Call for Papers

Affecting, Emoting, and Feeling Disability: Entanglements at the Intersection of Disability Studies and the Sociology of Emotions

Deadline: November 15th, 2023

This special issue explores theorizing on disability and emotion as one frontier of the Sociology of Emotions as it intersects with Disability Studies. While the Sociology of Emotions has only engaged with disability in limited ways so far, emancipatory knowledge produced about disability within the broad field of Disability Studies (including fields like Mad Studies, Deaf Studies, and Critical Autism Studies) provides a rich archive of emotional first-hand accounts of feelings and affective relations such as joy, pride, shame, disgust, and fear that are often undertheorised. Importantly, the fields of Sociology of Emotions and Disability Studies understand their central topics as primarily social, cultural, political, and ecological phenomena, challenging their conceptualization as natural, individual, or as limited to the realm of the human. By bringing both fields into conversation with one another, this special issue aims to deepen our understanding of emotions, feelings, and affect related to disability.

This special issue welcomes mutual inspiration and cross-fertilization of sociological and disability studies theorizing on emotions and disability, focusing on questions of ontology, epistemology, performativity, and the more-than-human. Questions of ontology ask what disability and disabled emotions, feelings, and affect are. Such questions draw attention to the emotions, feelings, and affect that are triggered by experiences of, encounters with, and discourses about disability. Epistemological questions focus on how we know emotions, feelings, and affect through, with, and about disability. Questions of performativity inquire what emotions, feelings, and affect do, such as tracing the toll of living in a dis/ableist society or the multifaceted ways dis/ableism unfolds via affect, feeling, and emotion. Attending to the material impacts marks emotions, feelings, and affect about, with, on, and through disability as a social, cultural, and political endeavour. Questions of the more-than-human draw attention to the ways emotions, feelings, and affect produce, maintain, alter, or dismantle notions of disability, such as with disabled habitats, infrastructures, animals, and more. This has deep implications for the survival and thriving of disabled people, practices of disability justice, and nuanced engagements with the more-than-human, including disabled animals, ecologies, and environments.

We welcome a range of formats for papers including review articles, conceptual papers, research papers, and contributions that creatively and critically investigate disability and emotion. Interdisciplinary research, co-authored submissions, and submissions from those with lived experience of disability are particularly welcome. Possible themes of accepted papers could include engagement with:

  • Ableism/ Disableism;
  • Affective politics of disability culture, economies, ecologies;
  • Ambivalence;
  • Crip, Mad, Neurodivergent, Deaf, Chronic, approaches to affect, emotions, or feelings;
  • Disabling emotions (e.g. fear, shame, mourning, pity, inspiration, disgust);
  • Disability joy, pride;
  • Disability justice;
  • Novel epistemological and methodological approaches to knowing emotion, feeling, affect, and disability;
  • Cross-fertilizations with feminist theory, queer theory, critical race theory, Indigenous thought.

The deadline for submission is 15 November 2023. Frontiers› fast-track review process means each article is published online as soon as it‹s been successfully peer-reviewed and accepted (typically within 61 days).

As an open access journal, publishing fees are applied to accepted articles. Information on the publishing fees can be found here. Please contact sociology.submissions(at) to discuss fees, institutional waivers, and discounts.

You can read more about the call for papers on and register your interest to participate.

Please, do not hesitate to contact us for further information regarding the special issue.

Yvonne Wechuli, Universities of Kassel & Cologne (yvonne.wechuli(at)
Marie Sepulchre, Lund University (marie.sepulchre(at)
Kelly Fritsch, Carleton University (KellyFritsch(at)