[acc-cca-l] Autism_Media_Social Justice: CFP Studies in Social Justice Special Issue

Miranda Brady MirandaBrady at cunet.carleton.ca
Fri Jun 19 12:30:23 MDT 2020


Autism_Media_Social Justice
Call for Abstracts for a Special Issue in Studies in Social Justice

In recent years, representations of autism in popular culture have proliferated. From Hollywood action thrillers like The Accountant to Netflix dramadies like Atypical, there are now more overt representations of autism than ever before. While some might celebrate the boon of autistic representations in the media and their impact on autistic individuals who may connect with and see political potential in them, this growth raises a number of questions related to social justice.

Alongside this growth, neuro-atypical communities have mobilized various forms of media to challenge dominant narratives and representations of autistic life and culture (Kapp, 2020; Davidson and Orsini, 2013). Moreover, disability studies and critical autism studies scholars, autistic self-advocates, and disability justice activists have highlighted how autism discourses frequently serve to reinscribe and naturalize medicalization and violence against autistic people and communities (McGuire, 2016; ASAN, 2018b; Yergeau, 2018).

Pushing back against biomedical and deficit-based discourses of autism, self-advocates instead forward the disability rights mantra of “nothing about us without us” and seek to challenge the production norms that rarely include autistic people. Centering people on the spectrum can help to “re-story” autism as a welcome difference that does not require cure or normalization (Douglas et al., 2019, p. 2; Gillespie-Lynch et al., 2017) where autistic persons “take a more active paid role in the production of autism knowledge” (Woods et al., 2018, p. 978; Waltz, 2014). But does such accessibility necessarily challenge the structures of ableism?

This special issue seeks to explore these and other questions related to media and autism. It traces the relationships of power that construct autism in particular ways, challenges ableist approaches, and builds emancipatory autistic and disability culture toward more socially just futures.

We invite abstracts for academic papers, creative works, and dispatches that address the intersections of autism, media, and social justice.

We invite submissions that do not employ deficit models of autism. While the special issue is academic in nature, we also encourage creative papers, dispatches, and interventions like drawings, poetry, vlogs, and links to performances.

Abstracts outlining proposed works should be emailed to us at the address provided below in a word document by 30 July 2020. Please visit the Submission Preparation Checklist<https://journals.library.brocku.ca/index.php/SSJ/about/submissions>at Studies in Social Justice for more information about article and creative intervention information. We will confirm receipt of abstracts and let authors know whether they fit the scope of the special issue within two weeks. If abstracts are accepted, complete works are due by 31 December 2020. Full paper acceptance depends on passing a peer review process. Full scholarly papers will be 6,000-8,000 words; dispatches, less than 4,000 words; and creative interventions will vary in format.

Below we have provided 11 potential questions for you to engage with, but we invite other topics to be explored.

Abstracts (due 30 July 2020) should include:

1.    Author’s (or authors’) Name, Rank and Affiliation if applicable, and short biography (50-100 words)

2.    Title and publication type (paper and/or creative intervention)

3.    300-400 word abstract

o  Scholarly papers and dispatches: Abstracts should outline the paper’s main argument or question being addressed, and if appropriate, methodological or analytical approach, theoretical framework, and how it relates to existing literature and makes a unique contribution.

o  Creative papers and interventions: Abstracts should outline the idea being explored, creative process, and the impact the creative paper or intervention may have on audiences.

o   If comfortable and wishing to do so, authors may also note whether and how their subject positions inform their papers, dispatches, and creative interventions.

We welcome contributions from autistic/neurodiverse/neuro-atypical persons.

Please email abstracts and questions to: margaretjansevanrens at cmail.carleton.ca<mailto:margaretjansevanrens at cmail.carleton.ca>by 30 July 2020.

Coeditors for this special issue are:

  *   Miranda J. Brady, Associate Professor, School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University
  *   Kelly Fritsch, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Carleton University
  *   Margaret Janse van Rensberg, doctoral student, Social Work, Carleton University
  *   Kennedy Laborde Ryan, M.A. student, Communication Studies, Carleton University

Potential questions for engagement:

1.    What role do media play in advancing or detracting from social justice for autistic individuals?

2.    What constitutes better media representation for autistic individuals and disability communities?

3.    What is the relationship between media, autism, and intersectional social justice issues such as race and gender identity?

4.    How can media representation be used to denaturalize violence against autistic people and focus on the needs of autistic communities?

5.    How are mediated autistic creativity and self-expression important for social justice?

6.    What are the barriers to (mediated) self-representation?

7.    What are the needs of autistic audiences?

8.    What are best practices for accessibility for autistic people in production?

9.    How can we read and re-read characters as autistic? Why and how is this productive for social justice?

10.  Which characters and media texts do autistic individuals most identify with or find pleasure in and why?

11.  How can we explore the nuanced and complicated relationships between social media and autistic self-advocacy?

Works Cited

Autism Self Advocacy Network (2018), “Before You Donate to Autism Speaks, Consider the Facts”, http://autisticadvocacy.org<http://autisticadvocacy.org/>. Accessed 17 July 2018.

Davidson, Joyce, and Michael Orsini, eds. 2013. Worlds of Autism: Across the Spectrum of Neurological Difference. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Douglas, P. Rice, C. Runswick-Cole, K. Easton, A. Gibson, M. F. Gruson-Wood, J. Klar, E. & Shields, R. (2019). Re-storying autism: a body becoming disability studies in education approach. International Journal of Inclusive Education1-18. doi: 10.1080/13603116.2018.1563835

Gillespie-Lynch, K., Kapp, S. K., Brooks, P. J., Pickens, J., & Schwartzman, B. (2017). Whose Expertise Is It? Evidence for Autistic Adults as Critical Autism Experts.Frontiers in Psychology8. 438.

Kapp, Steven K. (2020). Autisitc Community and the Neurodiversity Movement: Stories from the Frontline. Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan.

McGuire, Anne. (2016). War on Autism: On the Cultural Logic of Normalized Violence. University of Michigan Press.

Waltz, Mitzi.2014. Worlds of Autism: Across the Spectrum of Neurological Difference. Disability & Society 29 (8): 1337–1338. doi:10.1080/09687599.2014.934064.

Woods, R., Milton, D. Arnold, L. and Graby, S. (2018). Redefining Critical Autism Studies: a more inclusive interpretation.Disability and Society. 33(6). doi: 10.1080/09687599.2018.1454380

Yergeau, Melanie. (2018). Authoring Autism: On Rhetoric and Neurological Queerness. Durham: Duke University Press.

Miranda J. Brady

Associate Professor

School of Journalism and Communication

Carleton University

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