The neoliberal reconfigurations (or dissolution) of ‘the social’ and the tendency to define the individual responsibility as the response to social issues have increasingly been challenged; predominantly, scholars have pointed out the overburdening impacts on the ‘private’ and supportive networks be it community, family or otherwise. Likewise, novel subjectivities emerging in response to the interpellation to manage one’s life and its risks responsibly (such as ‘the entrepreneurial self’, ‘the private self’ etc.) have been a subjected to critical discussion.
However, with few exceptions, the effects of neoliberalism have not been explored in their specific interactions with disability, nor have been their particular (dis/abling) effects on the lives of people with various forms of disabilities. Similarly unexplored remain historical contingencies of neoliberal forms of governance in relation to dis/ability and physical/psychical/mental/sensory difference.
Hence, this conference aspires to:
- Map out the ways in which neoliberal governance affects people with disabilities;
- Explore how and in what ways disability is operationalised and in what ways compulsory ablebodiedness intersects with the (novel) forms of bio-power and bio-capitalisation of human life, or for redefinition of the ‘human’ as such;
- Complicate the historical lineage of these neoliberal forms of power by both outlining rationalities and categories of differentiation that can be linked to the present neoliberal rationality, while at the same time looking for archaeology of other forms of imagination, categorisations and differentiations.
- Lastly, we hope to engage in instigating discussion delineating the possible alliances between feminist, crip, queer, ethnic/racial as well as class critiques (as well as their possible conflicts) of neoliberalism and neoliberal governance. To this effect, we are planning to organise a roundtable discussion.
We expressly wish to create a forum for an interdisciplinary exchange and invite papers from various fields of humanities and social sciences (cultural, literary and visual studies, history and history of arts, sociology, anthropology and other). Likewise, the intersectional perspective and papers exploring the neoliberal governance of disability in relation to gender, sexuality, ethnicity, race, and class are particularly called for.
We propose to centre the conference dialogues on the following themes and questions:
a) Neoliberal governance of the ‘disabled subject’
First, exploring the entanglements of the neoliberal governmentality with compulsory ablebodiedness, we call for papers discussing the specific effects these power relations have on people with disabilities. We hope for papers that would – for instance – explore the ways, in which neoliberal politics of privatisation affect people with disabilities; explore the forms of responsibilities which are being carved out in relation to one’s health and capability/ability, their somatic effects. Likewise, we invite critical reflections on the rationalities shaping the self/ ‘the disabled subject’; or papers outlining the challenges that the neoliberal discourse of diversity, individualised freedom of choice etc. presents for disability, crip as well as feminist, queer, multicultural/multiethnic politics and their agendas.
b) Neoliberal invocations of ‘disability’
Second, we encourage papers exploring the novel forms of biopolitics and their interactions with dis/ability. Possible issues to be addressed include: relations of biopolitics and bioeconomics; forms and rationalities of economies of vitality; new shapes of ‘valuable life’ and (economic) rationalities defining ‘quality of life’; novel rationalities of eugenics; neoliberal redefinition of care, intimacy, sexual ethics and interdependence. How does the neoliberal biopolitics shape the futural perspectives of ‘the human’ and of the (bodily) difference, or how does it shape the notions of the future as such?
c) Historical perspectives on knowledge and representation of bodily difference and extraordinary bodies
Third, we open the call for historical perspective that would indicate genealogical lineage with the neoliberal forms of rationality, disciplination and/or identification as well as complicate this master narrative. In respect to both perspectives, we invite papers presenting and discussing various forms of early modern monster theories, teratology, commercialisation of freak shows, commodification of (bodily) difference, classification and/or typology of physical/psychical/mental/sensory difference, the ‘birth of the disabled subject’, rationalities of eugenic theories. Again, we are also interested in papers considering futural developments/imaginations of extraordinary bodies.
d) Alliances in cripping Neoliberalism: Roundtable discussion with keynote speakers
discussing possible alliances (and/or conflicts) between various critical positions
Application Requirements: We invite abstracts for 20-minute papers related to one of the topics outlined in the CFP. Abstracts should be in English and should not exceed 300 words. Please include a brief biographical note of no more than 250 words outlining your current research interests, most recent publications, academic affiliation.
Deadline for abstract submission: June 30, 2010
Notification: A committee will review applicants and notify candidates selected for participation by mid July 2010.
Organisation: Kateřina Kolářová, Lucie Storchová, and student support
There is no fee charge and we take care of your accommodation and catering during the conference! However, please note that travel funds can only be granted in exceptional cases and we ask participants to apply in time for travel funding at their home institutions.
The conference language is English. Please indicate your accessibility needs as well as any other possible requirements (childcare, dietary needs), we will do our best to meet them or get back to you to figure out what we can do. We kindly ask participants to let us know about applicable requirements or other special needs by June 20, 2010.