Monday, June 07, 2010

Call for Papers - Popular Genres and Disability Representation

Popular Genres and Disability Representation
A Special Issue of the Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies

Guest Edited by Dr. Ria Cheyne, Centre for Culture & Disability Studies, Faculty of Education, Liverpool Hope University

Romance novel or western, detective serial or horror film, the genre of a text affects how we “read” it, including our understanding of disabled characters. Genre forms may impose constraints upon the creators of texts, such as a particular setting or narrative structure, but they may equally open up new possibilities for representation. In science fiction, for example, new technologies, alien bodies, and alternative environments can challenge understandings of what constitutes disability or impairment. Michael Bérubé speculates that the genre is “as obsessed with disability as it is with space travel and alien contact.” What opportunities (and what constraints) might science fiction present, then, with regards to disability representation? More generally, how do the structures and conventions of genre forms, such as the need for heroine and hero to be united in romance, affect the representation of disability?

This special issue of JLCDS will explore the interplay of genre and disability with a focus on popular genre texts, whether in fiction, film, television, or other media. Submissions might consider representations of disability in particular texts or authors, in specific genres, or in mainstream texts that enter into dialogue with genre; alternatively, they might examine disability theory in relation to genre theory, or the role of fan communities. This list is not exhaustive, so submissions on other topics related to disability and genre are very welcome.

Proposals (300-400 words) should be emailed to the guest editor Ria Cheyne by Monday 5th July 2010. Final submissions will be due by 1st February 2011.

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