July has been a busy month. Three big events within three weeks of each other, bringing together months of collaborative organisation. In this post I want to offer some resources from each event.
Interrogating Queer, Crip and the Body – 3rd July 2015, Sheffield Hallam University
On 3rd July, Jen Slater (Sheffield Hallam University) and I hosted Interrogating Queer, Crip and the Body. You will be able to view the filmed talks from this event soon (I will update this blog). In the meantime, to learn more about the event check the hashtag on Twitter: #queercrip2015. Also see here for this brilliant blogpost about the event. With speakers in the morning, and a workshop by researchers on Around the Toilet, an exciting AHRC funded project, in the afternoon, the event contested normative tropes of disability and queerness. The day ended with the book launch of Youth and Disability: A Challenge to Mr Reasonable, Jen’s new book. Also check out Tabu, by our speakers Embla Guðrúnar Ágústsdóttir and Freyja Haraldsdóttir.
There is no Them! Child, Youth, Family and Disability Conference 2015 – 6/7th July 2015, University of Bristol
The seventh in the series of Child, Youth, Family & Disability Conferences took place at the University of the West of England in Bristol on 6/7th July – check out the Twitter hashtag: #CYFD15. The conference is the result of collaboration between colleagues from The University of Sheffield (me!), University of the West of England (Tillie Curran, Sarah Manns & Wendy Merchant), The University of Cardiff (Dawn Pickering) and Manchester Metropolitan University (Katherine Runswick-Cole). The aim of the conference is to create a space for disabled children and young people, family members and allies, as well as practitioners and academics, to discuss the issues that touch their lives. Over the two days more than a hundred people came together to share their experiences and ideas.
The conference theme this year was “There is no them!”. The title was a challenge to ways of speaking about and working with disabled children that assume that ‘they’ are all the same or only defined by ‘disability’. Many of the sessions were delivered in workshop formats using creative approaches such as cartoons and drama and this enabled attendees to explore a range of complex issues including: ethical practices; and unlawful exclusion. Presenters shared information on recreational activities, communication support and the costs associated with living in a disabling world.
Over the course of the conference, it became clear that disabled children, young people and their families continue to experience discrimination and disabling practices, but it was also clear that people are resisting such practices and finding ways to work together to demand change in children and young people’s lives. This conference provides opportunities for attendees to build networks and to gain information and to make positive impacts on disabled children and young people’s lives. To learn more about disabled children’s childhood studies click here (film by Katherine Runswick-Cole).
(The second image was drawn by the mother of a disabled child to depict the amount of professionals involved in her disabled son’s life – Image courtesy of Debby Watson.)
Project Revision: An International Symposium – Imagining Disability Futurities: Proliferating Dis-topias – 20th July 2015, University of Sheffield
The representational history of disabled people can largely be characterized as one of being put on display or hidden away. Self-representations have been a powerful part of the disability rights and culture movement, but recently scholars have analysed the ways in which these run the risk of creating a ‘single story’ that centres the experiences of white, western, physically disabled men. In this symposium, we introduced and theorised with Project Re•Vision, our arts-based research project that resists this singularity by creating and centring, without normalizing, representations that have previously been relegated to the margins. From research creation of short videos made by women living with disability and differences, in this workshop we argued for new disability futures (dis-topias) that hinge upon a more radically conceived body politic. Check out the brilliant hashtag on Twitter: #ProjectRevision This event was generously funded by the School of Education at the University of Sheffield.
Project Revision includes:
- Carla Rice, College of Social and Applied Sciences, and Director/Founder of Project ReVision, University of Guelph, CA
- Eliza Chandler, School of Disability Studies, Ryerson University, CA
- Nadine Changfoot, Political Studies, Trent University, CA
- Kirsty Liddiard, School of Education, University of Sheffield, UK
- Ingrid Mundel, REDLAB, University of Guelph, CA
- Roxanne Mykitiuk, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, CA
- Manuela Ferrari, School of Health Policy and Management, York University, CA
- Andrea LaMarre MSc., Family Relations and Human Development, University of Guelph, CA