Composing Disability

Composing Disability is a biennial conference series we sponsor with the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Office of Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement, English Department, and University Writing Program.

A History of Composing Disability

The inaugural event, titled Composing Disability: Writing, Communication, Culture, was held in November 2011, bringing together the fields of Disability Studies and Writing Studies for dialogue about the production of post-secondary student writing.

The second installment of this event series, Composing Disability: Diagnosis, Interrupted, was held in April 2014. This event offered presentations that took as their focus the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and examined the fraught relationship between the diagnostic work of the medical industry and the embodied lives of disabled people.

The third installment, Composing Disability: Crip Ecologies, was held in April 2016. Crip Ecologies explored the wanted, unwanted, and even unknowable intimacies between humans and their environments as materials for new trans-historical, cross-cultural, and crip/queer research about human, non-human, organic, and inorganic relationships that mark our experiences in the world.

The fourth and most recent iteration, Composing Disability: Crip Politics and the Crisis of Culture, was held in late March 2018. That event asked: what might disability politics, disability arts, and disability studies look like in this “post-truth” era or in other eras in which the term might resonate? How have crip bodies, minds, and behaviors been caught up cultural crises across time or space?

Archived event schedules, as well as additional Composing Disability historical details, are available on the conference's official blog.