June 2017

**19th June 2019** Save the date – A day on Critical Studies of Ableism
Manchester Metropolitan University
Brooks Buildings
Birley Campus
Room to be announced
10am – 5pm
Confirmed speakers Fiona Kumari Campbell, Rod Michalko, Tanya Titchkosky, Kirsty Liddiard, Rebecca Lawthom, Katherine Runswick Cole and more TBA


February 2016
Disability and the Human Symposium
Time: 10am – 4 pm
Date: Friday, February 5th, 2016,
Venue: Lecture Theatre 1Brooks Building, Birley Fields Campus, Manchester Metropolitan University, M15 6GX

Confirmed speakers include: Dan Goodley (Sheffield); Rebecca Lawthom (Manchester Metropolitan); Kirsty Liddiard (Sheffield); China Mills (Sheffield); Katherine Runswick-Cole (Manchester Metropolitan).

Please book your place via Eventbrite

For all other inquiries please contact

Travel Information here:

January 2016
Reconsidering the Postcolonial Debate: Intersecting Postcolonialism, Education and Disability for Genuine Sustainable Development
Tsitsi Chataika
University of Zimbabwe
Visiting researcher, School of Education
19th January
2 – 4pm, Room 4.06, Education Building, University of Sheffield, 388 Glossop Road.

In this presentation, I argue for the need to reconsider the postcolonial debate by converging postcolonial theory, education and disability for sustainable development. The essence here is to provide an intertwined interdisciplinary discourse, which focuses on sustainable development.   In the process,  I align myself with Stuart Hall, who considers postcolonialism’s indecisive reception amongst differing constituencies as a sign of both, desire and danger. The debate around postcolonialism has been taken to extremes by various commentators, including those who claim to have experienced colonialism. Regrettably, the debates seem to be widening the misunderstanding gap; thus, working against global cohesion, which can bring sanity to sustainable global development. In unpacking this discussion, I consider the work of various postcolonial scholars namely Said, Bhabha, Ahluwalia, Mandela (popularly known as Madhibha); Barker and Murray; Parekh, Ghai, Grech and Meekosha.  The need for a more emancipatory, rather than an appeasing and/or confrontational postcolonial stance, is argued for. This argument is based on the need to integrate postcolonial theory  with  education and disability for sustainable development. Against this backdrop, the presentation then provides a summative account, which demonstrates how an intertwined disciplinary discourse can promote ‘a marriage of commitment’ (as opposed to convenience) to both global North and global South parties, with view to outgrowing the ‘bickering stage’ and mainly focus on sincere ways of attaining the post-2015 sustainable development goals.


March 2015

Theorising Dis/ability Seminar

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 08.54.55

Location: School of Education, 1.02 Date/time: 24th March, 1-4.00pm

Come and join us for an afternoon of theorising dis/ability differently.

April 2015 Update: We have since made films of speaker Powerpoints and audio files. To access the talks, please see below:

Marek Mackiewicz (2015) Inner Dialogues

Kirsty Liddiard, Theorising Posthuman Vulnerabilities (Transcript pending)

Julia Daniels, Feminist Disability Theory (Transcript pending)

To see the Twitter feed from the event, please click here

November 2014

iHuman: This is what it means to be human …

Location: Jessops West Exhibition Space, University of Sheffield
Date/time: 10am to 4pm, Saturday 1st November 2014

We are bringing together young people and researchers to share our ideas about what it means to be human. We are living in an age marked by the rapid growth in knowledge about the human body and brain. These include the development of powerful new technologies with the potential to augment our bodies (and modify behaviour) and diagnostics for the early detection of disease, drugs to aid cognition, and devices to extend physical capabilities. And many more of us, so it seems, are endlessly plugged in to our smartphones, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat. Our lives are lived in the virtual. How are these developments changing how we understand what it means to be human? To help answer this question we have asked the following people to present to us as part of this ESRC festival of Science event:

1. Alternative and Augmentative Communication users of technology – Bridge College Manchester
2. Young dis/abled people and their accounts of their humanness through their relationships with technology – Holmfirth High School
3. Self-advocacy group members and their use of film – Speakup Self-advocacy Rotherham
4. Researchers from the University of Sheffield will share some of their research ideas in an accessible way including Sheffield Centre for Robotics

Sessions will be accessible, visually led, interactive, always focused on maintaining understanding and connection. We expect the audience to include young people, their families, other researchers and key community members from the creative industries as well as the disability and education sectors.

Twitter: @disabilityuos

Accessibility details: Wheelchair accessible venue; Accessible toilets; limited accessible parking
Getting to the Venue:
Lunch: Will be provided, please indicate any dietary requirements when registering with Eventbrite.

Excitingly, there will be a podcast produced from this event. We are also exploring ways to make it possible to virtually attend the event. Details of this will be added to this event notice in time so please keep checking back, or feel free to email Dan on the address below.
Please let us know if we can try to do anything else to make this event accessible to you.

If you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch


Activism, Ambition, Action…and Austerity? Disabled Young People
Speak Out

Date: Wednesday 5th November 2014
Location: Venue TBC, but will be at the University of Sheffield

The aim of this event is to instigate critical dialogues concerning
disability, youth, ambition, action and activism in the context of an increasingly
precarious environment for disabled people politically, culturally, legally, and
economically in Britain. These dialogues are vital to all of us as social scientists, but
are particularly pertinent to young disabled people who have become the
subjects/object of severe austerity measures set out by the Coalition Government.
Thus far, these have targeted their Access to Work, their right to live
independently/interdependently and contribute to their own communities, and most
recently, their access to higher education through proposed cuts to the Disabled
Students Allowance (DSA).

We invite disabled, D/deaf, Mad, learning disabled and neurodiverse people
(hereby young people) and their organisations as activists, students, self/advocates, artists, academics and attendees. We also invite (University of Sheffield and other) researchers, academics, teachers and associated professionals, practitioners and policy makers.

Excitingly, we have confirmed well-known and well-loved activist, campaigner and
(neurodiverse) artist, Touretteshero, as our keynote speaker for the day
( Touretteshero’s activism has garnered inter/national media
attention over the past few years since the publication of her bestselling book,
Welcome to Biscuit Land: A Year in the Life of Touretteshero, Souvenir Press Ltd.

Furthermore, we are thrilled to have confirmed three inter/national supporting
speakers (two social scientists; one activist; each of whom identify as young and/or
disabled/Mad) (session titles tbc): Dr Jenny Slater, Sheffield Hallam UniversityDanielle Landry, School of Disability Studies, Toronto, Canada; and Dr Kirsty Liddiard, University of Sheffield.

Register for this event here:

Accessibility details: Wheelchair accessible venue; Accessible toilets; limited accessible parking; British Sign Language Interpretation
Getting to the Venue: Venue TBC
Lunch: Will be provided, please indicate any dietary requirements when registering with Eventbrite.

Please let us know if we can try to do anything else to make this event accessible to you. If you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch:




Symposium – Time for a Posthuman disability Studies?

10.00am – 5.00pm 24th September 2014
Room IC-127, Information Commons, University of Sheffield, 44 Leavygreave Rd, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S3 7RD

What does it mean to be human in the 21st Century and in what ways does disability enhance these meanings? In addressing this question we seek to work through entangled connections of nature, society, technology, medicine, biopower and culture to consider the extent to which the human might be an outdated phenomenon, replaced by the posthuman condition (Braidotti, 2013). We know that disability is a political category and an identity but might it also provide a moment of relational ethics? Are disability studies already at ease with the posthuman because disability has always contravened the traditional classical humanist conception of what it means to be human? What aspects of the ‘humanist human’ would we want to keep hold of in a time of austerity and increasing inequality? Could we bring together politicized disability studies with posthuman activism to enhance and complicate one another in ways that raise important questions about the kinds of life and death that we value? Might a posthuman disability studies respond directly to contemporary complexities around the human whilst celebrating moments of difference and disruption? This symposium seeks to bring together those we are interested in sharing and engaging with these debates.

Scheduled talks:

Dan Goodley, School of Education, University of Sheffield: Disability: A Posthuman Manifesto

Kirsty Liddiard, School of Education, University of Sheffield: “I’m a lie-back-and-think-of-England type of man”: Imagining the Posthuman Dis/sexual Subject

Elizabeth Wood, School of Education, University of Sheffield: From Schiller to Second Life: playful musings on the contribution of play to what it means to be human

Gregor Wolbring, Dept. of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary: Ability expectation and Ableism Studies: An innovative approach to catalyze a new community of practice to monitor, evaluate and address Post-Human and other emerging ability expectation challenges to how society functions: Expanding Ableism beyond its disability studies meaning and expanding the scope of disability studies.

Ella Houston, Division of Health Research, Lancaster University: A feminist disability studies perspective on the disabled and posthuman body: Further philosophical considerations

Alex Pearl, Department of Law, University of Leeds: Redefining the Human: What does it mean to be considered a full human person?

Please click here for a copy of the schedule: Symposium Schedule with banner

You can register for this event here:

Accessibility details: Wheelchair accessible venue; Accessible toilets; limited accessible parking

Getting to the Venue:

Lunch: Please feel free to bring your own. Alternatively, there is a cafe in the building:é

Excitingly, there will be a podcast produced from this event. We are also exploring ways to make it possible to virtually attend the event. Details of this will be added to this event notice in time so please keep checking back, or feel free to email Kirsty on the address below.

Please let us know if we can try to do anything else to make this event accessible to you. If you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch:

Please come to the building, ask at the reception, and we shall see you there.


JUNE 2014

Dis/ability and Intersectionality Symposium

In a time of austerity, economic recession, rising unemployment and an ever-growing divide between rich and poor across the globe, to what extent could it be argued that comprehending disablism and ableism requires entangled engagements with processes of racism, homophobia and sexism? When one evokes the image of ‘the able’ to what extent are other processes associated with ‘the white’, ‘the straight’, ‘the Anglo-Saxon’ and ‘the male’? And, crucially, what strategies for subversion emerge at the nexus of these intersections? Modes of ableist cultural reproduction and disabling material conditions can never be divorced from hetero/sexism, racism, homophobia, colonialism, imperialism, patriarchy and capitalism. In this symposium, we consider the promise and place of intersectionality to critical studies of dis/ability, disablism and ableism.

Dan Goodley will introduce the symposium by asking ‘Intersectionality: affirmation or negation?’ – this will draw on ongoing and future work with colleagues including Rebecca Lawthom, Kirsty Liddiard, Katherine Runswick Cole, Liz Wood

Rod Michalko addresses intersectionality as a solution.  To do so, he asks “For what problem is intersectionality as solution?”

Nirmala Erevelles will speak to Intersectionality: Identity politics or social practice?

Tanya Titchkosky will explore ‘Diagnostic versus Imaginative Intersectionality’ – There are various ways to “do” intersectional analysis today.  Titchkosky will show the difference between a diagnostic and an imaginative use of the concept of intersectionality and their implications for the meaning made of race and disability.

The talks seek to encourage debate and conversation. To register for this event please visit:


MAY 2014

Disability and Austerity: A Symposium
8th May 2014   2 – 5pm
University of Sheffield
Education Building, Room 1.02

Will include brief presentations to spark debate and conversation:
Dan Goodley (University of Sheffield) – defining and contesting austerity: the case of dis/ability
Nick Hodge (Sheffield Hallam University) – The Impact of Austerity on the Aspirations of People with Autism
Katherine Runswick Cole (Manchester Metropolitan University) – Cruel optimism and disability
Susana Rojas Pernia (University of Cantabria) – Disability barriers in Spain
Rebecca Lawthom (Manchester Metropolitan University) – Revolting subjects and austerity
If you would like to attend please email


Gender and Disability: Asking Difficult Questions
Gender Research Network, University of Sheffield; Disability Research Forum (DRF), Sheffield Hallam University
Saturday, 10 May 2014 from 10:00 to 17:00 (BST) Sheffield, United Kingdom


MARCH 2014
Disability Studies across the Pennines
26th March 2014, 2.30 – 5.30, venue tba
(will be at the University of Sheffield)

This event will bring together researchers from Disability Studies at the University of Sheffield, Critical Disability Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University and the Disability Research Forum at Sheffield Hallam University. To submit an abstract for a two minute presentation please email before 28th February 2014.


3rd Interdisciplinary dialogues in disability studies
Elmfield Building, Northumberland Road
18th December 2013
2 – 4 pm
G19 Elmfield Building, Northumberland Road

Jan Owens – disability and dentistry
John Quinn – disability and politics
Sarah Dauncey – disability and Chinese studies
Kathy Boxall – Mad Studies and the academy


2nd Interdisciplinary dialogues in disability studies
Elmfield Building, Northumberland Road
16th October 2013
2 – 4 pm
G19 Elmfield Building, Northumberland Road

You are cordially invited to the 2nd Interdisciplinary dialogues in disability studies. This roundtable will include the following contributions:
Rebecca Mallett – ‘From Geography with Love: Tales of a Disciplinary Nomad (With No Reference to Deleuze or Guatari)’
Jenny Slater – ‘I don’t know what my discipline is, but I just get cross about ‘reasonable-ness’ (cos its everywhere)’
Katie Hemer – ‘Investigation of disease and physical impairment from the study of human remains’
Katherine Runswick Cole and Dan Goodley – ‘Humanities and the Social Sciences: disability and the post-human’


JUNE 2013
Elizabeth Gaskell Campus, Manchester Metropolitan University, Hathersage Road, Manchester, UK, M13 0JA 10.30 – 4.00pm, 18th & 19th June, 2013The aim of the conference is to provide a space for disabled children, young people, family members and allies (including practitioners) to share their ideas, knowledge and expertise and to celebrate disabled children and young people’s lives.  We would like to invite disabled children, young people, their parents and carers (we would like to include people with physical, sensory and cognitive impairments as well as those people with mental health issues), as well as activists and academics in the field of disability studies and childhood studies to present at and to attend the event.  This year’s conference theme is ‘Time for Change?’  We are inviting contributors to talk about changes in the lives of children, young people and their families and suggest that you might like to address some of the following questions:§  what has changed?§  how have you been involved in changing lives?§  what changes would you like to see?§  what are the barriers to and opportunities for change?Day One will include accessible presentations and discussion points as well as opportunities to take part in workshop activities (further details to follow).Day Two will include more formal presentations but we will particularly welcome presentations or discussion papers that tell a story, share a skill, some information or research in ways that try to be as accessible and creative as possible – for example, that use a range of presentations styles and media including photography, video and artwork.Registration
To book your place visit: We ask that you please register, stating any access requirements, two weeks before the event.Presenting
Please send us a short description of the ideas for your presentation by 10th May, 2013.Travel & Parking
Travel information available at: is not available at Gaskell (except for blue badge holders) but there are car parks nearby, or catch the 147 bus from Piccadilly Station, ask for the Hathersage Road stop.Refreshments
PLEASE NOTE: as this is a FREE event, we will not be providing refreshments.  Please bring your own or it will be possible to purchase food at the campus refectory.Contact
For more information please contact:<> or 0161 247 2906.



FEBRUARY 2013Inaugural Research Meeting
13th February 2013
1 – 3pm
ICOSS Conference Room
Bring your own lunch!
Map: Click here
Program1 – 1.10 ‘What is Disability Studies?’ – Dan Goodley (Education)1.10-1.25 ‘Death and sociology’ – Julie Ellis (Sociological Studies)1.25 – 1.40  ‘Psychosocial adjustment in appearance altering conditions – Andrew Thompson (Psychology)1.40 – 1.55  ‘Disability travellers in imperial worlds: c. 1800-1914’  – Esme Cleall   (History)1.55 – 2.10  ‘Storying Sheffield, knowing healing’ (Vicky Grant)2.10 – 2.25  ‘When you change the method, you change the ‘disorder’: Constructionist research adventures in the field of autism studies – Thomas Muskett (Human Communication Sciences)2.25 – 2.40  ‘Disability, interactions, affection: A personal journey (Marek Mackiewicz, Education)2.40 – 2.55: Discussion and Q&A with presenters2.55: Closing: Ideas for future events


MARCH 2013

Inaugural Lecture – all welcome! Professor Dan Goodley – “The psychopathology of the normals: Why non-disabled people are so messed up around disability”14th March 2013
5 – 6:30pm
ICOSS Conference Room
Map: Click here


APRIL 2013

Disabilityuos Seminar
12 – 1.30, April 17th 2013
Room 7.02, Education Building, University of Sheffield 388 Glossop Road

Hanna Bertilsdotter-Rosqvist
Umeå UniversitySE-901 87 Umeå, Sweden

Meanings of an ‘autistic’ sexual subjectivity- narratives of love, sexuality and couplehood on people with autism´s own terms within the Swedish autistic self-advocacy movement

Abstract: In research on sexuality and developmental disabilities three discourses dominates: the sexual restriction/regulation discourse, the sexual education discourse and a sexual political discourse. Perspectives on sexuality, couplehood and autism are gradually changing in Sweden. Through this change people with autism are gradually being included within a discourse of “good enough sexuality” on certain conditions (sexuality based on twosome, monogamous love). The present paper explores discourses within the Swedish autistic self-advocacy movement of an ‘autistic’ sexuality and couplehood (sexuality and couplehood on people with autism´s own terms). The analyses is based on articles in a Swedish magazine, Empowerment, published between 2002-2009, produced by and aimed at adults with autism. The stories in the magazine Empowerment can be seen as expressing an emergent counter-hegemonic conditional discourse of “good enough sexuality” which regards some people with autism as “good enough” sexual subjects and possible sexual and romantic partners.

Hanna Bertilsdotter Rosqvist is an Associate Professor in Sociology and Research Fellow in Sociology and Gender studies at Umeå University, Sweden. She now holds a position as senior lecturer at the Department or Social Work, Umeå university. Her research interests include autism politics and identity constructions among adults with autism. Other areas of interest are homonormativity, representations of bisexuality, and intersecting notions of age, space and sexuality.


The University of Sheffield’s Disabled Students’ Committee (DSC) is having a Disability Week next week, 22nd-26th April 2013.

Monday 22nd April, 6-9pm, Arts Tower LT08
Film Showing – Mary and Max
Adam Elliot’s claymation tale of Asperger’s and friendship in Australia (refreshments provided).

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday all day
We will be in the Union foyer talking about models of disability. You can also come and see us to talk about our plans for the future and ask us anything about the DSC.
Thursday 11am-2pm, The Zone
Zine-making workshop, Storying peoples experiences of Disability

Thursday 6-9pm Hicks LT09
Dennis Queen Talk
Disabled Activist Dennis Queen is coming to talk to us about the disability movement as a whole and the progress from disabled people being institutionalized to being allowed an education.

The week’s Facebook event is here:
And for anyone using social media the DSC can be found on Facebook ( and Twitter (

MAY 2013

15th May 2013, 1pm – 3pm
Room G18, Ground Floor, Elmfield Building, Northumberland Road, Sheffield, S10 2TU – building number 31, top left of the campus map which you will find here –

This informal get together will encourage thinking around the study of disability and its relation to a number of disciplinary preoccupations and dilemmas. Short presentations will add to general debate and discussion. The emphasis will be on debate and chat – tea and cake will be provided!

Kathy Boxall – Doing disability studies in social work: personal, political or academic?
Harriet Cameron – Disability (probably dyslexia), critical realism and psychology
Esme Cleall – Disability and history
Dan Goodley – Psychology and disability studies: friend or foe?
Tabby Collingbourne – Law/politics and disability studies

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