CFP: Edited Collection, The New Disability Activism: Current Trends, Shifting Priorities and (Uncertain) Future Directions

The New Disability Activism: Current Trends, Shifting Priorities and (Uncertain) Future Directions

The onslaught of neoliberalism, austerity measures and cuts, impact of climate change, protracted conflicts and ongoing refugee crisis, rise of far right and populist movements have all negatively impacted on disability and created more suffering, impairment and deaths in the global north and south. At the same time we are witnessing the watering down of many rights, legal entitlements and policies that sustained disability lives as well as the ability and willingness of academia, non-governmental organisations, multinationals and institutions to get involved in fighting back politically, economically, culturally and socially to ensure change. Yet, disabled people are fighting back and we urgently need to understand how, where and what they are doing, what they feel their challenges are and what their future needs will be.

We are thus putting together a book proposal for Routledge illustrating disability activism in its current forms and needed future directions. We will provide a dedicated space to disability activists to give them a platform to illustrate their current practices and a platform to do this in a format of their choosing. We also want to illustrate some of the ways in which academics are engaging in activist practice to understand why and how this occurs. Lastly, we feel we need to learn from the ways in which disability activism is forming and will change or needs to change to combat the coming challenges of the 21st Century.  How do you define activism? Does disability activism need to decolonise? What are the differing roles of pioneer and emerging activists in the north and south? What kinds of issues are of concern?

Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • The links between models and theories to social changes as seen and understood by activists and academics: what works?
  • The effects of neoliberal austerity measures and role of disabled people’s activism in the global north and south and links to influencing international and national policy
  • Disability activism and links to academia, non-governmental organisations, multinationals and ensuring funding, restitution or reparations
  • Perspectives from pioneer disability activists from the global north and south
  • Decolonising disability activism, protesting ableism and rethinking human rights in the global south and north
  • The experiences of disability activisms or emerging activisms that are not regularly given attention such as those of women, children and the elderly
  • New tactics, issues and advocacy movements, emancipations and liberations
  • Cyber-activism, the deep web and social media
  • New health activisms around issues such as dementia or infectious diseases and links to ‘disability’, biological (dis)ableism and the new futures of genomics for disability lives
  • Psychiatry, mad pride, mad studies, neurodiversity and survivor activism
  • Rebellion, emancipation, political revolt and the roles of disability in peace movements and reconciliation
  • Forced migration, refugee experiences and combating a disabling humanitarianism
  • Involvement in accessibility, independence and inclusion movements in Indonesia, intersectionality to protests against university fees in South Africa or movements such as Black Lives Matter in the United States
  • Far right movements, fascism and living under (dis) ableist dictatorships
  • Interventions in disabled people’s lives and role of activism
  • Disability activism incarcerated and imprisoned (i.e. prisons, day centres, orphanages, care homes etc.)
  • Art, culture, tourism and disability activism
  • Political engagement, voting (‘Cripping’ the vote or making it accessible) and occupation of public spaces
  • Different styles of activism: ‘confrontational vs non-confrontational disability activism’


  • Maria Berghs (De Montfort University)
  • Tsitsi Chataika (University of Zimbabwe)
  • Yahya El-Lahib (University of Calgary)

We will be supported by an advisory board of activists who will ensure oversight of the activist contributions.

Please send your abstract submissions to:

Abstracts should contain a title, a short paragraph (300 words) and some key words.

Deadline: 31st of March 2017

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *