New book argues for integration of disability studies into academia as a wholeFriday 13 November 2015
Researchers from Liverpool Hope University have published a book which argues that disability studies and disability theory should be integrated more fully into academic discourse.
Disability, Avoidance, and the Academy: Challenging Resistance (Routledge) was launched at Liverpool Hope this week. It is the result of the bi-annual Centre for Culture and Disability Studies (CCDS) conference. The collection explores how academic avoidance of disability studies and disability theory is indicative of social prejudice and highlights, conversely, how the academy can and does engage with disability studies. It brings together work in the humanities and the social sciences, and draws on the riches of cultural diversity to challenge institutional and disciplinary avoidance.
Dr Bolt said at the launch: "In all of the artefacts that we use in education, disability is found, but in the critical work we use to engage with that, it is missing." Dr Bolt also talked about how he has tried to bring his work on disability in classic literature into the forefront of general literature discussions, rather than have it regarded as a separate topic.
The Centre for Culture and Disability Studies is based at Liverpool Hope University and is led by Associate Professor Dr David Bolt. Dr Bolt and Liverpool Hope colleague Dr Claire Penketh edited the book, which also features contributions from Liverpool Hope academics including Dr Owen Barden, Dr Alan Hodkinson and Ms Laura Waite.
Divided into three parts, the first looks at how educational institutions and systems implicitly uphold double standards, which can result in negative experiences for staff and students who are disabled. The second part explores how disability studies informs and improves a number of academic disciplines, from social work to performance arts. The final part shows how more diverse cultural engagement offers a way forward for the academy, demonstrating ways in which we can make more explicit the interdisciplinary significance of disability studies – and, by extension, disability theory, activism, experience, and culture.