Thursday, May 28, 2009

Society for Disability Studies to host 22nd annual conference in Tucson in June

From the Society for Disability Studies:

The Society for Disability Studies (SDS), an international non-profit organization that promotes the study of disability in social, cultural and political contexts, will host scholars from around the world at its annual conference June 17-20, 2009 at the Hilton El Conquistador in Tucson, Arizona.

As a multi-disciplinary group, the SDS conference provides a forum for a wide variety of research presentations, performances and discussion from social scientists, health researchers, humanities scholars, artists, performers and disability rights activists.

“At our conferences, we offer exciting, groundbreaking work on current issues in Disability Studies from both the U.S. and internationally,” says the current SDS President R. Noam Ostrander, who is an assistant professor in the Social Work Program at DePaul University. “We are dedicated to exploring connections between disability and other culturally-constructed notions of identity, including race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexual orientation, and national affiliation.”

This year’s conference presentations will explore a myriad of crucial disability studies issues: the autistic rights movement; Trig Palin and the use of disability in the 2008 presidential campaign; the R-word campaign; deaf identity; invisible disabilities; the specific needs of children with disabilities, the Americans with Disabilities Act; disability in the criminal justice system; independent living; disability representation in film, TV and literature; HIV/AIDS; disability activism; and many more topics. The complete program is available for viewing at:

In addition to several hundred U.S. disability studies scholars who will attend the Tucson event, the conference will host a number of international scholars who will present on disability topics from the countries of Korea, New Zealand, Taiwan, Canada, Australia, Nepal, Great Britain, and Nigeria.

The rising British comedian, Liz Carr, (pictured) will appear for a “sit-down” comedy performance and cabaret Saturday night June 20. Carr, a wheelchair user, has been a comedian since 2001. She made her stand-up debut in the 2005 show, “Abnormally Funny People,” where she performed alongside other disabled comedians in London and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. Since 2005, she has been a part of the BBC’s disability Web site, Ouch!, co-hosting its podcast with actor Mat Fraser and writing a monthly column on “the nitty gritty of my life as a disabled woman.” For more information about Carr, visit her Web site at

Founded in the mid-1980s, the Society for Disability Studies seeks through research, artistic production, teaching and activism to augment the understanding of disability in all cultures and historical periods, to promote greater awareness of the experiences of disabled people, and to advocate for social change. SDS also publishes the leading U.S. scholarly journal on disability studies, Disability Studies Quarterly,