Inaugural Sexuality Stream 2016 Call for Papers
Convened by Tom Shakespeare, University of East Anglia, and Kirsty Liddiard, University of Sheffield
The foundational text, The Sexual Politics of Disability, was ‘the first book to look at the sexual politics of disability from a disability rights perspective’ (Shakespeare, Davies and Gillespie-Sells, 1996: 1). Ground-breaking in its contents and its approach, the sexual stories contained within the covers of the book – told by disabled people themselves – challenged the prevailing myth of asexuality and other tropes which render disabled people as perverse, hypersexual, or as lacking sexual agency.
Despite this scholarly activism, the sexual, intimate, gendered, and personal spaces of disabled people’s lives remain relatively under-researched and under-theorised in comparison to other spaces of their lives. Rarely are disabled people themselves authors or co-producers of this work. Where austerity policies dominate, we are unsure of how this impacts the possibilities for intimacy and relationships. Conversely, we lack evidence about the impact of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Significant gaps remain in our knowledge of disabled people’s experiences of sex, love and relationships, then, often in marked areas.
This inaugural sexuality stream marks the 20th anniversary of The Sexual Politics of Disability (1996). In this stream, we aim to celebrate and encourage the broad bodies of work that have emerged within the ever-expanding field of disability studies, gender studies and sexuality studies. For this stream, we will prioritise papers containing original social research, as a response to the relative dearth of empirical work within the field.
We are thrilled to have Don Kulick, Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology at Uppsala University, Sweden, as keynote speaker. His books include Travesti: sex, gender and culture among Brazilian transgendered prostitutes (1998), Fat: the anthropology of an obsession (2005, edited with Anne Meneley), Language and Sexuality (2003, with Deborah Cameron) and most recently Loneliness and its Opposite: sex, disability and the ethics of engagement (2015, with Jens Rydström).
We welcome papers on the following themes:
- Identity and imagery: masculinities, femininities, Queer and Trans* identities
- Intersections of gender, race, sexuality, class, nationality, age, and religion/faith/spirituality.
- Sex education and sexual health
- Pleasure, sensuality and desire
- Sexual and bodily esteem, confidence, self-worth and self-love
- Impairment, embodiment and corporeality
- Psycho-emotional disablism
- Barriers to sexual expression
- Learning disability and sex/uality
- Mental health, distress and intimacy
- Intersections of personal assistance, residential and social care, and intimacy
- Sex work and sex industries
- Sexual, emotional and intimate-partner violence
- BDSM, kink, and fetish
- Online and cyber sexuality
- Sexual drugs, enhancements and technologies
- Human rights law and disabled sexualities
- Researching sex/uality: data collection, methodology and analysis
- Theoretical contributions: Critical Disability Studies, Feminist disability studies; Queer Theory; Crip Theory; Posthuman and DisHuman studies.
Contributions that reflect on any of these themes are invited from academic and non-academic researchers, scholars, activists, and artists. These themes are indicative only, and we will consider proposals that fall outside them so long as these relate to the overall conference stream. We welcome offers of traditional academic papers (20 minutes max) and also welcome proposals and presentations in alternative and/or creative formats (e.g. film, animation, poetry). Submissions should be made through easychair and please specify you wish to be considered for this stream.