Call for Papers, Artwork, Poetry and Photo Essays : Disabilities and Sexualities: Exploring Intersections and Multiplicities

Submission deadline (extended): 01 June 2014

People with disabilities are not homogenous and experiences related to disability are varied across social class, race, ethnicity, context, region, gender, and sexuality. People may have a diverse set of disabilities, including physical, psychomotor and psychological. Some may be born with certain disability/ies and others may acquire it during their lifetime. Sexualities constitute a whole gamut of behaviours, emotions, activities, attitudes and fantasies of different individuals. While some may approach the subject of sexuality from a rights-based perspective, others may look at it from the perspective of health, and still others through the lens of disease or abuse. Experiences related to sexuality are myriad and therefore the concerns related to sexuality are diverse too.

The intersection of disabilities and sexualities makes apparent multiple concerns. Whilst there remains a need for the reconsideration of laws and social policies pertaining to sexuality and disability, there is simultaneously a need to consider how sexualities are constructed and how such constructions may impact upon the experiences of people with disabilities. People with disabilities and their specific and varied concerns have hardly garnered much attention in the past. In the last decade or so, disability theorists, as well as feminists, have strived to bring forth some of the specific issues relevant to people with disabilities. Whilst there have been some discussions and debates on people with physical disabilities and their experiences of sexualities, people with psychological disabilities have been further marginalized within these spaces. This forthcoming edition of the GJSS seeks to explore some of the pertinent issues at the cross-section of disabilities and sexualities and invites papers for its December 2014 edition on disabilities and sexualities.We invite scholarly contributions from postgraduate students, early career academics and activists engaged in LGBT, sexuality, feminist, queer, women’s and gender studies or related areas, to submit their work for consideration.


We therefore welcome papers on topics including, but not limited to:

  • How social stigma/s may impact upon experiences of people with disabilities.
  • What practical, epistemological and theoretical concerns emerge when conducting research considering the sexuality of those ‘embodied differently’?
  • consideration of how sexual subjectivity may impact upon the experiences of people with disabilities.
  • Intersectionalities with other social factors such as (but not limited to) race, class and gender. How do issues of disability and sexuality further intersect with issues of caste, race, colour and ethnicity?
  • Access to resources and services related to sexuality for people with disabilities. Do people with disabilities have equal access to sexuality education in schools or other spaces? Do they have equal access to resources such as contraceptives and sex toys? Do products such as contraceptives and sex toys take into consideration the nature and the specific concerns and needs related to sexuality for people with disabilities?
  • What are the specific concerns of people with sexualities with non-heteronormative sexualities? What spaces, if at all, are available for people with disabilities who do not adhere to heteronormativity? Is there a hierarchy that exists within the entire spectrum of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, pansexual, asexual, queer sexualities for people with disabilities? How does the conjunction of non-normative sexualities and disabilities work? What courses of action are tenable to bring about better awareness and addressing of these concerns?
  • Ethical concerns related to people with disabilities and reproduction. With the construction of people with disabilities as ‘deviant’ and ‘abnormal’ what are the specific debates and ethical concerns around reproduction and parenting by people with disabilities? Should people with disabilities be accorded similar rights to parenting and reproduction as the non-disabled? Should certain disabilities be allowed a better position in the hierarchy with respect to reproduction and parenting? What are the ethical concerns related to sterilisation and hysterectomies of people with disabilities?
  • Relation of reproductive technologies and selection of foetuses which are perceived as non-disabled. What do laws and policies in various country contexts tell us about which foetuses are privileged and which are condemned? What are the ethical concerns related to such selection?
  • How does one address issues and concerns with regard to bodily integrity for people with disabilities in the context of their sexualities? How do their concerns regarding bodily integrity interact with their vulnerability to sexual abuse and violence?
  • How do we develop a language of pleasure for people with disabilities? What spaces are available not only for pleasure to be acknowledged but also addressed for people with disabilities? What are the creative ways in which we need to think of for people with disabilities and pleasure? How do we address issues such as somatic pain, lack of sensation due to particular disabilities, access to particular sex toys or also access to sexual surrogates for sexual pleasure?
  • Addressing issues of caregivers including parents and other family members with regard to disability and sexuality? What challenges emerge at the intersection of disability and sexuality for caregivers? What are the innovative strategies that may have been used to address these concerns and challenges?


Articles (5000–8000 words), short essays (2000–3000 words), personal narratives (2000–3000 words), book and film reviews (1000–1500 words), art work and photo essays are all welcome.

Please send all contributions and enquiries to GJSS Editors Arpita Das and Remi Salisbury at Suggestions and enquiries regarding book reviews should be directed to GJSS Book Review Editor Sanaz Raji at

Envisaged Publication Date

December 2014

Submission Deadline (Extended)

Having received a number of requests for us to do extend the deadline of this issue, we have decided to extend the deadline to 01 June 2014. (The initial deadline for submissions was 30 April 2014).