CFP – JLDCS Special Issue: “Disability and Blood: Blood and the Crips”

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    Sören Fröhlich

    Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies – Call for Papers
    Special Issue: “Disability and Blood: Blood and the Crips”
    Guest Editors: Michael Davidson (UCSD) and Sören Fröhlich (UCSD)

    Since the HIV/AIDS blood feuds of the 1990s, scholarship into social and cultural definitions of blood has provided much-needed insights into statistical (Tukufu Zuberi), economical (Catherine Waldby and Robert Mitchell), and medical constructions of what blood was, is and how it can function (Keith Wailoo). This special issue of the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies (JLCDS) aims to close a gap in considerations of disability and blood. What does blood mean in cultural constructions of disability? How are disability and the body’s fluid tissue related in literary and cultural productions? Blood seems omnipresent in cultural representations, ranging from mass-murderers and pure-blooded wizards, vampires, and the undead, to ritual uncleanness, illegitimate Presidential offspring, and pre-natal diagnostics. Be it in the blood work chart and diagnostics, in statistics of pathology, or in other definitions of individuals through blood, ‘abnormalities’ in the blood constitute disability just as disability qualifies blood itself. Yet blood always transgresses boundaries and destabilizes categories; it simultaneously defines and defies constructions of disabled and disability. We invite submissions from scholars who consider how blood functions in the construction of disability. Is it stable or fluid, definable or contagious, visible or hidden? How does blood make the crip, and how does the crip change the blood? How is either or are both abjected from the ‘normal’ to create what Lennard J. Davis calls a “diverse sameness?”

    Possible topics include (but are not limited to):
    – The female body as disabled, menarche, menstruation, birth,
    – Race as disability, disability as race, the “one-drop rule,”
    – Scientific racism, racial historiography and disability,
    – Eugenics in cultural productions,
    – Gendered disability, gendered blood,
    – Medical discourses,
    – Blood in treatments, procedures, and as medical commodity,
    – Contagion and infection, conversely, immunization and vaccination,
    – Purity and pollution as disabling discourses,
    – Disability and blood in religious discourses,
    – Containment and rupture as definitions of disability,
    – Pathology and normalization of blood,
    – Migration, exile, asylum and definitions of blood,
    – Indigeneity, inheritance, lineage and disabilities,
    – Representations of bleeding and blood.

    Please email a one-page proposal by June 1, 2014. Contributors can expect to be selected and notified by August 1, 2014. (Full drafts of the selected articles will be due on February 1, 2015). Please direct any questions to Sören Fröhlich.

    For further information about JLCDS please contact Dr. David Bolt (

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