Call for Papers for an ALS Special Issue: ‘Writing Disability in Australia’

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Call for Papers for an ALS Special Issue

‘Writing Disability in Australia’

Edited by Jessica White and Amanda Tink

While Australian literature has begun the work of engaging with writing by and about minoritised groups such as those who identify as Indigenous or as culturally and linguistically diverse, there has been much less engagement with disability. The impairments of authors such as Henry Lawson, who was deaf, or Les Murray, who had autism, are rarely acknowledged, while disabled characters such as Johnny in Ruth Park’s The Harp in the South exist not as a person but as a convenient prop through which other characters demonstrate their beliefs.

This special issue of ALS seeks to write back against these diminutions by critiquing representations of disability, drawing attention to writers with disability, and creating new directions in literary studies for research into disability in Australian literature.

Suggestions for topics include, but are not limited to:

  • disabled writers

  • disability and Indigeneity

  • disability and genre

  • how disability shapes textual forms

  • historical and contemporary representations of disability

  • disability and intersectionality (for example with race, gender, sexuality and class)

  • disability and urban or rural spaces

  • eco-crip (intersection of environmental humanities and disability studies)

  • disability and corporeality

  • disability and protest literature

  • disability and literary tropes (for example, the disfigured villain)

Prospective contributors should email an abstract of 300 words and a brief biography to the issue editors (see email addresses below) by 30th July 2020, with papers of 6000-8000 words due by 31st January 2021. Scholars with disability are warmly encouraged to submit.

Please address any enquiries to Jessica White at and Amanda Tink at


This CFP and more information about ALS is available at: