QR:  Ableism in Academia

Ableism in Academia

logosCall for contributions to “Ableism in Academia”. Click here, for event details and registration.

Academia prides itself on productivity, innovation and rigour. It also purports to promote inclusivity and diversity. However, as disabled, chronically ill, and neurodiverse staff members know, ableism – discrimination in favour of able-bodied people – is endemic in academia.

Against this background, this interactive symposium provides a forum to discuss the pressures and challenges faced by disabled, chronically ill, and neurodiverse staff in HE and FE. By engaging in debate around academic ableism, including how it intersects with gender, race, class, age, and sexuality, we aim to create a policy-facing manifesto that will challenge academia’s existing notions of able-bodied perfection and provide impetus for change. The event will be live-streamed to ensure wide accessibility, and we plan to share contributions through a website. 

Confirmed keynote speaker: Fiona Kumari Campbell (University of Dundee), author of Contours of Ableism.

We invite abstracts about any aspect of our theme. Presentations will be a maximum of five minutes, and we encourage a variety of formats that reflect different ways of working and communicating scholarship and experience; creativity is encouraged. As we are exploring the potential for a special journal issue, research-led work that lends itself to a written article is also welcome.

Symposium: 23rd March 2018 in the Drama Studio at UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AL.


To submit an abstract (300 words max.), please complete the form below by 31 January 2018.


All abstracts will be peer reviewed and considered for the 5 minute presentation on 23 March 2018 and the special edition publication.
Presenters and/or authors will be contacted at the latest by 5 February 2018.


Submission guidelines for the publication:

Reflection and opinion pieces – thought-provoking and stimulating debates around issues of ableism in academia. You may want to consider your personal experiences as a disabled, chronically ill or neurodiverse academic and approach this kind of submission from a strongly autobiographical perspective. The best pieces will include evidence, facts and references to existing scholarly literature to provide critical analysis, synthesis, comparisons and to help make sense of your experience (up to 3000 words including references).

Scholarly articles – papers on research around ableism in academia or conceptual, methodological and theoretical debates of disability studies and ableism within higher education. Scholarly articles should offer a clear argument in relation to existing knowledge. You may draw on personal experiences as evidence, but the articles should be firmly anchored within scholarly contexts and discourses (up to 7000 words including references).

Preference will be given to submissions relating to the experiences of higher education staff rather than students.

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