CFP: Edited Collection, ‘MediAbility: Transforming Disability in the Media’

Published on: Author: Hannah Tweed Leave a comment

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
  • Eco-ability
  • 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
  • Supercrips

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.
Dr. Amber E. George and Dr. JL Schatz

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