I spoke at the Nordic Network on Disability Research Conference at Örebro University in Sweden on 3 May. My talk was on the human trafficking of disabled people.
On April 1, I became the Faculty Advisor for the Delta Phi Epsilon sorority. I also played piano to accompany them when they were performing in the University of Toledo Songfest.
In the first week of March, I talked at Mount Saint Mary’s College in New York about the connections between disability abuse and elder abuse. There are many similarities between these types of crimes, such as the heinous sexual and physical violence inflicted on victims. In this talk, I highlighted some of the differences as well, and the need for better legal/policy/practice responses.
In late February, I gave a Skype lecture to Dr. Barbara Perry’s hate crime class at McMaster University in Canada. Dr. Perry is a world-leading expert in hate crimes.
I visited England at the end of January and beginning of February. In London, I met with the National Union of Students and talked about disability hate crimes; at Leeds Beckett University, I also spoke on hate crimes; and at Lancaster University, I talked about the similarities and differences between disability hate crimes and the human trafficking of disabled people.
I recently published an opinion piece on Facilitated Communication which is the subject of a censorship campaign. The article is called Facilitated communication Anna Stubblefield and disability studies discusses facilitated communication and the notorious sexual assaults committed by Anna Stubblefield.
Typically, professors who want to ensure that their work has an impact on the community share it via social media. However, opponents of my arguments have taken the unusual step of reporting my article as “offensive” so that its contents are not widely shared. That concerns me in terms of free speech, ethics, and honesty.
In other news, I have published an article in Disability and Society called “A sociology of impairment” which is an early version of my thoughts that will be published in my next book with the same name which will be published by Routledge. In this book, I am exploring a ‘social model of impairment’ which would be a theoretical/practical development that would parallel the traditional social model of disability.
I gave a talk which summarized the main themes of this book in April 2016, at the British Sociological Association Conference in Birmingham, England. I gave the keynote for the Disability “Frontiers” stream. There was a lovely review of my talk in The Sociological Review: “Mark Sherry’s stream plenary session was the high point of the conference for me. Sherry (University of Toledo) proposed a social model of impairment – arguing that the social model of disability, whilst focussing on the structural disabling barriers in society, has a resistance to centring on personal experiences of impairment. Sherry described the social forces that create impairment, such as dangerous workplaces and trafficking as well as intersectional and cultural influences. He showed how theorisation of impairment raises questions of embodiment and identity and has personal and political significance. Sherry used his experiences of working with brain-injured people to describe how a social model of impairment can address the power system that is intrinsic to ideas of normativity. He argued that brain-injury survivors have been neglected within the disability movement, and raised questions about why this might be. In order to theorise impairment, Sherry highlighted the usefulness of phenomenology, but noted the importance of incorporating the social context. Done properly, a social model of impairment can contribute understandings of embodiment to medical sociology discourses about illness and inequality.”
I have just published a chapter in a book called Men, Masculinities and Disaster which is edited by Elaine Enarson and Bob Pease. My chapter is called “Disabled Masculinities and Disasters.” I hadn’t written on disasters before, but I thought it was important to add a disabled voice to this book (and to this topic more broadly).
I have also written a book chapter on disability hate crimes against people with an intellectual disability in a book entitled Intellectual Disability and Stigma: Stepping out from the margins which is edited by Katrina Scior and Shirli Werner. The last proofs of the text have been reviewed, so it should be out soon.
I’ve recently got the proofs for an article on disability hate crimes which will be published in the journal Disability and Society.
I wrote a review of a book about male infertility a while ago, and it has just been made available online. You can read a copy of it here.
In April, I also gave two talks at the Traumatic Brain Injury Conference in Seattle, Washington. You can see the organization’s website here.
Another of my most recent talks was at a Human Trafficking Conference, where I was the keynote speaker on the topic of the human trafficking of disabled people. I will be giving another talk on disability and human trafficking at the Lancaster Disability Studies Conference in September.
I have finished my term as Chair of the Disability Section of the American Sociological Association (ASA). A big thank you to everyone who helped me in this role.
I produced the November 2015 Labor Studies Newsletter for the Society for the Study of Social Problems Labor Studies Division. Here is the previous
I have also had some positive news about previous publications. My article (co-written with a former student, Kristi Zeller) was one of the three most downloaded articles for Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal last year. The publisher has made it freely available for a limited time. I have previously had similar success in publishing with another former student, Peter Thomas – our article was also one of the most-downloaded articles for a different journal, Higher Education and has been cited 115 times already. Also, I recently published another article with a former student, Katie Martin, about the television show “Jersey Shore” in the Journal of Popular Culture.
Here’s an opinion piece I wrote for the Feminist Wire entitled “Crip Politics… Just No”
My 2014-2016 Graduate Assistant, Anna Neller, has also achieved incredible success. She has been elected as Chair of the American Sociological Association Student Advisory Board. Here she is talking about
herself and her research interests.
My new Graduate Assistant, Ann Sifuentes, is publishing a book review of “After War: The Weight of Life at Walter Reed” by Zoë H. Wool (Duke University Press, 2015) in the journal Disability and Society.