CFP: [Science] Special issue of Disability Studies Quarterly

full name / name of organization: 
Ralph James Savarese
contact email: 

CFP: Special Issue of Disability Studies Quarterly on Autism
Submission deadline: Jan. 1, 2009
Projected publication date: Summer 2010

Co-editors: Emily Thornton Savarese, University of Iowa, and Ralph James Savarese, Grinnell

We are looking for completed articles, from a disability studies perspective, on what the medical
community refers to as ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). We are especially interested in pieces
that engage the so-called “low-functioning” end of the spectrum, where increasingly those
presumed retarded and lacking social awareness are writing back to the empire of science. As
the field of disability studies has theorized cognitive difference, it has had to refine its cherished
social-constructionist approach, making sure to account for physiological distinctiveness in the
organ of sensibility, a distinctiveness that has been interpreted in a myriad of ways, most quite
prejudicial. We are interested in the burgeoning neurodiversity movement, which has self-
consciously resisted such prejudicial interpretations, often revealing the “science” of autism to be
anything but reliable and objective. How to talk about autistic difference? How to represent it?
How to convey its gifts and challenges? Who can talk about it? What role should parents play in
this representational arena? What role should teachers, doctors, researchers, therapists, media
entities, and academics play? What kind of interdisciplinary approaches are needed to
understand, respect, and even cherish autism?

We are open to the widest array of progressive approaches and topics. The latter include, but are
not limited to issues of

movement and cognition
perceptual acuities
popular cultural representations
the arts
treatments, cures, prevention
disability rights
perseveration, echolalia

Questions or queries may be sent to or

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Received on Thu Jul 17 2008 - 08:47:30 EDT