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Past Conferences

June 10-13, 2015
Atlanta, Ga

Society for Disability Studies
28th Annual Conference
Hyatt Regency Atlanta
Getting It-Right/s

The 28th annual meeting of the Society for Disability Studies examined disability as/is a civil right, a human right, a social right, an economic right, an educational right, a medical right, a sexual right, an employment right, a voting right, a representational right. All of these, and more. Communities and advocates - locally, nationally, transnationally - have been making efforts to get/gain rights, including recognition, legal and/or cultural; and trying, also, to get it right--to address, analyze, reclaim, revise, redress, recover disability representations in literature, culture, politics, and history. The diversity of global articulations of rights; the emergence of critiques of rights frameworks; and transnational developments such as the recent use of language from the American Disabilities Act in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities -- UNCRPD, present the field of Disability Studies, whose growth has paralleled these trends, with an opportunity to consider disability rights in all of its complexities:
When has disability, or its likeness, been considered within grassroots advocacy movements in political geographies around the globe, including nation-states and indigenous governmentalities, and in regional, local, comparative perspectives? When does disability, or its likeness, enter state law, and under what conditions? How have recent or former projects, languages, questions, policies, issues, movements, and events about disability emerged, traveled, and been contested? What conditions allow national laws to migrate transnationally? Are there shifts in the popular emergence and circulation of disability values, and are these shifts expressed with specific forms of representation? How and where has disability politics allied with, or against, “human rights” and/or decolonial frameworks? How have activists and artists crippled state-sanctioned uses of disability?

Click 2015 Conference Program to download a PDF copy.


June 11-14, 2014
Minneapolis, Mn

Society for Disability Studies
27th Annual Conference
Hyatt Minneapolis
Disability (and) Sustainability

The 27th annual meeting of the Society for Disability Studies examined the multiple and significant possibilities at the intersection of sustainability and disability. The term sustainability was used to explore both its traditional meaning--the ability to be sustained, supported, upheld, or confirmed—and to engage the more recent deployment of sustainability as an environmental, ecological, agricultural, and economic concept that advances the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, thereby supporting long-term ecological balance.


June 26-29, 2013
Orlando, Fl

Society for Disability Studies
26th Annual Conference
(Re)creating Our Lived Realities

This year’s theme is “(Re)creating Our Lived Realities.” Playing off our particular location of Orlando– the home of Disney World, Universal Studios, and Epcot Center – this year’s conference theme seeks to explore the myriad ways in which we work to (de)construct the various realities in our lives. Whether through laws, policies, militaries, language, rituals and customs, or the many decisions we make in our daily lives, we are constantly transforming and being transformed by the built material, social, and cultural environment(s) around us. The presentations, workshops, and discussions included in this year’s program engage with disability in its various cultural and historical contexts as well as the many social relations, identities, and communities with which it interacts.
featured events included...

  • a performance by the ARTism ensemble
  • a plenary marking the 50th anniversary of the publication of Erving Goffman's classic text, Stigma, featuring remarks by Rosemarie Garland Thomson, Jeff Brune, Susan Schweik, Tanya Titchkosky, Heather Love, & Adrienne Asch

The conference also offered three thematic strands: Power and Privilege; Professional Development; and Translational Research (the latter funded by a grant from NIH).
SDS would like to congratulate members recognized at the conference for their extraordinary achievements:

  • Senior Scholar Award: Richard K. Scotch
  • Zola Award for Emerging Scholarship in Disability Studies: Cassandra Hartblay, for fieldwork in Petrozavodsk, Russia on young adults with disabilities
  • Chris Bell Memorial Fund: Haydee Smith to present, “When Push Comes to Love: Fetishism and the (Crip) Economies of Desire in 'Push Girls'”; and Honorable Mention: Tania Xalitla Ruiz-Chapman to present, "Becoming the Crip: Forming the Disabled Identity"
  • Tyler Rigg Award for best literary article published in DSQ in 2012: Tom Jordan, "The Myth of American Ability: Cooper's Leatherstocking, the Frontier Tradition, and the Making of the American Canon,"
  • Tanis Doe Prize for Best Poster at the 2013 Poster Session: Adam Pacton, “Asperger's Syndrome, Composition, and Self-Identification: A Model for Curricular Negotiation”

and of course, we danced.


2012 | Denver, Co
2011 | San Jose, Ca
2010 | Philadelphia, Pa
2009 | Tucson, Az