News

Mar
21
2019

CfP: Criptic Identities. Historicizing the identity formation of persons with disabilities across the globe

 

Leiden University, Institute for History, 21 – 22 March 2019

Call for Abstracts

In recent years, ‘identity politics’ has evolved as a controversial, but also prolific concept within political, academic and activist debates. A growing body of literature sheds light on different assumptions about identity as a concept that is as much related to expressions of individuality and subjectivity as it is to specific social groups, typically described as outsiders on the margins of society and the political mainstream. Various groups like women, ethnic minorities, queer or elderly have strategically used identity as a tool for creating a common culture and gaining agency to bring about social change (Bernstein 2005). Against current discussions – are identity politics still valuable, and if not, what could be the way forward for political organizing as well as more personal processes of emancipation – this workshop wants to delve into disability as an identity.

Historically, disability politics have included both the professional and institutional negotiation of individuals as socially ‘deviant’ and ‘unfit’, as well as organized collective action from within communities of persons with disabilities themselves. How did these differing identities of disability come about? And of equal importance, in which ways did disability not become an identity? What kinds of identity formation processes can we detect in different societal contexts as well as cultural settings, and do these follow comparable or diverging trajectories?

As Julie Livingston (2006) has pointed out: « As disability history and disability studies increasingly open up to non-Western histories, opportunities arise not only for gaining new empirical knowledge but also for rethinking the very categories that underlie the socially constructed models [of disability] on which so much analysis rests. Botswana is different from the United States or France. Yet these countries’ histories are entangled in one another in complex ways that we have yet to even begin to unpack.»

This begs the question of how to take into account specific local contexts, transnational entanglements and exchanges, as well as intersectionality with other ‘identities’ like gender, class, ethnicity or age? What have historical examples beyond the dominance of Anglo-Saxon narratives to offer to the thriving field of disability studies? With this workshop, we hope that new, evidence-based studies on the identities of disability and ‘the disabled person’ from various places around the globe will not only shed light on historical conceptualizations, but may provide new reflections and insights on how we as scholars conceptualize disability today, and in which ways these two might be related.

Confirmed speakers

  • Anahi Guedes de Mello / Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil
  • Elena R. Iarskaia-Smirnova / NRU Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia
  • Pieter Verstraete / KU Leuven, Belgium

We welcome original proposals that analyse the history of disability perceptions, expressions and identity formation processes within, beyond and across nation states and different cultural settings. The workshop is not confined in focus to any region, but encourages studies on areas that remain underrepresented in disability history, in particular Eastern Europe and the Global South.

A publication is envisaged on the basis of a selection of the papers presented during the workshop. However, the willingness to contribute to the publication is not a precondition for participation.

Possible topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • collective identities of disability, e.g. in the form of social movements, organizations, protests, communities and religious institutions
  • cultural constructions and productions of disability, by persons with disabilities themselves and about persons with disabilities
  • knowledge production, by persons with disabilities themselves, by government experts, academics or medical professionals
  • disability in colonial and postcolonial settings, the Cold War, international development, neoliberalism and globalization
  • disability in the context of health and rehabilitation, education, livelihoods, indigeneity

Submission guidelines

Applications are invited from historians and scholars from related fields working on the nexus of disability and identity at any stage of their careers and with diverse geographical backgrounds. We aim at providing an informal setting in which selected participants will present their research (up to 20 minutes) and engage in an open exchange of ideas and perspectives. If you wish to participate in the workshop, please send an abstract of about 350 words and a short CV no later than 1 November 2018 to the following email address: rethinkingdisability@hum.leidenuniv.nl. Questions to the organizers can be sent using the same address. Notification of acceptance will be given by the end of November 2018.

Other practicalities

The conference will take place at Leiden University, in close vicinity to Amsterdam Airport (Schiphol). Catering will be offered to all selected participants at no cost, but participants will be expected to cover their own travel and accommodation expenses. If you have any specific (accessibility) requirements, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate such requests. A small number of bursaries might be available on a competitive basis, an opportunity particularly intended for junior scholars and those without research funds from their own institutions. Please indicate when submitting your abstract if you would like to be considered for subsidy.

Organization

The workshop is initiated and hosted by the research team of the ERC project ‘Rethinking Disability: the Global Impact of the International Year of Disabled Persons (1981) in Historical Perspective’, based in the Institute for History at Leiden University.

The Call for Papers can be downloaded in pdf-format here.

Call for Papers: Panel Provincializing Disability Rights. Transnational Histories of Disability in Asia

For the International Convention of Asian Scholars (ICAS 11, 16-19 July 2019, Leiden The Netherlands) we aim to organize a panel in which we explore the question how postcolonial thought could further inspire the writing of disability histories in Asia. In Provincializing Europe Dipesh Chakrabarty shows that the social and human sciences unconsciously reflect the so-called European intellectual tradition, in which global historical time is dominated by the ‘first in Europe, then elsewhere’ structure. In disability studies it is not Europe which is placed in this dominant position, but the Anglo-Saxon disability rights movement. The beginning of this movement is often situated in the 1970s and its main achievements are considered to be the development of the so-called social model of disability and the claim of equal rights. Until today the Anglo-Saxon movement is inspiring disability activists and scholars worldwide and is considered as an exemplary movement – as becomes e.g. clear from the framing of the United Nations Convention on the Right of Disabled Persons (UNCRPD) which is rooted in this movement. Literature in disability studies frequently implies that developments in disability policy took place first in the Anglo-Saxon context and only then elsewhere, or that the Anglo-Saxon disability rights movement is at least a yardstick against which to measure progress.

We are looking for panellists who wish to present a paper about Asian disability histories that foster this intention of ‘provincializing’ by discussing questions like:

-how and why were disability rights in the Asian context influenced by (pan-)Asian understandings of human rights and how did these understandings influence international disability policies like the negotiations about the UNCRPD?

-what was the role of the exchange of ideas between self-advocacy groups between different Asian countries?

-how and why have activists and scholars in the Asian context used Anglo-Saxon disability concepts? How is this related to the use of concepts from other contexts? And how could Asian cases of disability self-advocacy be compared to cases from other places of the world?

If you are interested please contact us by sending an abstract of about 350 words no later than 9 September to the following email address: rethinkingdisability@hum.leidenuniv.nl. Questions to the organizers, Paul van Trigt and Monika Baar, can be sent using the same address.

Link ICAS 11: https://icas.asia/

Link research project Rethinking Disability: www.rethinkingdisability.net

Jun
13
2018

Leiden disability studies lunch

The Rethinking Disability team invites all Leiden based scholars working on disability for a ‘Leiden disability studies lunch’! This lunch will take place on Wednesday 13 June 12.30-13.30 in the conference room of the Huizinga building, Doelensteeg 16 in Leiden. If you want to attend please send an email to: rethinkingdisability@hum.leidenuniv.nl.

Nov
25
2018

Cleveringa conference: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Disability: The MENA Region in the Modern Period Cairo 25-26 November 2018

International Conference to be held on 25-26 November 2018

Organizers:

  • Leiden University
  • ERC Rethinking Disability
  • Embassy of the Netherlands in Cairo
  • Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo

Languages: English and Arabic (Presentations should preferably be in English)

Keynote Speakers

  • Dr Heba Hagrass (International disability consultant- Member of the Egyptian Parliament)
  • Dr Shaun Grech (The Critical Institute- Malta)
  • Prof  Monika Baar (Leiden University- The Netherlands)

Call for papers:

The socio-cultural issues concerning the lives of the persons with disabilities (PWD), their families and their environment present considerable challenges even in well-resourced regions of the world; let alone in countries experiencing certain economic or societal hardships. In either context, the study of the emancipation of people with disabilities cannot be undertaken without a broader enquiry into the historical, cultural and social contexts of the disabled citizens living in different times and locations around the world.

In recent decades, representatives of the emerging fields of medical humanities and disability studies have been constantly facing intellectual challenges arising from accelerating scientific developments in medicine and the bio sciences. These developments intrigued sociologists, historians, anthropologists etc. to dedicate more attention than ever before to the social and cultural aspects of the human body and human health. For instance, the enormous differences in health care expenditures across the world present an angle from which to ask questions about social justice, discrimination, exclusion, integration and the responsibility of the state or civil society towards certain groups with vulnerabilities. Disability is a concept around which social scientists can construct or deconstruct relations and representations between health and society, while scholars working in cultural studies may interrogate the formation of a distinct identity and sub-culture of people with disabilities. The MENA region with its cultural and historical peculiarities, and the Global South in more general terms, promises to be a very important location for analyzing how issues of physical and mental health intersect with social and economic concerns.

With a focus on the MENA (Middle East North Africa) region and the Global South, themes and topics of this international academic conference can include but are not limited to:

  • Disability and its perception(s) and meanings through history:
  • Disability in relation to technology: good practices and ethical problems
  • Islam and disability (physical and mental)
  • Education for and about the persons with disability: specialized institutions versus independent living, community-based rehabilitation (CBR)
  • Rights, representation and equality of PWD: strive for equality or demand for special conditions? (work, housing, access, education)
  • UN’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006):  given the local peculiarities, what challenges may occur in the course of its implementation in the MENA region?
  • Disability and welfare: what responsibilities should be carried by the state, by individuals, philanthropic organizations and by society at large?
  • Children, gender, women and sexuality  in relation to historic and contemporary issues of disability
  • International and regional organizations of disability groups: the MENA region in a global context
  • Disability figuring and images in literature and cinema
  • Stigmatization of PWD and strategies of de-stigmatization
  • Disability culture: arts, activities and self expression
  • Accessibility, integration and inclusion: PWD and the actual/virtual  public space in MENA

The conference is open to participants from the academia as well as for social activists and governmental representatives. An edited volume to be published by an international publisher is planned for selected research papers presented during the conference.

Presentations are welcome in English and Arabic but are preferred in English for practical reasons. Each presentation would be 20 minutes followed by a 10minutes discussion in a themed panel.

Proposals for cultural and artistic activities, whether presented by or about persons with disabilities, are welcome. The venue is accessible to participants and guests with disability.

Deadline:  Please send a 300-500- word paper/activity proposal in English or Arabic before September 1st 2018 to (rethinking.disability.cairo@gmail.com)

For requests of participation, paper proposal or artistic contribution, kindly send your CV to the email address above.

For inquiries or questions kindly contact Dr Amany Soliman  a.soliman@hum.leidenuniv.nl

Limited budget for contributing to the travel and accommodation of international participants with outstanding proposals is available on a competitive basis. This is intended for those who are not eligible for funding from their home institutions and who are committed to contributing to the envisaged edited volume. Please indicate at the time of application if you would like to be considered for a subsidy.

Kindly find the Arabic description.

For more information, please follow the Twitteraccount.

Jun
13
2018

Lecture by Samuel Moyn (Yale University), 13 June 2018

We are pleased to announce that Yale University professor of law and history Samuel Moyn will be giving a lecture at Leiden University on June 13th. The renowned scholar in the field of European intellectual history and human rights history will be discussing the relationship of human rights law and movements to their global economic context between the successive eras of national welfare states and of neoliberal globalization.

(more…)

Mar
22
2018

Historians without Borders: Writing Histories of International Organizations

Leiden University – 22-23 March 2018

Program

Practical information

This workshop is organized by the ERC project ‘Rethinking Disability’. It is intended to bring together early-career researchers from different fields working on international organizations, to discuss methodological challenges together with peers and established scholars. A combination of a master class, keynote lectures, and roundtable discussions aims at providing an informal and interactive setting for the exchange of ideas and perspectives. (more…)

CFP: Historians without Borders: Writing Histories of International Organizations

Leiden University – 22-23 March 2018

This workshop is organized by the ERC project ‘Rethinking Disability’. It is intended to bring together early-career researchers from different fields working on international organizations, to discuss methodological challenges together with peers and established scholars. A combination of a master class, keynote lectures, and roundtable discussions aims at providing an informal and interactive setting for the exchange of ideas and perspectives. Confirmed speakers include:

  • Davide Rodogno (The Graduate Institute, Geneva)
  • Corinne Pernet (University of Geneva)
  • Kiran Patel (Maastricht University)

(more…)

“Mindervalide is geen synoniem van zielig, Meryl”

Recently Anaïs van Ertvelde has written opinion piece in Dutch for the Belgian newspaper DeMorgen entitled: “Mindervalide is geen synoniem van zielig, Meryl” (“Disability is not a synonym for pitiable, Meryl”), wherein she critically discusses the treatment of disability by Hollywood.

Click here (pdf.1) and here (pdf.2) to read the article.

 

Alternatively, you can read the article demorgen.be(paywall).