Call for Chapter Proposals - Media and Disability

Type: Call for Papers
Date: April 1, 2016
Subject Fields: Area Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Humanities, Popular Culture Studies, Film and Film History

MediAbility: Transforming Disability in the Media
Critical disability studies has been a continually growing field of academic study. Its intersectional approach is frequently used in political and philosophical theorizing. However, very few scholars have paid attention to how disability has been constructed by dominant media institutions in the 21st century. This is true even when scholars focus on the social model of disability since they very often ignore how the social is formed out of the discursive representations that surround society. This collection, designed for publication with McFarland Press, is meant as a correction to this absence.

This collection seeks to demonstrate how media images influence disability and people with disabilities are viewed, or underviewed, in the imagination of those who consume it. This anthology aims to explore representations of disability in film using critical disabilities studies, media studies, cultural studies, and other interdisciplinary fields. Activists, academics, artists, and allies are invited to submit a 250-300 word abstract for MediaAbility along with a 100-word bio by April 1st to Chapters should focus on the theme of disability representations in media in film, television, print magazines, advertisements, and the internet. We are particularly interested in chapters that are interdisciplinary in scope and have an interest in liberation and anti-oppressive politics.

We are interested in essays that explore disability from the ever shifting and changing definitions of biological impairment, espoused by the medical model, to that of disability as a cultural phenomenon. This anthology will attempt to highlight the social and political factors that give rise to medicalization and the subsequent demonization of disability. We are interested in narratives that disrupt and challenge predominant negative assumptions about disability from an intersectional perspective. New frameworks, interpretations, and analysis that empower people with disabilities are particularly important. We’d like contributors to explore new perspectives on disability that may include an analysis of both people with disabilities as producers, consumers, and products of media. We invite the exploration of disability identity, culture, and intersections with other disciplines such as critical race theory, gender studies, and the other such viewpoints.

Our goal for this text is to increase awareness of disability in the media and highlight disability perspectives that are sometimes misappropriated, misused, or missing altogether. Topics of interest may include, but are not limited to the following categories, all of which are contextualized within media:

Academia and disability
Accessibility, technology, and universal design
Activism and community organizing
Advertising’s use of disability
Casting choices in relation to disability
Disability and animality
Disability and bioethics
Disability in children’s programming
Disability and classism
Disability, culture, and identity
Disability and education
Disability and language
Disability as metaphor
Disability and music
Disability and public policy
Disability and race
Disability and sexuality
Disability and science-fiction
Disability and televised sporting events
Institutionalization and disability
International media
Internet and social media’s relationship to disability
Invisible disabilities
Media campaigns and video advocacy
Medical and social models of disability
Queering disability
Superheros and disability

All abstracts must be written in English (250-300 words) and contain a title, name(s) of the author(s) and contact information (institutional affiliation, mailing address, and email address), as well as a short 100-word biography. The deadline for submissions is April 1st, 2016. We will inform people no later than April 8th, 2016 of their acceptance. Please submit your proposal to Feel free to contact us if you should have any questions or ideas for a chapter.
Dr. Amber E. George, Cornell University
Dr. JL Schatz, Binghamton University
Contact Info: 
Please submit your proposal to Feel free to contact us if you should have any questions or ideas for a chapter.