Disability Representation in Contemporary Media - Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) Convention in Philadelphia

Michael Willson's picture
Call for Papers
March 11, 2021 to March 14, 2021
Pennsylvania, United States
Subject Fields: 
Communication, Film and Film History, Journalism and Media Studies, Music and Music History, Theatre & Performance History / Studies

In recent years, inclusion and representation of various minority groups in the media have become prevalent. Cinema and television have come to offer some of the most diverse character portrayals within the media universe. Accordingly, it is now common to find characters of diverse racial backgrounds, nationalities, and sexual orientations. One of the last frontiers of such media representation has been the disability community. Television programs such as Atypical (2017-Present) and The Good Doctor (2017-Present) both have a protagonist with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Similarly, Ali Stroker became the first actress in a wheelchair to win a Tony Award in 2019. (And even retail stores now have catalogs that feature models with visible disabilities).

This session accordingly calls for papers written on all aspects of disability representation in recent media Such disabilities include, but are not limited to, intellectual (e.g. Downs Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome), psychiatric (e.g. Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Depression and Anxiety), neurological (Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Cerebral Palsy), physical, visual, and hearing. Forms of media include, but are not limited to, cinema, television, journalism (print, radio, or television), advertisements (print, radio, or television), any form of web media (streaming, social media, podcasts, etc.), and music.

Please upload an abstract of no more than 300 words to the submission portal by September 30. Please note, you will need to create a NeMLA account in order to upload an abstract. 

Contact Info: 



Contact Email: