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CDS Conversation Series

The CDS Conversation Series events promote ‘conversation’ and dialogue across sectoral boundaries – with invited speakers and discussants tending to come from both academia and wider civil society (particularly disabled people’s organisations) – as well as across disciplinary boundaries within academia.

Previous Conversation Series events in 2023 have included:

‘I’m a seed that’s been kept in a dark hole for so long and it’s now time for it to become a tree!’: Cultivating counter-narratives of disability through the arts  - by Dr Gareth M. Thomas (Cardiff School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University).

"I discuss the early findings of an ethnographic study at multiple sites, specifically a theatre company and dance and drag groups run by/with/for people with learning disabilities. Drawing on this data, I explore how learning-disabled adults confront dominant oppressive narratives and articulate their lives in more affirmative terms. Through the arts, I show how they can resist assumptions of vulnerability, passivity, and isolation, and highlight their own creativity, resistance, vigour, and interdependence. In so doing, I discuss how adults with learning disabilities cultivate positive, public accounts of their lives that re-story what it means to live with disability. I conclude with some short reflections on the next steps of the project."

The liberation torch (…) for disabled people’: Rethinking the work of Paul Hunt – by Judy Hunt (activist), and Luke Beesley (University of Brighton).

The editors of Paul Hunt’s newly published journal and collected works discussed the implications of these works and new interpretations of his work and life. Dr Hannah Morgan (from CDS) acted as discussant.

Overcoming disabling barriers to justice and support after sexual violence - by Dr Andrea Hollomotz (CDS), Dr Leah Burch (Liverpool Hope University, University of Leeds), and Ruth Bashall (Stay Safe East).

The speakers presented their research with disabled victim survivors of sexual violence, the barriers they face in accessing support following their experiences, and suggestions for increasing the accessibility of victim support services and the criminal justice system. Professor Karen Throsby (SSP) acted as discussant.