‘Cripping the Muse’ is a two-day summit event (funded by the IMR, SEMPRE and The University of Leeds OD&PL and co-sponsored by the Centre for Disability Studies, University of Leeds) that seeks to promote the dialogue and increase conversations between Music and Disability Studies. The event will be held at the School of Music, University of Leeds on the 4th & 5th July 2018.

Researchers in the fields of musicology, music psychology, music education and music therapy have been researching music and disability for many years but, for the most part, the discourse has predominantly been medical/therapeutic in scope. In contrast, the field of disability studies has focused on moving away from a medicalised, deficit model approach to disability research (i.e. the view that disabled people’s impairments need to be ‘fixed’ or ‘cured’ in order for them to fully function as valued members of society) towards a more critical discourse on the topic which suggests that, whilst individual impairments may indeed cause disabled people real pain, discomfort and/or the need for additional support, the true disabling factors implicit in ‘disability’ reside within people’s attitudes and an inherently ‘ableist’ society. It is our view that greater discourse between these two disciplines (which prioritises contributions from disabled people themselves) is needed to foster a collaborative knowledge exchange environment which pushes beyond the current margins of music and disability studies research.

Recently, headway has been made in pulling these two disciplines together via publication of the Oxford Handbook for Music and Disability Studies (2016). However, much research relating to music and disability is still devised and disseminated through a medical lens and few studies actively seek to include the views and perspectives of disabled people. This event aims to constructively critique, challenge and change this.

Day one (4th July 2018): will consist of a research-skills training day aimed at equipping those with an interest in research in music and disability with the tools to devise inclusive research practices. This day will also be of interest to organisations who are looking to develop inclusive practices in consultation and evaluation.

Day two (5th July 2018): will consist of a conference-style event (although we like to think of it as more of a festival of ideas). This event will push the research agenda of the field in new directions by bringing together amateur and professional disabled musicians, the organisations which support them, and those with research interests in disability studies, sociology, psychology, musicology, music education, music psychology, community music and music therapy.

Registration for both events is now open. Places are limited so please do book now to avoid missing out. Click here to be taken to the University of Leeds Booking System where you will be able to book tickets. The cost of attendance is as follows:

Day One (training event) 

Student/Unwaged: Free

Waged/Organisation: £20

Personal Assistant Ticket (if required): Free

Day Two (conference event) 

Student/Unwaged: £20

Waged/Organisation: £40

Personal Assistant Ticket (if required): Free

Both Days (training & conference) 

Student/Unwaged: £20

Waged/Organisation: £60

Personal Assistant Ticket (if required): Free

A travel bursary scheme will also be available for those with the greatest need (details of this will be announced shortly).

A Call for Submissions for day two of the event is also currently active (closing date: Tuesday 1st May, midnight GMT). Please email abstract submissions to info@crippingthemuse.com

Papers are welcomed from musicians, students, academics and representatives from external organisations. Priority will be given to presentations which represent disabled people’s views and/or experiences.