Radical Disability Politics

A Global Dialogue

7th June 2024, 10:00-18:30, Zoom

This event is free, and all sessions will include BSL interpretation and live captions


Disablement structures contemporary societies; both as grounds (and barriers) to welfare provision, and as the basis for social exclusion, segregation, and the legitimate restriction of social, civil and economic rights for large sections of the population. Recurring and converging social crises – from pandemics and wars, to energy, housing, and food shortages – have thrown previous models for managing disabled people’s lives around the world into chaos. While medicalised, charitable, or government-led forms of social provision have long been criticised for their suffocating effects on disabled people’s dignity and autonomy; they now all-too-often either prove incapable of guaranteeing even the basic tools of survival, or attach increasingly restrictive conditions on increasingly inadequate forms of support.

This conference brings together disabled activists and scholars working across three continents to discuss these challenges and what they mean for our social movements and contemporary analyses of disability. Sessions will cover emerging forms of exploitation in the workplace, the changing place of disability in welfare states, lessons from other social movements, activist engagements with disability history, and new forms of militancy around deinstitutionalisation and the attachment of ‘psycho-social’ labels.

To register, please email raddispolconf@gmail.com with the subject line ‘REGISTRATION’. In your email, please indicate any access needs you may have and, if you so wish, any institutional affiliation (university, think tank, DPO, etc).

Radical Disability Politics Abstracts Book

Conference Timetable (BST)


10:00 – 10:10: Opening Remarks

10:10 – 11:00: Session 1: Global Movements and prefigurative politics:

  • Jen Ham: Paradise for the Insane: Communizing Health/Care
  • Akrita Mehta: The Radical Potential of Psychosocial Disability Activism: Findings from India

11:00-11:10: Comfort Break

11:10 – 12:30: Survival and Domination: ‘Health’, ‘Welfare’, and their Discontents

  • Steve Graby & Inga Reichelt: Beyond ‘social versus medical’: towards a movement that advocates for a transformative model of non-disabling healthcare
  • Krisztina Nemeth: Transitioning to working from unemployment and claiming social security benefits. A qualitative exploration of the experiences of people with the diagnosis of depression in England
  • Sabine Fernandes and Rachel da Silveira Gorman: Care as white property: Mapping disabling racialized migrant care work and the care-care work dialectic


12:30 – 13:00: Lunch Break

13:00 – 14:00: The Heritage of Struggle: Disabled People-led Archives and the Purpose of History

  • Ella Clarke (Disabled People’s Archive: Manchester)
  • Eline Pollaert (Kreukelcollectief Archive: Netherlands)
  • Theo Blackmore (Disability Cornwall Archive Project)

14:00 – 14:10: Comfort Break

14:10 – 15:30: Labour and Surplus Populations: From Exploitation to Exclusion

  • Jordan Whitewood-Neale: Under Pressure: Capitalist Geologies of the Disabled Body
  • Jenni Schofield: Title: Accessible ‘workplaces’: Assistive technology, disability, and the changing working landscape in Japan

15:30 – 15:40: Comfort Break

15:40 – 16:40: Theoretical Framings 1: Marxism(s) and Disability

  • Arianna Introna: Dismodernising the Working Class, After the Pandemic Lumpenproletariat
  • Ioana C Chis: Building on the UPIAS Social Model’s Legacy: The Collective-Materialist Approach to Disabling Capitalism
  • Paul Reynolds: The ‘Illusion’ and Ideological Construction of Disability: A Speculative Marxist Reading

16:40-16:50: Comfort Break

16:50 – 18:10: Theoretical Framings 2: Self, Other, Totality: Interrogating Matter and Materialisms

  • Liam Livesley: Disability as Subordination: Towards an Ameliorative Account of Disability
  • Alexis Padilla: New Materialisms as Intersectional Approximations to the Onto-Epistemologies of Decolonial Disability Theorizing and Critical Cross-Coalitional Movement Building
  • Hannah Tate: The Right to Ease: Black Liberation’s Radical Rest as a Model for Chronic Illness Inclusion in Disability Rights

18:10 – 18:15: Closing Remarks


Please email Zoe Sutherland at Z.Sutherland@brighton.ac.uk for any queries regarding this event


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