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Disability and Media – African perspectives

Extended Call for Papers: November 2019

Disability and Media – African perspectives 

Edited by Associate Professor Mike Kent (Curtin University) and Mr Tafadzwa Rugoho (University of Kwa Zulu Natal)


Abstracts Due 1 November 2019

Disability media studies is a new and growing area of interdisciplinary academic interest and particularly at the intersection of media studies and disability studies. Trying to build a dialog between these related yet separate disciplines around disability and media is a challenging process. This edited collection will have a focus on disability media in Africa. It seeks to expand some of the existing, often western and Global North facing, scholarship in this area and expand it to include African perspectives. In this collection we are looking to gather writing about disability and media in Africa and also writing by academics from Africa about disability and media.

Dahl (1993) noted that one cannot legislate attitude change. While the media can be a vehicle that reinforces existing prejudice and discrimination towards people with disabilities, it also has the potential to bring about positive change in public perceptions and positively influence attitudes, beliefs, and misconceptions around disability.

The idea to develop this book came from day-to-day informal conversations, formal research and observing media material where people with disability are portrayed differently from other people both in Africa and throughout the world. It is these differences which this book hopes to highlight and reshape towards people with disability where the same media which previously reinforced their inequality can be used to bring justice and equity to their lives.

Disability and Media – African perspectives will be published by reputable publishers - Routledge have expressed interest in the project. All chapters will be subject to a rigorous peer review process.

Areas of interest that chapters might address include

  • ·         Representation in media of disability and Africa
  • ·         Different types of media and disability
  • ·         Mobile media
  • ·         Case studies on particular countries
  • ·         Case studies from particular disability communities
  • ·         Technological issues in media and disability
  • ·         Media ethics and disability
  • ·         Benefits and challenges in media and disability
  • ·         Results of recent research in this field
  • ·         Philosophical approaches to disability and media
  • ·         Disability media studies in/and Africa
  • ·         Social Media and Disability Advocacy/voice
  • ·         Disability Agenda setting (UNCRPD and other international statues)
  • ·         Ableism in Media
  • ·         The medicalised body in the media
  • ·         The objectification of the disabled body in the media
  • ·         Disability and the media: historical perspectives
  • ·         (Dis)Empowerments of the disabled bod
  • ·         Journalism and practices of othering the body

 Submission procedure:

Potential authors are invited to submit chapter abstracts of no more than 500 words, including a title, 4 to 6 keywords, and a brief bio, by email to Mike Kent <> by 1 November. (Please indicate in your proposal if you wish to use any visual material, and how you have or will gain copyright clearance for visual material). Authors will receive a response by 15 November 2019, with those provisionally accepted due as chapters of approximately 6000 words (including references) by 15 January 2020 for review. If you would like any further information, please contact Mike or Tafadzwa <>.


About the editors:


Mike Kent is an Associate Professor and Head of Department in the Department of Internet Studies at Curtin University. Mike’s research focus is on people with disabilities and their use of, and access to, information communication technology and the Internet. His other area of research interest is in higher education and particularly online education, as well as online social networking platforms. His book, with Katie Ellis, Disability and New Media was published by Routledge in 2011. He has also produced a number of edited collections. His recent publications include Manifestos for the Future of Critical Disability Studies and Interdisciplinary Approaches to Disability: Looking Towards the Future edited with Katie Ellis, Rosemarie Garland-Thomson and Rachel Robertson (Routledge, 2019),  Disability and Social Media: Global perspectives with Katie Ellis, (Routledge, 2017), Massive Open Online Courses and Higher Education: What went right, what went wrong and where to now with Rebecca Bennett (Routledge, 2017), and Chinese social media: Social, cultural and political implications with Katie Ellis and Jian Xu (Routledge, 2018). His forthcoming book projects include Gaming Disability: Disability perspectives on contemporary video game with Katie Ellis and Tama Leaver, and The Routledge International Handbook of Critical Disability Studies with Katie Ellis


Tafadzwa Rugoho is a PhD Sociology candidate at Kwa Zulu Natal and a lecturer at Great Zimbabwe University in the Department of Development Studies. Tafadzwa holds an MSc Development, MSc Strategic Management and a BSc Sociology. He has authored a variety of book chapters and journal papers on disability issues as well as presenting papers at research conferences in this area over the past five years. He has worked for a variety of disability organisations for more than fifteen years. Tafadzwa is disabled and he is a disability activist.