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Current Call for Submissions

The Internet
Deadline: March 15, 2023

For the past four years, the majority of our readers have accessed our journal online. This has led to a wide international, diverse group of Ought readers. In many ways, Ought’s community of online readership excemplifies the manner in which the internet has connected many autistic communities for decades. Technology, specifically the internet, has facilitated autistic connections and culture on many levels. Jim Sinclair (2010) notes that “During the past 20 years, facilitated in large part by the availability of the Internet, more and more autistic people have been reaching out and forming connections, creating community, and discovering our own styles of autistic togetherness.”

The pandemic made the internet especially vital by allowing us to work from home, communicate with colleagues, friends, and family via Zoom, stream media, and game online, all without leaving the living room. Social media has also led to dynamic modes of expression and connection across an international autistic community (e.g. #Actuallyautistic). This has created many opportunities, but it has also led to more isolation, increased bullying, and even new forms of addiction for autistic people. In this issue of Ought (4.2), we will explore, critique, and celebrate the autistic communities and experiences of cyberspace. We encourage a wide range of submissions (both in form and topic) that either consider the following questions or push in new directions:

  • How does the internet shape autistic culture and community?
  • How did Covid change how we use the internet?
  • In what ways is the internet a neurodivergent space?
  • What modes of autistic communication occur on the internet?
  • What unique harms do autistic internet face?
  • What is the relationship between autistic individuals and social media?

References

Sinclair, J. (2010). Cultural commentary: Being autistic together. Disability Studies Quarterly, 30(1). https://dsq-sds.org/article/view/1075/1248

Critical Autism Studies
Deadline: September 15, 2023

The term Critical Autism Studies (CAS) has in the past decade come to define an interdisciplinary approach to researching and theorizing autism in a variety of social and cultural settings. As Woods et al. note (2016), the defining actions of CAS include challenging a deficit-based medical model of autism; examining how cultural norms and social institutions continue to define what autism is, if not to construct it entirely; and creating emancipatory methodologies and practices that value autistic individuals and communities. As in any academic discipline, there is no shortage of disputes within CAS, including over the role of autistic scholars, its relationship to the broader neurodiversity movement, and perhaps most critically, the acceptance or rejection of the autism diagnosis itself, with some scholars claiming that the “critical” component of the label requires seeing autism entirely as a sociocultural construct.

This issue of Ought seeks to enter the conversation about this emergent field, seeking both scholarly manuscripts that attempt to further define the field and creative works that comment on or exemplify critical practices within CAS. Submissions might address some or all of the following questions:

  • What are the seminal texts and key scholars in CAS?
  • What role should neurotypicals and autistic scholars play in CAS?
  • Where does CAS exist in academic space, and where should it exist?
  • What does the critical in CAS entail?
  • What is the future of CAS?

References

Woods, R., Milton, D., Arnold, L., & Graby, S. (2018). Redefining critical autism studies: A more inclusive interpretation. Disability & Society, 33(6), 974-979.