CFP: Marxism and Disability (3/1/06; MLA '06)

full name / name of organization: 
Anna Mollow
contact email: 

Call for Proposals for MLA 06, Division of Disability Studies Session:


The articulation of the "social model" of disability in Britain in the 1970s
was explicitly Marxist: disability, the model's authors claimed, was a
category whose invention was directly tied to the rise of capitalism, as
those who couldn't participate in the labor force were designated
"disabled." In their incarnations in the US, however, analyses of
disability as a social process have tended to lose their Marxist inflections
in favor of a more identity politics orientation, emphasizing the formation
and assertion of positive disabled identities in resistance to negative
cultural representations of bodily difference. We're soliciting papers that
bring together the strengths of both of these approaches: studies of
disability that situate it geopolitically and underscore its material
contours, while at the same time attending carefully to the complex ways in
which its materialization occurs through the mobilization of cultural and
discursive structures. We seek papers addressing disability's relations to
neoliberalism, globalization and counterglobalization, Empire, the state of
exception, and flows of corporate capital.

We're interested not only in papers that explore these relations in regard
to visible, physical impairments, but also in those that consider the ways
in which cognitive and psychiatric impairment, chronic illness, and
invisible disability are produced and responded to in capitalist economies.
Moreover, we seek work that considers the relationship between disability
and capitalism at multiple loci of disability's construction: acquisition of
impairments; recognition or denial of these impairments as biological
realities; medicalization and the administration or withholding of
"treatment"; and consolidation of disabled identities, both "positive" and


Abstract and short biography to Anna Mollow by March 1, 2006



Anna Mollow

Ph.D. Candidate

Department of English

University of California, Berkeley

322 Wheeler Hall

Berkeley, California 94720

Phone: 510-642-3467

Fax: 510-642-8738

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Received on Tue Feb 07 2006 - 13:17:15 EST