Histories, Practices, and Policies of Disability: International, Comparative, and Transdisciplinary Perspectives 8th Annual ALTER Conference

Conference Venue: University of Cologne 
Date: 05 September – 06 September 2019

Hosts: Prof. Anne Waldschmidt (International Research Unit in Disability Studies – iDiS, University of Cologne) and Prof. Matthias Otten (TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences) in collaboration with Prof. Isabelle Ville (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales – EHESS, Paris).

Funding: Presidium of the University of Applied Sciences in Cologne, the University of Cologne’s Vice-Rector for Equality and Diversity, the Dean’s Office of the Faculty of Human Sciences, and the Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation; Competence Area “Social Inequalities and Intercultural Education” (SINTER) at the University of Cologne

Conference organiser: Curie Lee (iDiS, University of Cologne), Shadi Heinrich (iDiS, University of Cologne)

Today, disability is understood as a multidimensional phenomenon, specific construction, and multifaceted field of research that is researched internationally, comparatively and across disciplines. In Germany, Disability Studies is a relatively young field of research. In international and European countries, on the other hand, there is a longer, extremely diverse research tradition. 

For the first time in German-speaking countries, ALTER, the European Society for Disability Research, based in Paris, organised its 8th Annual Conference 2019 at the University of Cologne. This conference entitled, “Histories, Practices and Policies of Disability”, brought over 150 scientists together to discuss international, comparative and transdisciplinary perspectives on disability. The participants represented a broad spectrum of international research on disability in the cultural and social sciences.

Programme Overview

THURSDAY, 05 September 2019 

  • 09:00 Welcome Addresses
  • 09.15 Keynote: Professor Michael Schillmeier, University of Exeter / U.K.
    “The Cosmopolitics of Dis/ability Experience – A Manifesto” 
  • 10.15 – 17:15 Parallel Workshops + Breaks 
  • 17:15 Keynote: Professor Mark Priestley, University of Leeds / U.K. 
    “From Compensation to Equality? Reflections on National Disability Policies in Changing Europe and in Transnational Fields”
  • 19.00 Conference Dinner & Music 

FRIDAY, 06 September 2019 

  • 9.00 Keynote: Professor Susan Burch, Middlebury College / U.S. 
    “Telling Disability Stories: Legacies, Imagination, Coalitions” 
  • 10.00 – 15:45 Parallel Workshops + Breaks
  • 15:45 ALTER Young Author Prize Winner: Marie Sépulchre, Uppsala University / Sweden 
    “Ensuring citizenship for disabled people: A matter of rights or a matter of costs?”
  • 16:15 7th disABILITY Mundus Doctoral School Presentation & 
    General Assembly of ALTER – European Society for Disability Research
  • 17.00 Closing Remarks 

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