexual and intimate lives in contexts where these are habitually denied. In its calls for disabled people’s sexual and intimate citizenship, stories are drawn upon as the means to create social change and build more radically inclusive sexual cultures.

In this ground breaking feminist critical disability studies text, The Intimate Lives of Disabled People introduces and contributes to contemporary debates around disability, sexuality and intimacy in the 21st century. Its arguments are relevant and accessible to researchers, academics, and students across a wide range of disciplines – such as sociology, gender studies, psychology, social work, and philosophy – as well as disabled people, their families and allies, and the professionals who work with and for them.

If you would like to attend a free Book Launch Extravaganza where my book will be launched on 31st October 2017 at Manchester Metropolitan University, please see here.

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Considering Chemicals…

In July 2017, I travelled to Ryerson University’s ReLab in Toronto, Canada, to co-facilitate a 5-day Design Fiction workshop. Entitled Thinking With Our Chemical Stories, the workshop invited disabled and Mad-identified artists from in and around the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) to explore their chemical lives. Working with my Canadian colleagues Esther Ignagni, Kim Collins and Eliza Chandler from the School of Disability Studies at Ryerson University, and Andy Darby from the University of Lancaster, as well as Toronto-based artist Lindsay Fisher, the team focused on the ways in which Design Fiction as a method could enable stories about the social, cultural and material lives of chemicals to come to the fore.

Design Fiction is a method of critical, speculative design. It uses fictional and narrative scenarios to envision, explain and raise questions about possible futures for design and the society (Tanenbaum 2015) in order to imagine alternative futures and work through key concepts and ideas in accessible ways. Chemical encounters intimately shape our bodies, selves, relationships and communities in helpful and harmful ways; these encounters are narrated in ways that routinely posit disability as part of an undesirable end to chemical lives. Design Fiction was used to draw out the tacit assumptions that drive this particular narration, as well as imagine an array of other possible stories of disability and chemical encounters.

Such a focus on disability, social life and chemicals emerged through an ESRC Festival of Social Sciences-funded public engagement project called ChemicalLives, which the lovely China Mills (School of Education, UoS) and I carried out in 2016. In ChemicalLives, we sat for 3 days in a ‘storytelling pod’ inviting staff, students and public visitors to come along and explore their interactions and engagements with a multitude of chemicals. You can read more on the Chemical Lives project page. Across the pond, Ignagni and Chandler have been developing a similar project, which has involved hosting a series of chemical stories workshops, both in the UK and in Canada.

Overall, Thinking With Our Chemical Stories was an exhausting but exhilarating week. We are currently writing up the outcomes and will continue to work with the design fictions produced through the workshop. So, watch this space!

 

Thinking Through the Possibilities of Pleasure, CDSA 2017, Ryerson University, Toronto.

I’m really excited to be participating in the Canadian Disability Studies Conference 2017 which, this year, is being held at the wonderful School of Disability Studies at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada, where I did my first post doc.

For access reasons, here are copies of my talk for folks to follow as I present:

Standard Sized Print

Large Print

If you have any comments or questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on k.liddiard@sheffield.ac.uk

 

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Toronto

A (disability) politics of learning to contain…

Journal ArticleI have been lucky enough to write an article with the wonderful Jen Slater, which has just been released today. The article, entitled ‘Like, pissing yourself is not a particularly attractive quality, let’s be honest’: Learning to contain through youth, adulthood, disability and sexuality, has been published in the journal Sexualities. Sadly, this article is not ‘Open Access’, which means not everyone can access it for free. However, if you pop me an email (k.liddiard@sheffield.ac.uk) I will happily send a free copy. Excitingly, the article was published as part of a Special Issue, Disability and Sexual Corporeality, edited by Barbara Pini, Vicki Crowley, and Cassandra Loeser. You can read their introductory article here.

In this blog post, Jen and I offer a shorter, abridged and more accessible version of the article, which we originally wrote for brilliant disability publication Disability Now. Sadly, since this time Disability Now has now closed, so we offer it below:

“Pissing yourself is not the most attractive quality, let’s be honest”: Young disabled people and “growing up”

There are certain ways that we are expected to “be” and “act” as adults. However, in reality, all adults are different and have different expectations put upon them, dependent upon time, place and social positioning (e.g. gender; race; age; class; disability status). Disabled people growing-up can receive conflicting messages from society (including the media, families, school and so on). Sometimes this is an oppressive message of being ‘abnormal’, and sometimes it is a message of being ‘just the same as everybody else’, which can not only be practically difficult, but reinforces the need to “fit in”. In this article we share some things young people said about gender, sex and growing up in our separate research studies.

Jenny’s research involved spending time with young disabled people in order to think about youth and disability. When she was doing her research Jenny, a non-disabled queer young woman, was going out with her disabled friends, Embla and Freyja. Jenny wrote this in her field notes:

‘Embla’s arrives to pick me up so I rush out. Freyja’s going to meet us later, Embla tells me: she still needs to do her makeup. She takes ages doing her make-up, so will be late. I turn to look at Embla: she’s wearing a black dress, leather jacket, heeled boots, face made-up, and hair done. Nothing unusual there, she always looks great. I catch a glimpse of myself in the rear-view mirror: make-up-less, hair a mess. “You look nice”, I say to Embla, “I’m going to feel a right scruff coming out with you two”. “Don’t worry about it”, Embla reassures me, “it’s okay for you, you’re not disabled. I have to get dressed up; don’t want to live the disability stereotype!’

Jenny had many conversations with Freyja and Embla about the different expectations put on them as young women. Whilst for Jenny, choosing to not get dressed-up could be considered a challenge to “feminine beauty”, Embla and Freyja felt that as women with visible impairments it was a more radical decision to assert themselves as young women. This meant always wearing feminine clothing and make-up. Although this was a conscious political act, they also felt that taking the “not bothering” option would (as Embla put it) meant “living the stereotype of the cute little disabled girl”. Therefore, they had little opportunity to ‘not bother’ getting dressed up as not being considered a “woman” could also lead to assumptions of them not being sexual.

This worry became clear for Molly, a 21-year-old disabled woman. She told Jenny a story of her 16-year-old self. Molly was a swimmer and wanted to start taking the pill so that her periods would be predictable and not get in the way of her swimming. She went to the doctor, who was happy to prescribe the pill. However, when running through his list of questions he became embarrassed, replying:

“Erm… I’m really sorry but I’ve, erm, got to ask you this… and I know, well, of course you’re not, I mean, I know you’re not, but I do have to ask, you’re not sexually active… are you?”

There is an assumption here of Molly not being sexual. Often the idea presented to us of sex is that it is an intimate act that happens between two people. There is an assumption of “independence” which relates to how we think about adulthood, but how does this work if you are a young disabled person who uses personal care?

Kirsty researched disabled people’s experiences of sexual life. Young people told her that one of the most difficult parts of being a young disabled person can be the lack of privacy this can bring. Lots of young people can lack privacy, but for young disabled people, particularly those who required personal care from others, privacy was something that often had to be fought for. Some young people in Kirsty’s research said that they felt their maturing bodies weren’t their own; that they felt incredible amounts of shame if they accidentally ejaculated during personal care; or if they couldn’t make it to the loo in time. Often, this impacted the ways in which they felt about their gender and sexual identity. As Julie said when talking speaking about the shame she often felt as a woman, “…pissing yourself is not a particularly attractive quality, let’s be honest”. Yet, where does this shame come from? And what impact can it have?

The feeling of shame doesn’t come from within us, but comes from a society and culture which dictates what our bodies have to do and be in order to be considered “adult” (and especially “woman”). Culturally, we associate “leakiness” (for want of a better word) with babies and older people, and we consider any talk of wee, poo, and ejaculate “improper” in “polite society”. We are shamed by the very silencing of these realities of our lives and bodies. This often went further. Some disabled young people in Kirsty’s research could be very humiliated by other people’s reactions to these bodily realities:

Abram: “My dad was doing all my caring… I used to get quite a lot of erections and ejaculate quite a lot during the night and he mentioned it to my mum who thought it was a problem and [said] “Should we call the GP?” and it was like, “Mum, mum, it’s…not a medical problem!”

To avoid feeling shame, young people in Kirsty’s research came up with particular strategies to cope, yet these strategies were often painful, difficult and/or took lots of work and worry. For example, some said they dramatically regulated their fluid intake (which could cause pain); some changed catheter types; others spent lots of time emptying their bladder and bowels before sex, just to fit in with what our common ideas of what it means to be “sexy”. Ironically, most said that such strategies could hinder how relaxed and confident they felt during sex, their ability to enjoy sex and their overall experiences of sexual pleasure.

To sum up a little, our purpose in this short article was to raise some of the unspoken issues that can matter to young disabled people, or certainly the ones that we spoke to. It’s clear that there needs to be more conversations with disabled (and non-disabled) young people, but also with parents, practitioners and so on, around the different ways that we can ‘do’ gender and sexuality as adults and young people. Importantly, these conversations need to take into account the ways in which our bodies work differently. Accepting and broadening our ideas about what it means to be “adult” is one way, we think, to relieve disabled young people of the shame, labour, and worry that can be experienced through growing up.

Jenny Slater, Department of Education, Childhood and Inclusion (DECI), Sheffield Hallam University

Kirsty Liddiard, School of Education, and iHuman, University of Sheffield

 

 

Dis/Cinema: An Unshamed Claim To Beauty?

Last night I was lucky enough to be invited to introduce Sins Invalid’s film, An Unshamed Claim To Beauty? The film was screened as part of Dis/Cinema, University of Sheffield, which facilitates film screenings with themes of dis/ability, mental health, difference, and otherness. Check out its work here and follow Dis/Cinema on Twitter at @DisCinema. Below I share my introduction and slides. Not surprisingly the film instigated some powerful discussion which followed themes of privilege/power and race, class, gender and nation; the beauty industry and the economics of (bodily) shame; how we culturally come to be repulsed by otherness through fear; and our own experiences of being/enacting the spectacle of disability. A big thanks to Dis/Cinema and everyone who came along to contribute to such a stimulating night.

Sins Invalid poster

Introduction

When I got invited to facilitate this session, my immediate thought was, how on earth does one introduce Sins Invalid? What can I possibly say that can prepare you for the transgressive beauty that you’re about to witness in its Kickstarter-funded film, An Unshamed Claim To Beauty?

So I thought I’d begin with a story of the first time I saw Sins Invalid. It was live, at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). I had just graduated my PhD, in which I’d spent three years working with disabled people to tell sexual stories, and moved to Toronto in order to undertake my first postdoctoral position at the wonderful School of Disability Studies at Ryerson University.

This was a massive move for me, particularly culturally, as I’m from Milton Keynes, which, as much as I love it, really is where culture goes to die*. Everything I saw that first week of living in a new country, far from home, was new, rich, and vivid. But seeing Sins Invalid, and sitting with its audience, opened me up to the possibilities of politicising pleasure, (or disabled people’s lack of intimate justice to pleasure, sexuality and love), through art for the first time; that art, politics and power enable silenced stories to be ‘loosed into the world’. These threads have persisted through my own research since that very night.

So what does it mean to “politicise pleasure”, and why is it important to advocate for disability justice, the politic centred in the work of Sins Invalid? Activist Mia Mingus describes disability justice as a truly collaborative and intersectional movement that brings the body back in; as that which proudly centres accessibility; and which shatters the inherent Western, ableist and neo-colonial myth of independence. Patty Bearne, Co-Founder and Director of Sins Invalid, defines disability justice like this:

‘A Disability Justice framework understands that all bodies are unique and essential; that all bodies have strengths and needs that must be met. We know that we are powerful not despite the complexities of our bodies, but because of them. We understand that all bodies are caught in these bindings of ability, race, gender, sexuality, class, nation state and imperialism, and that we cannot separate them. These are the positions from where we struggle. We are in a global system that is incompatible with life. There is no way stop a single gear in motion — we must dismantle this machine. Disability Justice holds a vision born out of collective struggle, drawing upon the legacies of cultural and spiritual resistance within a thousand underground paths, igniting small persistent fires of rebellion in everyday life. Disabled people of the global majority — black and brown people — share common ground confronting and subverting colonial powers in their struggle for life and justice. There has always been resistance to all forms of oppression, as we know through our bones that there have simultaneously been disabled people visioning a world where we flourish, that values and celebrates us in all our myriad beauty’.

(Bearne, 2015)

http://sinsinvalid.org/blog/disability-justice-a-working-draft-by-patty-berne

For me, Sins Invalid offers us a new lens through which to come to know, see, and feel bodies in ways counter to the dominant culture. It makes space to think about bodies, self and desire in affirmative ways – that bodies with what disabled feminist Susan Wendell (1996:45) calls ‘hard physical realities’ – bodies that droop, sag, spit, dribble, spasm, ache and leak in ways deemed inappropriate (Liddiard and Slater, fc; Morris 1989; Leibowitz 2005) and minds that confuse, forget, hallucinate, or take longer to learn are not non-human or subhuman, but can open up new ontologies of pleasure and alternative economies of desire.

Disabled people have long had their intimate citizenship and justice deprioritised – dominant discourse renders our sexual lives, selves and bodies at best as unimportant, secondary to things like housing, care, education, and legislation; as if civil life is detached from intimate life; like the personal isn’t political. We might think, in the current age of austerity, where in the UK and beyond, successive governments have served to denigrate disabled people, our communities and our families, that access to sexuality and intimacy is of lesser importance. That in a new world order controlled by Trump, May, LePenn and others, sexuality becomes, once again, the very least of our worries.

But austerity, neoliberal-ableism and global instability inevitably proffer new forms of precarity that drive us, at best, back into the normative body and self: meaning now is the time to politicise the impacts of such forces in our intimate lives; to claim, as the wonderful Tobin Seibers affirms, a sexual culture of our own.

Asserting, celebrating and living our own pleasures at this time in our history offers radical counter narratives. We can affirm the vibrancy of disability life through pleasure and desire in the face of social and literal death that austerity brings to our communities, and at the same time chip away at the normative boundaries of human pleasure which deem it unnecessary and grotesque for a range of marginalised bodies: disabled, fat, queer, Crip, black and POC, and genderqueer and Trans bodies. It is important, in times of such existential precariousness, that pleasure and sensuality (regardless of their form) are not relegated to luxury, but are means of survival and thus necessary for creativity, vitality and disability future.

I want to end with the words of the wonderful Eli Clare (2002: no pagination). Words which speak to the very bringing together of pleasure, politics and power that Sins Invalid demands: ‘I want to read about wheelchairs and limps, hands that bend at odd angles and bodies that negotiate unchosen pain, about orgasms that aren’t necessarily about our genitals, about sex and pleasure stolen in nursing homes and back rooms where we’ve been abandoned, about bodily—and I mean to include the mind as part of the body—differences so plentiful they can’t be counted, about fucking that embraces all those differences. It’s time.’

Thank you: here is Sins Invalid. See the trailer and buy the film here.

* Sorry to those who live in/love MK – I do – but it ain’t no Toronto for culture…

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The Crip, the Fat and the Ugly in an Age of Austerity: Resistance, Reclamation, and Affirmation

Please note: the deadline for this call has been extended. The new deadline is 17th July 2017.

I’m really pleased to say that the brilliant Jen Slater and I have teamed up to put together what we think will be a really exciting special issue of Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal. Please take a look at our Call For Papers below.

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The Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal (RDS) seeks proposals for a special forum on the Crip, the fat, the ugly. We are currently soliciting papers of up to 7500 words in length, including references and tables. The deadline for submission of papers is June 1, 2017. Papers should be submitted to the Special Guest Editors Dr. Jen Slater, Sheffield Hallam University j.slater@shu.ac.uk, and Dr. Kirsty Liddiard, University of Sheffield k.liddiard@sheffield.ac.uk . Upon submission, please indicate that your paper is for consideration of the special forum on the Crip, the fat, and the ugly in an age of austerity.

Papers considered for inclusion may take the form of academic and creative works, as well as reflections on international disability-specific policies, practices, pedagogies and developments.

Submissions to this special issue will undergo a process of multiple editors peer-review. Authors will be notified of whether their papers will be included in the forum by September 1, 2017. Accepted authors will then be asked to submit their papers online to RDS. Prospective authors are encouraged to consult the RDS website at www.rds.hawaii.edu for more information about the Journal and its formatting guidelines. Authors are encouraged to review previous issues of RDS in preparing their paper and to subscribe to the Journal. All submissions must follow the RDS publication guidelines posted on the website. Please note that acceptance of an article does not guarantee publication in RDS.

‘The magnificence of a body that shakes, spills out, takes up space, needs help, moseys, slinks, limps, drools, rocks, curls over on itself. The magnificence of a body that doesn’t get to choose when to go to the bathroom, let alone which bathroom to use.  A body that doesn’t get to choose what to wear in the morning, what hairstyle to sport, how they’re going to move or stand, or what time they’re going to bed.  The magnificence of bodies that have been coded, not just undesirable and ugly, but un-human.  The magnificence of bodies that are understanding gender in far more complex ways than I could explain in an hour. Moving beyond a politic of desirability to loving the ugly.  Respecting Ugly for how it has shaped us and been exiled. Seeing its power and magic, seeing the reasons it has been feared. Seeing it for what it is: some of our greatest strength’.

(Mingus, 2011)

Global austerity has a far reach, often into, around, behind, beyond and alongside the body. Global austerity routinely categorises bodies in terms of productivity, value, cost, ability and aesthetics. The body is positioned vis-a-vis global austerity as a site for social order, economic possibility, progression, and big business. Whereas “[a]n able body is the body of a citizen; deformed deafened, amputated, obese, female, perverse, crippled, maimed and blinded bodies do not make up the body politic” (Davis, 1995, pp. 71-72).

Through global austerity, then, the crip, the fat and the ugly are typically Othered and denigrated bodies, identities, minds and selves, implicated and co-constituted by one-another (Bergman, 2009; Kafer, 2013). Within a context of coloniality, transnational capitalism, patriarchy, cissexism and white supremacy, the Crip, the fat and the ugly are rendered unintelligible (Butler, 1999), made in/visible and vilified locally, nationally, and globally. As Garland-Thompson (2002, p. 57) reminds us, “as a culture we are at once obsessed with and intensely conflicted about the disabled body. We fear, deify, disavow, avoid, abstract, revere, conceal, and reconstruct disability – perhaps because it is one of the most universal, fundamental of human experiences”.

Notwithstanding the harsh political backdrop, Clare (2015, p. 107) reminds us that “[w]ithout pride, individual and collective resistance to oppression becomes nearly impossible”. In this special issue we therefore seek to explore affirmatory meanings and pleasurable engagements with the Crip, the fat and the ugly. By this we mean to critically resist and play with normative understandings of what bodies should do and be, to reimagine that – as Mingus (2011) emphasises – the Crip, the fat and the ugly are ‘our greatest strength’. How are Crip, fat and ugly embodiments both resisting and resistant? How might they offer new ways of interrogating global austerity and neoliberal ways of life? How might the Crip, the fat, and the ugly generate new, diverse and polymorphous pleasures? What are the relationships, entanglements and connections between the austere and the aesthetic? What communities do the Crip, the fat, and the ugly build and how are these critical for survival, love and life?

Submissions to this journal could include, but are not limited to, critical interrogations of the relationship between the crip, the fat and the ugly, with:

●   Aesthetic labour

●   Activism and resistance

●   Beauty industries and economies

●   Biopolitics and biopedagogies

●   Bodily esteem, confidence, self-worth and self-love

●   Colonisation and first nations communities

●   Emotion and affect

●   Extensions of Mia Mingus’ work on ugliness

●   Globalisation and globality

●   Health and healthisisation

●   Identity, imagery and representation: masculinities, femininities, queer trans and intersex identities

●   Impairment and embodiment

●   Industrial complexes, institutions and systems

●   Madness and Mad politics

●   Other forms of privilege and oppression (class, ‘race’, gender, sexuality, age etc.)

●   Popular culture and The Arts

●   Queer bodies, identities and selves

●   The politics of staring (Garland-Thomson, 2009)

●   The sexual body: Pleasure, sensuality and desire

RDS is a peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary, international journal published by the Center on Disability Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa.The Journal contains research articles, essays, creative works and multimedia relating to the culture of disability and people with disabilities.