Present Difference

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Present Difference: The Cultural Production of Disability

Manchester Metropolitan University In conjunction with BBC Northwest and the Cultural Disability Studies Research Network

Wednesday 6th – Friday 8th January 2010

CFP, Extended Deadline: July 1st 2009

This conference seeks to address the contemporary cultural production of disability within and across local and global contexts. Its focus is upon representation both in the sense of the production and circulation of particular narratives, ideas and images of disability and non-disability, and in the sense of the participation of disabled cultural practitioners in the production of culture. We invite further proposals from all stakeholders in the mass mediated production of disability across a variety of themes and from a diversity of perspectives within this disparate field of enquiry. The conference includes academic panels, readings, performances, films and exhibited work

Keynote speakers:
•Lennard Davis (Illinois) author Enforcing Normalcy: Disability Deafness and the Body (1995) and Bending Over Backwards: Essays on Disability and the Body (2002)
•Jim Ferris (Toledo) author The Hospital Poems (2004) and Facts of Life (2005)
•Robert McRuer (George Washington) author CripTheory: Cultural Signs of Queerness and Disability (2006)
•David T. Mitchell (Temple) author Narrative Prosthesis: Disability and the Dependencies of Discourse (2001) with Sharon L. Snyder
•Sharon L. Snyder (Illinois) author Cultural Locations of Disability (2006) with David T. Mitchell

Confirmed speakers and contributors include:
David Bolt (Lancaster), Diane Carr (IoE, London), Sally Chivers (Trent, Canada), Paul Darke (Outside Centre), Ju Gosling (artist-in-residence at the National Disability Arts Collection and Archive (NDACA) at Holton Lee), George McKay (Salford) Simon McKeown (Teesside) Rebecca Mallett (Sheffield Hallam), Nicola Martin (Sheffield Hallam), Stuart Murray (Leeds), Tanya Raabe (visual artist), Susan Schweik (Berkeley), Peter Street (poet)

Selected papers will be published in a special edition of the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies. The art pieces commissioned for the conference are intended for public display at the Holden Gallery Manchester University in late 2010 where they will be used as the basis for a short series of public talks on disability, culture and representation.

Confirmed Events:

Wednesday 6th January: Round Table session on the future of cultural disability studies with David Mitchell, Sharon Snyder (editors of Corporealities: Discourses of Disability, University of Michigan Press), Stuart Murray (editor of Representations: Health, Disability, Culture, Liverpool University Press), Julie Anderson (editor of Disability History, Manchester University Press), and David Bolt, (editor of the Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies, Liverpool University Press)

Thursday 7th January: Justin Edgar director of Special People gives a director’s talk followed by a screening of the film at Cornerhouse Manchester

Friday 8th January: Talk, Q&A and networking event at BBC Northwest, Manchester.

The CFP deadline has been extended to encourage additional submissions for panel sessions, particularly around the construction of disability in comedy, animation, theatre, popular fiction contemporary film and postcolonial contexts. Proposals (max 250 words) for individual and/or group papers, panels or alternative formats to be sent to Dr Lucy Burke, Manchester Metropolitan University, l.burke@mmu.ac.uk If you are interested in attending the conference, please contact l.burke@mmu.ac.uk with your contact details and email address.

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