Invitation to Dance: Performing Disability Politics through the Dancing Body

The global phenomenon of disability/integrated dance provides case studies to the questions raised at the outset, bringing forward the role of the body in cultural and societal representations of disability.


Deadline for submissions: June 1, 2022


Guest Editors: Stefan Sunandan Honisch, University of British Columbia, Canada Gili Hammer, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Joining a long philosophical conceptualization of the moving body as a creative medium through which modern political subjectivities are constructed and regulated, this special issue of JLCDS on dance, disability, and performance begins a conversation at once familiar and strange. Disability Culture embraces the politicized moves of “disability performance art” and disability studies’ calls for a return to a phenomenology of disabled people. Somewhere near, dance studies attend to the political role of the kinesthetic realm, analyzing, for example, the choreography of protests and the political role of dance within bitterly contested domains. The performance of disability politics through the dancing body offers an opportunity not only to re-embody the political by focusing on the kinesthetic, moving body, but also to politicize movement through the prism of disability studies, staging disability and bodily difference as central analytical tools.

For this special issue, interdisciplinary analyses of the question of how and if the sensory dancing body mediates and affects the artistic and everyday politics of disability and bodily diversity, are invited. The aim ist to bring together the experiences of people with and without disabilities from a variety of countries through a wide range of disciplines and analytical approaches, including anthropological, sociological, historical, performative, autoethnographic, and practice-based research perspectives, paying attention to “alternative corporealities” on stage, in the studio, the home, the archives, and in myriad public, private, and mediated spaces. The issue will explore how, if, and why movement can be conceptualized as a political act that can invent a new aesthetics of representation, with dance making corporeal difference tangible in singular ways.

Papers encompassing the work of established scholars, early and mid-career researchers, independent scholars, artists, and creators are welcomed, to offer a multifaceted discussion of dancing subjects and their ways of negotiating disability as difference in contexts such as education, the Covid-19 pandemic, visual impairment, Deafblindness, neurodivergence, physical disability, Madness, intellectual and developmental disability (IDD). Through this expansive approach, we call for critical attunements that deepen our individual and collective understanding of what human movement has meant in the past, and what it could mean in the future.


Possible questions may include those listed below, as well as closely related topics, and areas of exploration:

• How has Covid-19 transformed the ways bodies move in and out of time, and through real and virtual space?

• What strategies do dancers and choreographers use in (re)claiming the disabled body?

• How might dancing encounters and choreographed collaborations between disabled and non-disabled people challenge individual and collective beliefs about their own and others’ bodies, identities, and embodied practices?

• How are bodily differences represented, negotiated, and experienced through artistic expression? 

Abstracts should be no more than 500 words. Authors whose abstracts are selected for the co-edited special issue will be notified by August 15, 2022. Full drafts of articles based on selected abstracts will be due by January 15, 2022.



Please send abstracts to and

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