Call For Proposals

DSQ special issue: Indigeneity + Disability

Co-editors: Ella Callow and Susan Burch

Call For Proposals

Disability Studies Quarterly is inviting abstracts for a special issue on disability and Indigenous lives, cultures, and experiences—past, present, and future.

We seek contributions in a range of formats, including personal narratives, fiction, academic articles, photo essays, artworks, book reviews, and community-based history. Co-authored works are warmly welcomed. Projects should engage a broad audience, and use clear and accessible language. Visual contributions such as artworks and photographs should be accompanied by image descriptions.

Contributors are encouraged to consider various themes in relation to Indigeneity and disability, including but not limited to:

Definitions and Concepts

  • What does it mean to be disabled and Indigenous? What other terms, concepts, and identities are important?
  • What stories do different Indigenous people, in North America and beyond, share about wide-ranging kinds of bodies and minds?
  • How do Indigenous concepts of medicine, health, spirituality, community, and justice change, challenge, or enrich the dominant Western narratives of disability and/or Indigeneity?
  • What can we learn by paying attention to relationships between land, mobility, wellness, and disability?

Teaching, Learning, and Research Practices in Indigenous and Disability Studies 

  • What can we learn from tribal nations about disability and about creating communities that are supportive, caring, and well?
  • How do we teach Indigenous disability in the school classroom? The university classroom? The community hall?
  • How do we create accessible, inclusive, Indigenous-centered disability scholarship?
  • What methods and projects are being developed to help us understand and share Indigenous disability?

Indigeneity and Disability: Pasts, Presents, and Futures

  • What can we learn by considering the historical and ongoing relationship between Indigenous peoples, colonial violence, ableism, and disability?
  • What does the intersection of Indigenous disability, the education system, and the incarceration system look like through time? What can be hoped for?
  • How does history relate to current movements around health, land, and sovereignty, such as Idle No More, Standing Rock, and the Indigenous Environmental Network?
  • What does a just future look like with regard to disability and Indigenous peoples? 

Please send a 250-word proposal to Susan Burch (sburch@middlebury.edu) by May 15, 2020 for consideration in this special issue. In your proposal please address the following:

  • What is your own relationship to the project? How will your project contribute meaningfully to the communities that intersect with your project?
  • What specifically is your contribution about? What story are you going to tell? What ideas are you going to share?
  • What format will you use for the project? (for example: personal narratives, fiction, academic articles, photo essays, and community-based history)
  • What is important about your project’s questions, arguments, findings, and/or sources?
  • Avoid jargon and clearly define special terminology. Indicate directly how your project will be accessible to a wide audience.

Contributors with written work should plan for their finished works to be between 750 and 2500 words (excluding citations). If your project is of a different length or format please note this directly in your proposal. 

Relevant dates/ TIMELINE:

May 15, 2020: Submit abstract to Susan Burch: sburch@middlebury.edu

July 17, 2020: Prospective authors notified of proposal status

January 10, 2021: Full versions of selected contributions due to editors