Disability Studies and Ecocriticism: Critical and Creative Intersections

deadline for submissions: 
March 1, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Studies in the Humanities

In disability studies, the environment is already an issue as the social model situates the impaired, and possibly disabled, body in the world. After all, it is the social environment that disables. To state the obvious, this emphasis on the environment substantiates, to a degree, the major concern of ecocritics. However, there are also problems. As Tom Shakespeare points out, the social model is limited: Not every environment, human or not, can be made fully accessible. Can, truly, a mountainous terrain be made accessible to everyone? From the perspective of ecocriticism, making an environment accessible for humans, disabled or nondisabled, could be seen as anthropocentric and, hence, oppressive to nature: The social model in its attempt to eradicate one area of oppression has reinforced the objectification of nature. What would it take to be just to both humans and nature? What is lost or gained by those within the disability community by exercising this “deep social model” that respects all parties within an environmental context?


This cfp calls for creative works and critical essays that explore the intersection of disability studies and ecocriticism, or disability and the environment. We will consider creative works (including creative nonfiction, poetry, and fiction) that center on an exploration of the relationship(s) between disability and the environment.

In terms of critical essays, we will consider analyses of novels, poetry, comics, dance, art, and movies.


We are particularly interested in works that address the following broad questions in specific ways: How does the lived and emotional experience of the environment and disability intersect? What happens when we bring the two together and see ecological issues through the lens of disability studies, and disability through the lens of ecocriticism?


Please send 300-500 word proposals to Dr. Christine Junker (Wright State University) and Dr. Todd Comer (Defiance College) by Deadline: March 1, 2018. Final essays/creative works should be between 6,000 and 9,000 words in length. Emails: tcomer@defiance.edu and christine.wilson@wright.edu