Organisers of VariAbilit(ies) II – Ethics Beyond Troubling: Towards Queer(ed) (Vari)Ability are also challenging the standard conference format by holding the event in two consecutive stages in two different cities. The historic and traditional cities of Winchester and Canterbury are linked by the Pilgrims’ Way – a prehistoric trackway adopted by medieval Christian pilgrims travelling to the shrine of Thomas Becket.
The first half of the conference at the University of Winchester – with cultural historian Irina Metzler as the keynote speaker – explores society’s views and treatment of those with a disability and those of differing sexualities, which some may see as not conforming to the norm.
“The conference attempts to give voices to people who understand themselves as variations of the norm as they make their own pilgrimage towards self-awareness,” said Professor Chris Mounsey, conference organiser and English lecturer at the University of Winchester. “The structure of the keynote address consists of a number of academic papers from which we hope to set up a continuous discussion. We also hope to explore the link between the studies of disability and sexuality, and whether or not each highlights the other.”
Designed to build on a previous VariAbilit(ies) conference held two years ago at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, the Winchester/Canterbury event is also themed around the idea of ‘same only different’. Organisers hope the event will impact on current study disciplines exploring disability and the disabled in society.
VariAbilit(ies) II – Ethics Beyond Troubling: Towards Queer(ed) (Vari)Ability takes place at The Stripe, King Alfred Campus, University of Winchester, Sparkford Road, Winchester, Hampshire SO22 4NR from Monday 20 July to Tuesday 21 July, and concludes at Canterbury Christ Church University in Kent (23-25 July). Participants with accessibility needs are invited to attend via video link. For further information please visit www.winchester.ac.uk/events