Disability Studies (Special Topics Area)

Primary tabs

Call for papers: 

CFP:  Disability Studies, PCA (Washington, DC, 17-20 April 2019)





Wardman Park Marriot 

Washington DC

17-20 April 2019


For information on PCA/ACA and the conference, please go to http://pcaaca.org




The “Disability Studies” area for the 2019 Popular and American Culture Association meeting in Washington DC invites proposals related to the portrayal of disability in culture writ large and internationally.  Proposals representing perspectives in the humanities and the arts (e.g., film, history, literature, visual arts), social sciences (e.g., anthropology, cultural studies, sociology), and mass media (e.g., print or electronic journalism) in historical or contemporary contexts are welcome. Proposals should clearly establish what connections the presenter intend to draw between their chosen topic and disability studies from a popular culture perspective.


 Subject areas might include but are not limited to:


  • Any of the areas of disability as seen through a Disability Studies lens in any form of text or media, be it fictional work, historical, political, or artistic work in medias as diverse as print, television, film, the performing arts, and online.
  • Narratives of the meetings of people with disabilities and those who are not yet with disabilities; can we still disable society and make it a better place, or does legislation such as the “Americans with Disabilities” act stultify action and advancement for peoples with disabilities
  • Discussions of what the theorists of Disability Studies have provided as a basis for the field, and where we go from the considerations of authors such as Margaret Price and Micheal Michael Bérubé, to name just two authors in the field.
  • The discourse on autism, representations of autism, and whether the term is one that will stand the test of possibly ever-changing realizations about the nature(s) of autism, and whether the term “autism” is already, or needs to undergo a transformation akin to that of the word “gay” in the GLAUT community
  • Is popular culture the key battleground for promoting a better understanding of disability? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the popular culture field.
  • What are the inflections of key social movements (Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, GLAUT rights) provided by people with disabilities? Do such movements provide the space necessary for the concerns of peoples with disability, or must people with disabilities fight too for inclusion, and to have their particular concerns addressed?
  • What are the characteristics of Disability Studies that can be criticized? And what do we gain, how can we go forward from such a criticism? Is Disability Studies part of a societal impulse to isolate peoples with disabilities, or at all irrelevant or isolating in certain specific and key ways, that block progress and advancement for peoples with disabilities?
  • Does disability studies and people with disabilities promote or need icons of disability. Who are the best possible candidates, what makes them iconic, and why are they useful, not useful to people with disabilities.
  • The Disciplines of Damage, a special roundtable panel that would look at the basis of disciplines such as Psychology, Disability Studies, and Health and Disease (Health Humanities/Sciences) how they intersect with each other, and how they impact and are impacted upon, or negotiate society and its institutions.


Proposal abstracts (max 300 words) must be submitted online at the PCAACA website at:  http://pcaaca.org.

Individual and full panel proposals are considered. For full panel proposals (generally four persons) please include titles, abstracts and contact information for all participants.


You might consider these panels as well:


Health and Disease in Popular Culture (Carol-Ann Farkas, Area Chair; carol-ann.farkas@mcphs.edu)


Psychology and Popular Culture (Eric Greene, Area Chair; ericmatthewgreene@gmail.com)


Other dates to note:    

1 October Registration Opens

1 October Deadline for Paper Proposals 

15 November Early Bird Registration Rate Ends 


Area Chair:

Claude Desmarais, (German), FCCS


1148 Research Road

UBC, Okanagan Campus

Kelowna, BC

Canada V1V 1V7

Email: claude.desmarais@ubc.ca


Area chairs