Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity: Call for Proposals

The Pacific Rim international Conference on Disability and Diversity is a welcoming place that celebrates the human experience in the context of disability and diversity. The two-day conference is where innovation and research meet social action. New ideas percolate. Friendships blossom. Change occurs.

Join 1200 of your friends and colleagues May 19-20, 2014 in Honolulu, Hawaii. If you decide to extend your stay in the islands we have a variety of exciting pre- and post- conference activities, guaranteed to inspire. We are committed to enhancing your conference experience and ensuring that you walk away informed, energized and committed.

Topic Area: Disability Studies and Culture - Disability Studies: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

“If disability studies is to survive and grow, it needs to open up to new perspectives, rethink orthodoxies, engage with critiques, and generate new and better accounts of disabled people's lives and the social exclusion they face. Otherwise it will become ghettoised and irrelevant, forfeiting power and influence in the wider world."

Tom Shakespeare*, “Disability Studies Today and Tomorrow”

This year, the topic leaders want to engage conference attendees in a fluid and rich discussion on the evolution and future potential of disability studies and culture. We will have three distinct threads of inquiry – Change Through Time; Impact and Future Potentials.  Part self-reflective, part analysis and part ‘talk story’ as we say in Hawaii, we invite you to submit a proposal in one of the following areas of inquiry.

Change Through Time

•                How has culture, including disability culture, shaped theory and practice in Disability Studies?

•                Is Disability Studies growing up? How has the expansion and integration of Disability Studies curriculum into traditional disciplines altered Disability Studies in both theory and practice?

•                How have theoretical perspectives about disability evolved, and what shifts in perspectives do to advance the field?

•                How have research methodologies in the field changed over time? What are some innovative research methodologies,  which can advance inquiry?

•                How has Disability Studies changed from its inception, including in the 21st Century?


•                How has Disability Studies impacted life experience as it relates to economic security, popular culture, inclusion and self-determination?

•                In what ways has bio-ethics affected new directions in Disability Studies?

•                How has Disability Studies influenced interdisciplinary fields of inquiry?

 Future Potentials

•                How and in what ways will distance education change how Disability Studies is presented and taught?

•                Best practices for the dissemination and sharing of knowledge as it relates to Disability Studies;

•                What are and might be the future trends and focus of Disability Studies?

•                What are the burning issues that Disability Studies as a field should collaborate across sectors and borders on?

•                What are best practices for developing a new generation of Disability Scholars?

 If you have a proposal that may not fit in to the above targets, we will welcome them as part of our discussion. We welcome proposals in any presentation format. We also welcome presentations in innovative formats including readings, performance art, graphics and roundtables.

 Please see presentation formats on our webpage at Please check the criteria for each format and ensure that you have the appropriate number of presenters for your chosen format. You may submit proposals online at: or send your proposals via email to

For more information about this topic area, contact:  Steve Brown,, 808-956-0996, , 808-956-9218, Norma Jean Stodden,, 808-956­4454, or Megan Conway,, 808-956-6166.

For general information on the conference, please contact Charmaine Crockett at, (808) 956-7539.

For registration questions please contact the registration desk at   

(808) 956-8816, fax (808) 956-4437 or email

*Shakespeare, T. (2005), Disability studies today and tomorrow. Sociology of Health & Illness, 27: 138–148. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9566.2005.00435.x
Calls for proposals now open: Pac Rim 2014:

Steven E. Brown, Ph.D.
1776 University Ave., UA4-6
Center on Disability Studies
University of Hawai‘i
Honolulu, HI 96822-2313
808-956-7878 (fax)
Skype:  stevenebrown
Twitter:  @disculture
Co-Founder: Institute on Disability Culture