Critical Disability Studies Thematic Group
Aims and Objectives (updated Feb 2021)
Year Established: 2008
This group is comprised of scholars whose work and research in Critical disability Studies include: disability, race, and ethnicity; disability and poverty; education, schooling, and pedagogy; disability and children; law and human rights, free speech and hate speech; policy; violence and marginality, ableism, ability and use of technology, and social inclusion. Members include those with lived experience of disability, madness, and neurodiversity as well as allies, who are activists, advocates, bureaucrats, educators, carers, and parents.
The CDS thematic group facilitates and supports research and collaboration into the social life of ability and disability, however that is defined, and the broad and various intersectionalities within these fields. It also aims to promote social awareness, foster collaborative endeavours, and disseminate knowledge around issues pertaining to dis/ability and dis/ableism.
Aligning with our critical disability studies politics and praxis, we are:
Note: our account of critical disability studies draws from Goodley (2017) and Shildrick (2012).
- respectful of the foundations of disability studies, and in particular the social model of disability;
- attuned to the local and global, regional and urban, national and international contexts and their differential impacts on disabled people;
- attentive to the relational qualities of disability, and while ‘critical disability studies might start with disability it never ends with it, remaining ever vigilant of political, ontological and theoretical complexity’ (Goodley 2019: 191);
- mindful that analyses of disability should not preclude considerations of other forms of injustice, including racism, sexism, heterosexism, and other vectors of power;
- adherents of relationality and criticality (including within critical disability studies itself);
- Interested in imagining disability as the site of human un/becoming.
Additionally, the CDS group is committed to collegial and cohesive forums that encourage debate and reflection, supporting emerging and post-graduate students, and providing avenues for researchers to collaborate and share their research in supportive inclusive environments.
Goodley, D 2017, Disability Studies: An Interdisciplinary Introduction
, 2nd edn, SAGE, London.
Shildrick, M 2012, ‘Critical Disability Studies: Rethinking the Conventions for the Age of Postmodernity’, in Routledge Handbook of Disability Studies, edited by N Watson, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 30-41.
Critical Disability Studies Forum on Covid-19