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DISABILITY-RESEARCH  April 2005

DISABILITY-RESEARCH April 2005

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Subject:

CFP: Anthology on Sex and Disability (07/01/05)

From:

"Richard A. Ingram" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Richard A. Ingram

Date:

Wed, 13 Apr 2005 08:22:53 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (69 lines)

I have been asked to post the following call for papers. Please reply to Anna Mollow, [log in to unmask] or Robert McRuer, [log in to unmask] (and not myself).

Richard Ingram
(University of British Columbia)

*    *    *
Call For Abstracts: Anthology on Sex and Disability (07/01/05)

            Disability and sex come together in multiple ways.  In the popular imagination, however, the terms "sex" and "disability" are, if not antithetical, then certainly incongruous.  To many, the idea of people with disabilities as sexual or sexy remains largely unthinkable. We are soliciting proposals for a cultural studies anthology of essays that will challenge such conceptions, examining, revising, and extending the myriad ways that disability and sex intersect.

           We seek submissions that build on existing scholarship on sex and disability but take this work in new directions, attending to the sexiness of sex; to the specificity of disabled bodily enactments, sensations, and experiences; and to the relation between disabled sex and social, cultural, and representational structures.  While disability scholars in the social sciences have made important initial steps in formulating conceptual models of sexual access for people with disabilities, complementary work in the humanities or across disciplinary boundaries remains largely undone.  In the social sciences and in activist communities, discussions about sex and disability have focused primarily upon local, practical issues: for example, controversies about "sex surrogates,"

arguments about the meaning of "consent" for people with severe cognitive disabilities, and analyses of strategies disabled people have used to access sexual experience.  In the humanities, in contrast, conversations about sex and disability have emphasized the formation of positive disabled identities: critiques of negative or stereotypical representations of disabled people's sexuality and analyses of disabled writers' and artists' responses to these representations have predominated.  As such, this latter body of work has arguably been more concerned with "sexuality" than with "sex."  We envision an interdisciplinary collection of essays that extends all of this work, that talks about sex, theorizing it as an embodied phenomenon and engaging in critical analysis of its social and cultural representations.

            This analysis, we hope, will challenge, redefine, and rework constructions of either "sex" or "disability" as stable categories.  The apparent stability of either of these categories has historically been linked to their containment within private or personal spheres.  By forcing a recognition of disability as a political process rather than a private problem, the disability rights movement has achieved significant success in securing disabled people's access to public spaces.  But if wheelchair ramps and ASL interpretation are increasingly coming to be understood as appropriate public accommodations, the conjunction of sex and disability continues to be seen as an improper or unseemly private matter.  We therefore seek essays that analyze enactments of "sex" in multiple locations and thus undo the public-private distinction as it pertains to both sex and disability.  Moreover, we are interested in work that conceives of disability not as a discrete and stable identity category, but rather as a shifting and contingent set of bodily practices and experiences, which always come into being within a broader political context.  In particular, we seek writing that investigates the ways in which the politics of race, class, gender, and sexual orientation shape both enactments and representations of sex and disability.


Possible topics include:


*Historical constructions of disabled people's sexuality;

*Eugenics and the sterilization of disabled people;

*Analyses of sex and disability in literature and culture;

*Queer theory, feminist theory, critical race theory, psychoanalytic and other theoretical approaches to sex and disability;

*Amputee devoteeism and other forms of disability fetishism;

*Transgender and intersex identities;

*Obscenity controversies; sex and disability in pornography, erotica, and performance art;

*Disability and cybersex or online personals;

*Impotence, erectile dysfunction, and "frigidity" as disabilities;

*"Sex addiction" as medical and social category;

*Legal cases regarding disabled people's rights to access sex;

*Sexual surrogates;

*Disability as a barrier to, or enhancement of, sexual experience;

*Sex in institutions, nursing homes, and group homes;

*Attendants, privacy, isolation, and the use of assistive technology to access sex;

*Sex and mental illness;

*The sexuality of cognitively disabled people;

*Deaf studies and blind studies perspectives on sex;

*Chronic illness and sex.


Abstracts of 250-500 words by July 1, 2005 to Anna Mollow ([log in to unmask]) and Robert McRuer ([log in to unmask]); preferred format is Microsoft Word attachment.

________________End of message______________________

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