CFP: [Computing-Internet] call for papers Difference on Display

full name / name of organization: 
Ine Gevers
contact email:

Call for Papers

                                                     For the Publication

                                        Niet Normaal
                                   Difference on Display

To be published in March 2009, NAI Publishers, on the occasion of the
exhibition Niet Normaal â–ª Difference on Display, Beurs van Berlage,
Editors: Ine Gevers, Maaike Bleeker, Miriam van Rijsingen and Marjan Slob

Theme of the Exhibition

The exhibition Niet Normaal â–ª Difference on Display reveals how normal it
is to be different. In order to assess others we often adopt a point of
reference that is based on unspoken assumptions: the norm. Artists,
filmmakers and other producers will call into question how norms and
difference function in contemporary society. How we construct normality
is examined in the context of today’s culture of perfectibility,
consumerism and the interdependence of humans and intelligent technology.
Niet Normaal â–ª Difference on Display offers an alternative to a normative
way of looking at the world and ourselves with the purpose of making the
positive aspects of difference visible.

Theme of the Publication

A collection of essays will be published in conjunction with the
exhibition. Central to this publication is the disability perspective,
the point of view that also informs the curatorial strategies of the
exhibition. Crucial to disability studies, the youngest branch of
cultural studies, is an alternative definition of disability. Disability
studies rejects the traditional medical model of disability, where
disability and chronic illness are fixed and individualised conditions,
and has developed an alternative social model for understanding
disability. Recent versions of this theory no longer hold tightly to a
strict either/or account of disability. Social model thinking
acknowledges the importance of embodied experience, but an emphasis on
disability as a social construct is crucial to its understanding.
Disability is seen as a difference that can be ‘made’ and ‘unmade’ in
terms of relevance in ever-changing relations and contexts.

Central question

The central focus of the publication is: what can we gain from the
disability perspective? How can it enrich the social realm, adding lived
(dis)abled experience to important issues such as norm & difference, self
& strange, invisibility & recognition without enforcing the other to
become the same? How can concrete and embodied experiences bring about
productive confrontations and enable us to move beyond fixations on
difference and identity politics?

Situated and concrete

We invite contributions that follow a bottom-up argumentation, informed
by situated practices and which analyse concrete objects of study
(whether science fiction films, the daily negotiation of blood sugar
levels, the complex shifting of subject and object status as
doctor/patient, or personal encounters with numerous databases and
techniques that presume to control bodies which are essentially
nongovernmental). The areas in which disability perspectives can make a
difference are numerous. To pick just a few examples from many
possibilities: learning from ‘other’ bodies how to survive in disabling
environments; the inexplicable link between pain and empathy; production
of alternative esthetics in a world where perfection is the norm;
reconsidering the definition of what it is that makes us human within a
world governed by normalizing technologies; challenging the ideology of
autonomy and free will through the lived notion of interdependancy and
messy day to day reality; experiencing the limits and effects of the
human-technology relationship (or how technology adapts to humans and
vice versa); becoming (new) agents in an information-overloaded
and ‘crashed’ symbolic order; precarious life and open source communities
revealing deficits of democracy and at the same time offering new tactics
for survival; why asymmetrical relationships matter and how they guide us
to touch across difference.


We would like to invite you to submit a paper of approximately 3500
words. Papers will be read by the editorial board noted above. If
accepted, we will contact you, make editorial suggestions and make the
usual agreements.


-The deadline for submitting a paper proposal of 350 words is June 1, 2008
-The deadline to submit your paper is September 1, 2008
-The final deadline for edited and corrected submissions is October 15,
-For questions please email Ine Gevers or Marjan Slob


Ine Gevers
Maaike Bleeker
Miriam van Rijsingen
Marjan Slob

Ine Gevers:
Marjan Slob:

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Received on Wed Mar 19 2008 - 05:05:07 EST

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