Spring has sprung and the poems are popping up everywhere! Welcome to the Spring 2008 issue of Disability Studies Quarterly, featuring a feature section of poetry, edited by poet (and pedagogue) Jim Ferris. We think you'll be impressed, maybe even blessed, by this lovely bouquet of a dozen poets.
This issue also offers five peer-reviewed articles that demonstrate, yet again, the richness and range of our multi-disciplinary field. Geographer Tom Koch's "Spaced Out in the City: The Wrinkled World of Transit for Those with Limited Mobility" advances experience, alongside established literature, to document the wrinkles in urban transit accessibility and to argue then, in an academic-activist conclusion, for developing programs that would better describe the altered spaces created by different transit modalities for users with different abilities.
In "From Marginalization to Participation and Back Again," Stephanie Jones offers a sociological critique of the movement back and forth between "marginalization" and "participation" for people with learning difficulties who are "included" as researchers in studies about "supported employment" (for people with learning difficulties). Based on her own qualitative research project about "supported employment," she critiques the compensatory and precarious nature of "participatory research" that is about disability and also endeavors to include people with disabilities as researchers themselves.
Steven Gelb employs historical and textual analysis to consider "Darwin's Use of Intellectual Disability in The Descent of Man." Gelb maps how Charles Darwin used persons with intellectual disabilities strategically in at least four different ways in the development of this theories and, finally, how the controversial "mental state" of Darwin's last child may have played a role in the development of these strategic uses.
In "Alexithymia among Orthodox Jews," Shulamis Juni Pollak and Joy E. Freeman present findings from a larger psychological study about alexithymia among Orthodox Jews in order to focus on the question of how, if, and to what extent the presence of a sibling with disabilities impacts the family's overall emotional expressiveness.
And finally, in "Sit (or Stand) and Be Counted!" — working from a social work and activist stance — Samantha Wehbi and Yahya El Lahib narrate a recent campaign about voting rights for people with disabilities in Lebanon.
Future special issues and outstanding individual manuscripts will continue to illustrate the multidisciplinary — and international — nature of disability studies. Sample manuscripts from the 2007 and 2008 Zola Award winners are coming soon, as well as a forum on disability studies and/in American history (based on work at the January 2008 American Historical Association annual meeting). There will be a special "back to school" feature issue in Fall 2008 on disability studies in the undergraduate classroom; this issue will feature work largely from undergraduates themselves. Also in the works are special feature sections on a disability studies conference in Nairobi, Kenya (June 2007), and a collection of the proceedings from a May 2008 Conference, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on the "UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: a Call for Action on Poverty, Lack of Access and Discrimination" that has been organized by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and Leonard Cheshire Disability (LCD).
The DSQ co-editors will be at the annual Society for Disability Studies conference in New York City, June 18-22, to help celebrate SDS's 25th year! We will have a meet and greet time during the poster session on Saturday afternoon, June 22. See you there!
Brenda Brueggemann & Scot Danforth