We'll start here by acknowledging the fairly obvious (at least for those of us living, interacting, working —in whatever ways—during a time of global pandemic): It's been a hard, strange, sometimes illuminating time throughout the year 2020. The global pandemic and the rising, burning heat around long standing racial injustices in the United States have taken up a lot of spoons for many of us.

We've been impressed and buoyed up by the still steady stream of incoming submissions we are receiving from all around the globe. But still and also, admittedly, we have ourselves (as editors) struggled to keep up with the (mostly enjoyable) labor of editing DSQ during a time when so many other challenges and demands on our time, love, and energy are right in front of us, competing and claiming. Finally, it is clear that the potential reviewers in our field are also feeling the demands, the drain, the spoons gone from their drawer. It has been hard to get reviewer commitments —claimed or completed—throughout 2020. We understand.

As DSQ Editors, we've taken up a mantra, pattern, process (since March 2020) that aims to carry out love, understanding, kindness with the various delays and struggles in trying to maintain semblances of productivity and active and peer-reviewed scholarship. We'll all get there, folks (in terms of our academic productivity) and we'll get there best by being gentle, kind, understanding with the many other lived/embodied realities and stressors that are rippling over and over again… like endless stone-dropped waves on our collective pond… as we try to hold up productivity and publishing standards. As best we can.


Issue 40.3 features ten articles that traverse many disciplines and several geographical, relational, and embodied locations. The pieces here also employ diverse methodologies as they all work within the increasingly expansive and energetic field of Disability Studies. There are three braided threads weaving across the fabric of the issue's overall content:

  1. rights—personal, social, political, sexual;
  2. relationships —allies, caregiving/receiving; and
  3. challenging questions/issues as they already appear, and have appeared, in our field and rethinking core concepts and understandings.

Taken all together these ten pieces redefine and challenge core elements of "humanity" and what it means to be a person (i.e. in terms of subjectivity, sexuality, relationships)

The issue opens with Johnathan Smilges' personal narrative blended and balanced (but boldly) with philosophical-rhetorical rumination. These two voices are also then placed in a chorus conversation with several dozen other authors, activists, scholars from across several genres and fields. In Smilges' "Trauma Sex: A Queercrip Erotic" we encounter both personal and theoretical terrain in the crossed territory between trauma and sex as it is also placed within a queercrip framework.

Alisa Grigorovich's second essay also explores "risky" sexualities and their unbalanced representations in news media (and thus, culture at large). In her use of media analysis and rights-based critical work, Grigorovich's work, "Governing 'Risky' Sexualities: Representation of Dementia and Sexuality in the News Media," centers over persons/subjects diagnosed with dementia and the challenging questions of their personal, political, and sexual identities as they are particularly represented in news media.

The third essay by Matilda Carter resonates with Grigorovich by also considering the rights of people diagnosed with dementia. From a philosophical exploration of truth telling, Carter concludes that it is not always ethical to correct the perceptions of a person living with dementia by telling them the truth. Carter argues that, instead, caregivers might respect a person living with dementia by engaging in ethical deception and acknowledging the individual's understanding of their experiences.

Adam Davidson's autoethnographic essay critically converses with dozens of other important and current texts in the field of Disability Studies in his interrogation, excavation, and re-ordering of (crip) time. In "Stasis-Maintenance-(Un)productive-Presence: Parenting a Disabled Child as Crip Time," Davidson maps a personal/parent narrative in four quadrants: Stasis, Maintenance, (Un)productive, and Presence.

In Alexandre Baril's deep theoretical exploration of prevailing models of suicidality, he demonstrates that even models that respect the rights of suicidal individuals are grounded in ableist and sanist assumptions. Baril's "Suicidism: A New Theoretical Framework to Conceptualize Suicide from an Anti-Oppressive Perspective" uses crip theory and queer theory, along with a harm-reduction and non-coercive suicide approach, to suggest an ethical, rights-based approach to suicidal people.

Matthew Holder's literary analysis, focused on science fiction, builds upon other disability studies scholarship that explores the provocative potential between disability studies (and disabled authors, characters, perspectives) and speculative/science fiction. In "Disabling the Future: Theorizing Disability in Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction," Holder's literary analysis centers around a selection of short fiction from Uncanny Magazine (online) and its publication of a disability-themed issue, "Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction." Holder's essay challenges a number of common tropes that speculative/science fiction has negatively and harmfully built in barriers around disabled bodies, experiences, and potentialities and counter-offers its own speculative, constructive, accessible alternatives.

Elisa S. Abes and Megan E. Zahneis' piece is a reflection on allyship. In "A Duoethnographic Exploration of the Relationship Between Identity Differences and Disability Allyship within Disability Studies" the two authors, a faculty member and student, act as both researchers and subjects to study their work together in disability studies. By reproducing their dialogues, the authors offer an in-depth consideration of the relationship between identity and collaboration.

In Melissa Bessaha, Rebecca Reed, Amanda Donlon, Wendi Mathews, Alissa Bell, Danielle Merolla (aka: Bessaha et al.) ten student co-researchers and six faculty/staff co-researchers worked together in a participatory action research (PAR) project about creating a more inclusive educational environment for students with disabilities. Primary themes in this large scale study focus on the overall physical space and environment of learning within university settings while also attending to personal —shared and unique —experiences from students. Recommendations for campus inclusion strategies and actions become the final focal point of this article.

Also accessing larger pools of participatory experience and data —and gesturing toward social action research in its outline of changes in social, economic, and political structures and relationships—Vasiliki Chalaza, Christos Tsakas, and Karolos Iosif Kavoulakos engage national and social policy analysis in Greece over the "Greek Blind movement." In "From Charity to Welfare: Disability Movement, Institutional Change and Social Transformation in Post-Dictatorial Greece, 1974,1981" Chalaza et al. examine this movement as one that is about larger democratic transitions, social transformations, and understandings of, and engagements with, citizenship and empowerment.

Also investigating constructs of citizenship and carrying out national and social policy analysis and rights discourses, Stephen Meyers concludes this issue with "Rethinking Citizenship, Self-Help, and Disability in the Global South: Solidaridad as disability citizenship in Nicaragua." Particular critical attention is paid to the way that (dominant) Western constructs about disability rights and citizenship work in complex ways with realities, policies, rights in Global South locations.

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