IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Ableism in academia: call for contributions

30 November 2017

Man commenting at a symposium. Image: Sam Johnson (CC BY 2.0)

The UCL Institute of Education (IOE) will be holding an inter-institutional symposium on "Ableism in Academia" to provide a forum for discussion about the pressures and challenges faced by disabled, chronically ill, and neuro-diverse academics, on Friday 23 March 2018.

Papers presented at the symposium will form an edited book, and submissions are currently being accepted until 31 January 2018.

Rather than embracing difference as a reflection of wider society, academic ecosystems seek to normalise and homogenise particular ways of working and of being a scholar. By engaging in debate around academic ableism, including how it intersects with gender, race, class, age, and sexuality, the organisers aim to create a policy-facing manifesto that will challenge academia's existing notions of able-bodied perfection and provide impetus for change.

Fiona Kumari Cambell, Senior Lecturer at the University of Dundee, will present the keynote speech at the symposium. Fiona has written extensively on issues related to disability including 'Contours of Ableism: The Production of Disability and Abledness', published by Palgrave in 2009.

The symposium welcomes a variety of presentation formats that reflect different ways of working and communicating scholarship and experience; creativity is encouraged.

Submit an abstract

The event will be live-streamed to ensure wide accessibility. It is coordinated and organised by Nicole Brown, Lecturer in Education and Academic Head of Learning and Teaching in the Department of Culture, Communication and Media at the IOE, and Jennifer Leigh, Lecturer in Higher Education and Academic Practice at the Centre for the Study of Higher Education, University of Kent.

The symposium is supported by UCL, the University of Kent, the University of Leeds, the University of Nottingham, and Chronically Academic.


Nicole Brown
+44 (0)20 7612 6032


Image: Sam Johnson (CC BY 2.0)