Representing Autism:  Writing, Cognition, Disability.

A conference hosted by the SCE (Society for Critical Exchange)

Disability Studies has largely overlooked the culture and discourses of cognitive disabilities. Nonetheless, one cognitive disorder has begun to receive a great deal of attention both in the academy and in the popular media.

Autism. The success of fictional works (e.g., Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) and nonfictional books and films by and about Autism/Asperger's people has fueled this attention.

But though a number of educational, clinical and medical approaches to Autism Spectrum Disorders have emerged and yielded a large body of publications, the fascinating and potentially fruitful relationships between Autism/Asperger's and the humanities have barely been explored. With the recent dramatic rise in diagnoses of Autism, it is particularly urgent that we undertake such an exploration. This conference, therefore, aims to bring together scholars in the humanities and the cognitive sciences in order to shed new light on the nature and forms of autistic representation and to trace the lines of connection and demarcation between Autism/ Asperger's writing and thinking and that of more typical human beings.

We seek proposals for papers, panels, and workshops that discuss the relationships between Autism Spectrum Disorders and representation. How is Autism/Asperger's depicted in literary works, on film and television, in clinical discourses, in legal documents and other textual sources? What novel forms does autistic creativity assume? How does autistic representation--whether by or merely about autists--enable us to reconsider "normal" modes of representation? What do these representations reveal about the nature of human cognition, ability and sociability?

Topics may include (but are not limited to) the following:

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Autism as Text

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Autistic Cultures

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Filming Autism

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Writing Autistically

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Autism and TV

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Autism and Autobiography/biography

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Autism and the Law

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The Politics of Autism/Asperger's

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Autism in History/Histories of Autism

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Writing for Autists

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Children's Literature and Autism

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Hyperlexia

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Autism and Alternate Textualities (e.g., graphic arts, assistive
technologies, etc.) Fictions of Autism Stereotypes and Stereotypies The
Poetry of Autism/Autism as Poetry

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Autistic Speech vs. Autistic Writing

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Autism and Deconstruction/Deconstructing Autism Criticism and
Autism/Autistic Critics

Please send paper abstracts, panel and workshop proposals, (no full papers please!) as well as a CV no more than two pages by June 15, 2005 to Mark Osteen. mosteen@loyola.edu  Department of English Loyola College in Maryland 4501 N. Charles St. Baltimore, MD 21210

 

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"We each have our own way of living in the world, together we are like a symphony.
Some are the melody, some are the rhythm, some are the harmony
It all blends together, we are like a symphony, and each part is crucial.
We all contribute to the song of life."
...Sondra Williams

We might not always agree; but TOGETHER we will make a difference.

 

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