Special Issue "Disability Design in Contemporary Art and Curating"

A special issue of Arts (ISSN 2076-0752).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 22 December 2022 | Viewed by 343

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Amanda Cachia
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Otis College of Art & Design, California Institute of the Arts, California State University Long Beach, California State University San Marcos, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USA
Interests: contemporary disability art and activism; intersections of disability and feminism in North Africa and the Middle East; decolonizing museum practices of indigenous cultures in Australia, the Pacific and the United States; visual culture studies; identity and representation; history of photography; curatorial studies; exhibition design and criticism

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue of Arts entitled “Disability Design in Contemporary Art and Curating” explores a topic that has become imperative and urgent during these pandemic times. It seeks to publish essays that provide critical analysis of the concept of “disability design” as a methodology for curating exhibitions and producing artwork. How can disabled embodiment shape the development and planning of exhibitions and art praxis? How can the altered, atypical body guide and inform best museum practices for exhibition way-finding, and for sensorial engagement with objects? In recent years, artists have been turning to modes of disability “accommodation” as the subject for their politicized work, which have included poetic and creative responses to alt-text, captioning, visual description, original new forms of museum furniture, disability access riders, critiques of the medical industrial complex, the nature of interdependent networks of care, and more. In turn, museums are recognizing the need to not only showcase these forms of art, but to also instill a credible engagement with disability design practices themselves for the needs of a diversity of visitors when mounting their exhibitions and staging programs. It is particularly during our pandemic era that museums have been grappling with not only how to meet audience needs in both real time and virtual formats, but also how to activate genuine decolonizing social justice efforts in response to a lack of true diversity within the gallery walls. This general desire, approach, and now response to COVID-19 are what I necessarily consider to be disability design in contemporary art and curating—one that is adaptable, hybrid, flexible, open-minded, “cripped,” and perceptive of diverse needs. I am therefore seeking papers that delve into these ideas, and I am especially interested in papers that bring an intersectional perspective to their case studies.

Authors may address the topic of disability design in contemporary art and curating across a wide array of visual media, including the fine arts, periodicals, television, and film, and use subjects and methodologies drawn from disciplines such as art history; visual studies; cultural studies; philosophy; women’s, gender and sexuality studies; communication studies; critical design, critical race and ethnic studies and more.

Proposed projects may include scholarly essays as well as more creative projects (e.g., visual or performance art, speculative writing, and interviews).       

Dr. Amanda Cachia
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Arts is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • disability design
  • disability curating
  • disability activism
  • disability art
  • contemporary art
  • visual culture

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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