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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

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