Interdisciplinary Approaches to Disability: The MENA Region in the Modern Period
Call for Papers
International Conference to be held in Cairo on 25-26 November 2018
Deadline to submit proposals: September 1st 2018
Organizers: Leiden University
ERC Rethinking Disability
Embassy of the Netherlands in Cairo
Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo
Languages: English and Arabic (Presentations should preferably be in English)
Dr Heba Hagrass (International disability consultant- Member of the Egyptian Parliament)
Dr Shaun Grech (The Critical Institute- Malta)
Prof Monika Baar (Leiden University- The Netherlands)
Call for papers:
The socio-cultural issues concerning the lives of the persons with disabilities (PWD), their families and their environment present considerable challenges even in well-resourced regions of the world; let alone in countries experiencing certain economic or societal hardships. In either context, the study of the emancipation of people with disabilities cannot be undertaken without a broader enquiry into the historical, cultural and social contexts of the disabled citizens living in different times and locations around the world.
In recent decades, representatives of the emerging fields of medical humanities and disability studies have been constantly facing intellectual challenges arising from accelerating scientific developments in medicine and the bio sciences. These developments intrigued sociologists, historians, anthropologists etc. to dedicate more attention than ever before to the social and cultural aspects of the human body and human health. For instance, the enormous differences in health care expenditures across the world present an angle from which to ask questions about social justice, discrimination, exclusion, integration and the responsibility of the state or civil society towards certain groups with vulnerabilities. Disability is a concept around which social scientists can construct or deconstruct relations and representations between health and society, while scholars working in cultural studies may interrogate the formation of a distinct identity and sub-culture of people with disabilities. The MENA region with its cultural and historical peculiarities, and the Global South in more general terms, promises to be a very important location for analyzing how issues of physical and mental health intersect with social and economic concerns.
With a focus on the MENA (Middle East North Africa) region and the Global South, themes and topics of this international academic conference can include but are not limited to:
- Disability and its perception(s) and meanings through history:
- Disability in relation to technology: good practices and ethical problems
- Islam and disability (physical and mental)
- Education for and about the persons with disability: specialized institutions versus independent living, community-based rehabilitation (CBR)
- Rights, representation and equality of PWD: strive for equality or demand for special conditions? (work, housing, access, education)
- UN’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006): given the local peculiarities, what challenges may occur in the course of its implementation in the MENA region?
- Disability and welfare: what responsibilities should be carried by the state, by individuals, philanthropic organizations and by society at large?
- Children, gender, women and sexuality in relation to historic and contemporary issues of disability
- International and regional organizations of disability groups: the MENA region in a global context
- Disability figuring and images in literature and cinema
- Stigmatization of PWD and strategies of de-stigmatization
- Disability culture: arts, activities and self expression
- Accessibility, integration and inclusion: PWD and the actual/virtual public space in MENA
The conference is open to participants from the academia as well as for social activists and governmental representatives. An edited volume to be published by an international publisher is planned for selected research papers presented during the conference.
Presentations are welcome in English and Arabic but are preferred in English for practical reasons. Each presentation would be 20 minutes followed by a 10minutes discussion in a themed panel.
Proposals for cultural and artistic activities, whether presented by or about persons with disabilities, are welcome. The venue is accessible to participants and guests with disability.
Deadline: Please send a 300-500- word paper/activity proposal in English or Arabic before September 1st 2018 to (firstname.lastname@example.org)
For requests of participation, paper proposal or artistic contribution, kindly send your CV to the email address above.
For inquiries or questions kindly contact Dr Amany Soliman
Limited budget for contributing to the travel and accommodation of international participants with outstanding proposals is available on a competitive basis. This is intended for those who are not eligible for funding from their home institutions and who are committed to contributing to the envisaged edited volume. Please indicate at the time of application if you would like to be considered for a subsidy.