Members of a Network working on

Conference call for papers

1st Annual INSPIRe Virtual Symposium September 22nd, 2012

International Network of Student Perspectives IResearch

Illuminating the world through student research, networking and discussion

“Exploring ability expectations through diverse disciplines and topics”

Call for Abstracts


Deadline: July 15th, 2012 

Adjudication to be completed by August 1st

Full podcast, poster, or paper to be submitted by August 31st

Aims of the conference

The aims of this conference are to: 1) Encourage student discussion regarding socio-cultural ability expectations 2) Provide a peer-reviewed opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to showcase their work and 3) Provide a platform for dialogue and networking—without the costs of travel and conference fees.

Why do we do this?

Our research team increasingly aims to disseminate data at conferences through virtual means, particularly given the often untenable fees for travel. We are very grateful for these opportunities; as such we envision this conference as a way to express our appreciation and to give back to the research community. In addition, we aim to provide other students an opportunity to disseminate their views and to network with us and others.

Who are we?

We are a team of inter- and trans-disciplinary undergraduate and graduate research students at the University of Calgary ( . We are researchers interested in socio-cultural ability expectations and their impacts. We investigate various topics (e.g. social robotics; emerging science and technology; energy, water and climate change security and justice; ethics; education; resilience; immigrants; meaning of health; health policy; health consumerism, among others) through an ableism lens.

What is ability studies?

Ability expectations and preferences are one dynamic through which members of a group judge others, themselves, and their lives. As researchers in ability studies, we investigate cultural aspects of ability preferences, the culture of ability preferences, and the impact of ability preferences on various levels.

Ability studies investigates: (a) the social, cultural, legal, political, ethical dimensions  by which any given ability may be judged (among others), which leads to favouring one ability over another; (b) the impact and consequence of favouring certain abilities and rejecting others; (c) the consequences of ableism in its different forms, and its relationship with and impact on other “isms”.

What does virtual mean?

The conference and all accepted contributions will be hosted online. Once all completed submissions have been received, the webpage will go live, at which point conference participants (all accepted authors) may read or listen to the material at their leisure. Attached to the conference webpage will be a discussion forum where any conference participant may post a question/comment. One week after the webpage goes live, authors will be available for questions and discussion. After the forum, conference material will be made open access for all consenting authors.

How can you participate?

Eligible submissions include preliminary or completed primary research, conceptual pieces, creative pieces, and literature reviews. Please contact the conference organizers for information regarding other formats.

Abstracts must not exceed 250 words in length.  Abstracts should included project title, aims, methods (if applicable), and statement of relevance  to conference theme.  Completed abstracts, along with the application form (to be found at should be submitted to by July 15th, 2012.

 Formats for final submissions (you can choose from):


Submission Format
1. Presentations Podcast (audio file)
2. Posters PDF
3.Manuscripts PDF


 Full podcast, poster, or paper to be submitted by August 31st.

Authors are asked to indicate on the application form whether they will be available for questions from conference participants on September 22nd.

Potential topics of submission:

Topics may engage a variety of social groups (e.g. disabled people, ethnic minorities, gender, socioeconomic status, immigrants, migrants, etc.) and some discussion of ability expectations. Suggestions of topics include:

  • Science and technology governance
  • Ethics
  • The human body
  • Sport
  • Human enhancements
  • Environmental justice
  • Sustainability and economics
  • Economics
  • Sustainability
  • Human security
  • Climate change
  • Energy issues
  • Water issues
  • Health science technology and health care
  • Disability studies
  • Feminist approach to ability expectations
  • Bullying
  • Media discourses and representation of various social groups
  • Racism
  • Immigrant policies
  • Education
  • Social robots
  • Prospects of artificial wombs
  • Bodybuilding
  • Future of communication technologies and abilities expectations
  • Sensor systems
  • Health consumerism
  • Privacy and health science technologies
  • Social justice
  • Equity and equality
  • Social well being
  • Social determinants of health
  • Human development

Updates of the conference will be posted on our ableism blog

Also if you have questions please email us at

This is a project of the Wolb Pack©

The logo was designd by Verlyn Leopatra

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