CFP: Negotiating Space for (Dis)ability in Drama, Theatre, Film and Media

25-27 September 2015

The Department of Studies in Drama and Pre-1800 English Literature at the University of Lodz invites you to attend the 2015 biannual “Lodz Conference in Drama, Theatre, Film and Media,” which will focus on the theme of (dis)ability. The event is a continuation of the series of conferences organized under the title: “Drama through the Ages.”

The organizers wish to spark a debate about the representations of disability in theatre, drama, film and media with a view to promoting the development of disability studies in these fields. We are particularly interested in various representations of people with disabilities, approached both from the synchronic and diachronic perspectives, and in the changing definitions and perceptions of disability which inform these depictions. Developments in the scholarship of recent decades have introduced a distinction between impairment, defined solely in biological terms, and disability, understood as a cultural construct produced by economic, social and political factors that determine the experience of people with physical and mental impairments. While the social model has been used to challenge the assumptions behind the historically dominant medical definition of disability, both paradigms have their strengths and weaknesses, which we would like the conference to address. Such theoretical considerations provide fruitful ground for the investigation of the ways in which the cultures of various times and places have been participating in the transformations of the definition of disability, and have been stimulating or inhibiting the social visibility and empowerment of people with disabilities. Another aspect of these changes concerns the scope of medical conditions that have been placed under the label of disability. A close examination of the premises upon which such classifications have been made may lead to instructive conclusions concerning the values cherished by the society and the sources of social prejudice.

We also invite papers focusing on disability culture and the engagement of people with disabilities in drama, theatre, film and media. We wish to increase awareness of their works, which frequently offer novel points of view unavailable to able-bodied people. Since our objective is to approach the topic of the conference from various angles in order to open up new perspectives on disability and map out new challenges in this area, we encourage papers that offer a close analysis of specific works or/and engage in theoretical deliberations, including the possible intersections between disability studies and other disciplines and theories such as gender studies, postcolonialism or ecocriticism. The organizers welcome original papers in any area related to the domain of the conference, offering an academic or practical perspective on disability.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

• the medical model of disability vs. social constructionism of disability (the performative aspects of disability, ableism, (un)Othering disability, defining normalcy, disability and the politics of visibility and empowerment, etc.)

• disability and the taboo

• disability as a metaphor

• disability and the question of identity

• disability and memory

• disability and language

• the visual rhetorics of disability

• indigenous attitudes to disability

• disability and sexuality

• disability in the context of posthumanism, bioethics and human enhancement

The conference is held in English. Selected papers will be published in a collection of essays.

All abstracts (ca. 250-300 words) must contain the title, the name of the author and contact information (institutional affiliation, mailing address and email address). Abstracts and short bios should be submitted no later than 15 May 2015.

Conference fee: 500 PLN for academics holding positions at Polish Universities, 130 Euro for delegates based outside of Poland, and reduced fee of 300 PLN/75 Euro for doctoral students. The fee covers conference materials, coffee and lunches as well as partial costs of conference publication and a tour of the city of Lodz.

Please send abstract and queries

For updated information related to the conference

Organizing Committee:

Professor Jadwiga Uchman

Professor Andrzej Wicher

Dr Katarzyna Ojrzyńska

Maciej Wieczorek, M.A.