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Call for Papers: Disability Studies in Eastern Europe: Reconfigurations

The Research Platform “Disability Studies in Eastern Europe: Reconfigurations” (Jagiellonian University, Kraków) invites paper submissions for a conference held on May 16-18, 2024 in Kraków.

The main objective of the Platform, launched in 2022, has been to create an academic network of researchers investigating disability in post-socialist states. Its members examine the limitations of concepts developed within Western critical disability studies, when used in the investigation of disability, and disability arts, culture, and history in non-Western contexts, while also exploring the potential opportunities they may offer.

What served as the cornerstone of the platform was a profound belief that disability studies is as a space of diversity, understood not only as a multitude of disability experiences, but also in terms of epistemological and political diversity. We would like the upcoming conference to continue and develop this core idea by focusing on complex and nuanced interrelations between disability and society, culture, history, and technology in various cultural contexts and locations. The two-day event is intended to create an opportunity for sharing experiences and research by scholars and activists working across the growing transnational field of disability studies. Furthermore, the conference aims to raise more far-reaching questions about the development of disability studies in diverse political, cultural, and linguistic contexts. In geographical terms, this also means that while the conference focuses on Eastern Europe, its thematical scope is not limited to that region. Contributions that present a broader, comparative perspective (e.g. between Eastern and Western Europe) are strongly encouraged. Our aim is to bring together multiple approaches developed within disability studies. In doing so, we want to create a space to foreground the disability theorization coming from non-Western contexts (Eastern Europe, the Global South) and thus facilitate a dialogue with dominant, Western representations and understandings of disability.

We would also like the “Disability Studies in Eastern Europe: Reconfigurations” conference to serve as an opportunity to explore the methodological and theoretical diversity of thinking about, imagining, and doing disability studies. It is intended as an inter- and transdisciplinary event that recognizes the significance of intersectional work in practicing disability studies.


Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

· experiences of disability in Eastern Europe;

· methodological issues in disability studies in Eastern Europe (and other non-Western contexts);

· theoretical formulations and approaches developed within critical disability studies in various geographical and cultural contexts;

· representations and narratives of disability;

· social and cultural history of disability;

· disability and art;

· role of gender, ethnicity, age, and social status in construction(s) of disability;

· advocacy, activism, and the disability rights movement.


The conference welcomes both established and early-career researchers, PhD Candidates, and independent researchers with a wide range of professional backgrounds (including, but not limited to: sociology, media studies, history, anthropology, literary studies, performing arts). The conference is designed as an event for bolstering the networks built through the Platform's previous activities, as well as creating new connections and collaborations.



Both panel and individual paper proposals are welcome. The organisers encourage a wide range of panel formats (including paper sessions, roundtable discussions, workshops).

Individual paper proposals should consist of an abstract (up to 250 words) and a short biographical note.

Panel proposals should include an abstract of the panel and abstracts of 3 to 4 papers/presentations (up to 250 words).


The rules of procedures can be found here: [VIEW] [DOWNLOAD]

The deadline for submitting proposals is January 10, 2024. Presenters will be notified of the acceptance of their paper or panel by February 10, 2024.

The organisers are committed to providing access to all attendees and assisting them with any needs they may have. The participants are kindly requested to inform the organisers about their access and/or other needs in advance.

There is no conference fee. We will offer a limited number of travel grants for accepted participants who might not be able to cover the travel expenses. This particularly concerns early career scholars, PhD Candidates, independent researchers, academics with disabilities, and academics from Eastern Europe.

If you have any questions please feel free to write to the organizing committee at:


Program Committee:

Monika Baar, European University Institute

Kateřina Kolářová, Charles University

Katarzyna Ojrzyńska, University of Lodz

Marcin Stasiak, Jagiellonian University (chair)