Use the link below to download the Call for Proposals.

Download Call for Proposals: Disability Disclosure in/and Higher Education

Call for ProposalsCall for Proposals

Submission Deadline:

May 1, 2013

Disability Disclosure in/and Higher Education

A national conference to be held at
The University of Delaware, Newark, DE
October 25-27, 2013

Plenary Speakers to include

  • Mel Chen, University of California-Berkeley
  • Alison Kafer, Southwestern University
  • Bradley Lewis, New York University
  • Ellen Samuels, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Katherine D. Seelman, University of Pittsburgh

What does it mean to disclose disability in the context of higher education? This conference will engage scholars from across the country in multi- and inter-disciplinary conversation and collaboration around this question. More specifically, it will explore disability disclosure, a deeply complex social and cultural phenomenon, as it happens in higher education. Such attention comes at a moment when, 23 years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, people who grew up with the protection and access provided by the law at their backs are now enrolling as students and populating the academy as professionals and faculty members.

Disability disclosure addresses questions about what bodies are included—and excluded—in constructions of scholarship, teaching, and professional activity within colleges and universities. Indeed, as faculty, staff, and students engage one another in various ways across the academy, for those with disabilities, the ways and means of disclosing disability, as well as the consequences of disability disclosure, are complex and consequential.

These questions are being widely engaged by scholars in the humanities who are interested in how disclosures function rhetorically as well as in cultural representations of disability. Such questions are also important to the social and physical sciences, as researchers work to empirically understand and examine the experience of disability in the academy, or interrogate the paucity of disabled students and faculty in particular fields. The perception of disability and acceptance of disability vary widely across campus, not just between the humanities, the social sciences, and the physical sciences, but within disciplines as well.

We are particularly interested in inter- and multidisciplinary proposals that address the following questions::

  • How are disabilities socially, culturally, and contextually defined and understood within particular institutional environments and settings, including disciplines?
  • How do the intersections of various identities, including race, gender, sexuality, age, class, religious affiliation, national culture/ethnicity, and geographic origin, affect the disclosure or display of disability?
  • How do people disclose disability, and how are those disclosures understood by different audiences?
  • What are the intersections and/or convergences between disability disclosure and other epistemologies, including queer theory, critical race studies, fat studies, and others?
  • What is the incidence and experience of disability in higher education?
  • What circumstances make the process of disclosure more likely to lead to inclusive practice?
  • How can postsecondary educational institutions create a more accessible environment for disabled faculty, students, and staff?

For submission types and proposal guidelines, please see our Call for Proposals.

Partners and Sponsorship

This conference is sponsored by the University of Delaware Center for the Study of Diversity along with the following co-sponsors:

  • the University of Delaware Interdisciplinary Humanities Research Center
  • the University of Delaware Center for Disabilities Studies
  • the University of Delaware President's Diversity Initiative
  • the American Psychological Association
  • the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research
  • the Delaware State Council for Persons with Disabilities
  • the Delaware Governor's Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens
  • the Delaware Developmental Disabilities Council,
  • and the Association on Higher Education and Disability.