Call for Papers: Special Forum Summer 2019 ‘Disability and Shame’
Deadline extended!

Anticipated publication date: June 1, 2019 (Volume 15, issue 2)

The Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal is issuing a Call for Papers for a special forum on the subject of shame and disability, broadly conceived. It is hoped that through critical discourse addressing the historical and current contexts, contributing factors, effects, and responses to shame, greater understanding of this phenomena will diminish discrimination and violence.

Full papers should be submitted directly to RDS online at no later than June 1, 2018. Please submit to the category “Forum – Disability and Shame”.

For questions about the content of the Forum, please contact the guest editors John Jones, [email protected], Dana Lee Baker, [email protected], or Stephanie Patterson, [email protected]

For questions about the submissions process, please contact [email protected]

Submissions to this special issue will undergo a process of peer-review. Authors will be notified of whether their papers will be invited for consideration in the forum by August 1, 2018. Prospective authors are encouraged to consult the RDS website at for more information about the journal and its formatting guidelines. Authors are encouraged to review previous issues of RDS in preparing their paper. Please note that initial acceptance of an article does not guarantee publication in RDS. RDS is a peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary, international journal published by the Center on Disability Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. The journal contains research articles, essays, creative works and multimedia relating to the culture of disability and people with disabilities.

Disability and Shame Forum Overview

Shame plays a powerful role in social interactions, beliefs, and institutions. Shame and shaming take varied and quite diversely motivated forms. Shame exists as both a cultural and psychological construct, stimuli for and reactions to which are heavily context-dependent. For much of history and across varied cultural contexts, disability provoked shame. Whether understood as the result of personal failings, sins of a family, misapplication of scientific findings, or empirical evidence of an unhappy deity, experiencing disability involved largely unquestioned shaming. During the last decades of the twentieth century, progress much attributed to disability rights movements finally created expanding space between disability and shame.

Yet, shame remains a powerful and often-accepted tool of social control, an incorporated pillar of our social infrastructures along with cultural norms, popular culture, and public policy. For example, in September 2016, Satoshi Uematsu killed 19 patients at a center for disabled people outside Tokyo. In the aftermath, many family members of the deceased declined to speak to the media and asked not to be identified out of shame that others would know that their family members had a disability (Ha & Sieg, 2016). Such a tragic outcome in Japan in response to fear of disgrace signifies a decided need to examine the role of personal and societal shame and how it affects the lives of people with disabilities.

Topics to be Explored (suggested, but not limited to):

Shame, disability, identity

Labelling and shame

Shame and relationships

Shame and dependency/interdependency

Shame and culture

Shame and access to public programs

Historical connection between disability and poverty

Historical shame

Diversity and shame

Intersectional approaches to understanding shame

Reclaiming shame

Shame and employment

Societal and family shame resulting in violence against disabled people

Start Date
End Date
Paper Submission Deadline
Acceptance Notification Due
Name of the Organisation/ Institute/ University
University of Hawaii at Manoa, Center on Disability Studies
Name of the Contact Person
Megan Conway
Organiser Email Id
Event City
Honolulu, Hawaii
Event Country
United States
Review of Disability Studies Journal
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