DISABLING FEMINISM: Sex, Gender & Disability Studies
The Critical Feminist Studies Division of the Cultural Studies Association (CSA)
invites submissions for the 9th Annual Meeting to be held at Columbia College in
Chicago, March 24-26, 2011.
Traffic at the intersection of feminist theory and disability studies has been
in motion for more than twenty years. In 1989 Susan Wendell observed that:
Some of the same attitudes about the body which contribute to women's oppression
generally also contribute to the social and psychological disablement of people
who have disabilities. In addition, feminists are grappling with issues that
disabled people also face in a different context: Whether to stress sameness or
difference in relation to the dominant group and in relation to each other;
whether to place great value on independence from the help of other people, as
the dominant culture does, or to question a value-system which distrusts and
devalues dependence on other people and vulnerability in general; whether to
take full integration into male dominated/able-bodied society as the goal,
seeking equal power with men/able-bodied people in that society, or whether to
preserve some degree of separate culture, in which the abilities, knowledge and
values of women/the disabled are specifically honoured and developed.
These questions are still pressing today and new scholarship, political actions
and artistic representations are reinterpreting the shared spaces of identity.
What are important conversations taking place between feminism and Disability
Studies? How can a feminist approach (whatever that means) to
abilism/ability/able-bodied privilege (however defined) raise new questions
regarding the self, the state, the workplace and cultural conceptions of
disability? How does Disability Studies force a reconsideration of traditional
concepts within feminist theory and Women's & Gender Studies?
Topics include, but are not limited to:
-Social construction of disability/social construction of gender
-Historical conceptions of femininity/masculinity and disability
-Power, oppression and connections between abilism and sexism
-Eugenics, sterilization, abilist reproductive politics
-Global disability rights movements
-Representations of disability
-Sexuality and disability
Critical Feminist Studies dedicates itself to work that builds upon, even as it
critiques, the institutions and practices of Women's and Gender Studies,
focusing in particular on transnational formations and movements, queer and
sexuality studies, and politics, practices, and representations.
One of the aims of the Division is to maintain a collegial space for the ideas
and initiatives of graduate students and junior faculty within Cultural Studies.
It is one of the largest Divisions within CSA. Previously, the Division has
sponsored special annual themes:
Girls Studies (2007)
Time & Temporality Studies (2008)
The Body & Embodiment (2009)
To submit, please include the following:
1. Your name, email address, phone number, and institutional affiliation
2. Paper/presentation title
3. 500-word abstract
Deadline for submissions: September 1, 2010.
Send inquires and submissions to:
Sarah L. Rasmusson & Sabrina Starnaman
Co-Chairs, Critical Feminist Studies Division
Sarah L. Rasmusson, MA
Instructor & PhD candidate (ABD)
Institute of Communications Research
University of Illinois