Co-Edited by Adam Hubrig and Christina V. Cedillo
“Access is Love,” write disability activists Mia Mingus, Alice Wong, and Sandy Ho, “. . . a collective responsibility instead of a sole responsibility placed on a few individuals.” As we grapple with how systemic inequalities are often reproduced in university contexts that spill over into community literacy work (see Kannan et. al), we focus on accessibility as a concept that centers collective responsibility and intersectionality to interrogate oppressive logics. For this special issue of Community Literacy Journal, we solicit proposals for essays that help us to envision ever more just, more ethical, more accessible iterations of community literacy. Our vision for this special issue--and for accessible community literacies out in the world--is grounded in the principles of Disability Justice articulated by Sins Invalid, a performance and activist collective of queer and trans disabled people of color, and author-activists like Leah Lakshmi Piepzna Samarasinha.
Sins Invalid lists the following Disability Justice principles: 1. Intersectionality; 2. Leadership of Those Most Impacted; 3. Anti-Capitalism; 4. Cross-Movement Solidarity; 5. Wholeness; 6. Sustainability; 7. Cross-Disability Solidarity; 8. Interdependence; 9. Collective Access; and 10. Collective Liberation. We present them here to signify our commitment to these principles as not just ideals but working goals because justice is impossible without our attunement to intersectionality and leadership of those most impacted. Otherwise, we risk erasing both the labor and needs of multiply marginalized people. Because we must all contest capitalism’s valuation of our bodies based on our labor, and we commit to work with others who also seek liberation. And, because we must forge mutually-affirming connections across movements and identities with an understanding that only together we can build sustainable re-humanizing communities.
This special issue aims to highlight these Disability Justice principles/goals to show how accessibility can be a vital apparatus for analyzing community literacies. Accessibility should be centered in the creation and maintaining of intersectional and interdependent praxes or else we actively practice exclusion. We believe that centering accessibility as an intersectional issue will extend ongoing conversations in community literacy studies, such as conversations around labor, ethics, and reciprocity (Miller et. al.; Shah), around the centering of whiteness and white supremacy (Garcia; Jackson and Whitehorse DeLaune; Kynard), and what Carmen Kynard has referred to as “the work” of community literacy studies. Although the word “accessibility” is closely associated with disability, our special issue of Community Literacy Journal seeks to explore the interactive forces that enable or preclude access.
Echoing frameworks for disability justice, we ask that proposals consider the following questions:
- What is to be gained by arguing for broader understandings of access?
- How do the too-often invisibilized labor economies make community literacy work possible and accessible--or not?
- How does accessibility illuminate issues of child/elder/disabled care, housing, language use, and citizenship status?
- In what ways do accessibility and accommodations intersect outside of disability studies frameworks?
- How can a focus on mobility as access/access as mobility reorient our approaches to literacy to include disability and other (multi-)marginalized identities?
- What are some of the many factors that might be barriers to accessing different forms and sites of literacy?
- How can a focus on access and justice bring together scholars from myriad fields in community literacy work?
Accessibility/disability issues are often present in the work many community literacy practitioners already take on, though they are frequently overlooked (Hubrig). Ongoing sites of community literacy work, like food justice (House), prison literacy and abolition (Jacobi), and so many others are also sites that intersect with disability, and are certainly sites where accessibility should be considered. Our special issue asks conference goers to reflect on how issues of accessibility and disability might (re)shape and (re)configure this work. All conference participants are welcome to submit 250 to 500 word proposals (not counting works cited) for essays or other genres by emailing the special issue editors by November 15, 2021. For reference, final drafts should be between 2500-6000 words. Please contact the guest editors with any questions or ideas that you may have.
--Special issue editors, Adam Hubrig () and Christina V. Cedillo ().
Projected Timeline for Submissions and Publication
Proposals Due: November 15, 2021 Invitations to Authors: December 16, 2021 Article Drafts Due: March 31, 2022 Revision Requests to Authors: May 31, 2022 Article Revisions Due: July 15, 2022
Works Cited / Consulted
“Access is Love.” Disability Visibility Project. 2019.
Clare, Eli. "Stolen Bodies, Reclaimed Bodies: Disability and Queerness." Public Culture, vol. 13 no. 3, 2001, pp. 359-365.
Cedillo, Christina V. “Disabled and Undocumented: In/Visibility at the Borders of Presence, Disclosure, and Nation.” Rhetoric Society Quarterly, vol. 50, no. 3, 2020, pp. 203-211.
---. “What Does It Mean to Move? Race, Disability, and Critical Embodiment Pedagogy.” Composition Forum, vol. 39, 2018, (np). https://www.compositionforum.com/issue/39/to-move.php. Accessed 1 Sep. 2020.
Cushman, Ellen. “The Rhetorician as an Agent of Social Change.” College Composition and Communication, vol. 47, no. 1, 1996, pp. 7-28.
Feigenbaum, Paul. Collaborative Imagination: Earning Activism through Literacy Education. Southern Illinois University Press, 2015.
Flower, Linda. “Difference-Driven Inquiry: A Working Theory of Local Public Deliberation.” Rhetoric Society Quarterly, vol. 46, no. 4, 2016, pp. 308–330., doi:10.1080/02773945.2016.1194451.
Flower, Linda, Elenore Long, and Lorraine Higgins. Learning to Rival: A Literate Practice for Intercultural Inquiry. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 2009.
Garcia, Romeo. “Creating Presence from Absence and Sound from Silence.” Community Literacy Journal, vol. 13, no. 1, 2018, pp. 7-15.
Higgins, Lorraine, Elenore Long, and Linda Flower. “Community Literacy: A Rhetorical Model for Personal and Public Inquiry.” Community Literacy Journal, vol. 1, no. 1, 2006.
Holmes, Ashley J. Public Pedagogy in Composition Studies. National Council of Teachers of English, 2016.
---. “Transformative Learning, Affect, and Reciprocal Care in Community Engagement.” Community Literacy Journal, vol. 9, no. 2, 2015, pp. 48-67.
House, Veronica. “Re-Framing the Argument: Critical Service-Learning and Community-Centered Food Literacy.” Community Literacy Journal, vol. 8, no. 2, 2014, pp. 1-16.
Hubrig, Adam. “On ‘Crip Doulas,’ Invisible Labor, and Surviving Academia While Disabled.” The Journal of Multimodal Rhetorics, vol. 5, no. 1, 2021.
---. “‘We Move Together’: Reckoning with Disability Justice in Community Literacy Studies.” Community Literacy Journal, vol. 14, no. 2, 2020, pp. 144-153.
Hubrig, Adam, and Rutho Osorio (Editors). “Symposium: Enacting a Culture of Access in Our Conference Spaces.” College Composition and Communication, vol. 72, no. 1, 2020, pp. 87-117.
Jackson, Rachel C. and Dorothy Whitehorse DeLaune. “Decolonizing Community Writing with Community Listening: Story, Transrhetorical Resistance, and Indigenous Cultural Literacy Activism.” Community Literacy Journal, vol. 13, no. 1, 2018, pp. 37-54.
Jacobi, Tobi. “Against Infrastructure: Curating Community Literacy in a Jail Writing Program.” Community Literacy Journal, vol. 11, no. 1, 2016, pp. 64-75.
Kannan, Vani, Ben Kuebrich, and Yanira Rodríguez. “Unmasking Corporate-Military Infrastructure: Four Theses.” Community Literacy Journal, vol. 11, no. 1, 2016, pp. 76-93.
Kynard, Carmen. “'All I Need is One Mic': A Black Feminist Community Meditation on the Work, the Job, and the Hustle (and Why So Many of Yall Confuse This Stuff)." Conference on Community Writing, 18 Oct. 2019, Irvine Auditorium, University of Pennsylvania. Keynote Address.
Long, Elenore. “Techne, Institutions, and Intervention in Local Public Life.” Unsustainable: Re-Imagining Community Literacy, Public Writing, Service-Learning and the University, by Elenore Long, Lexington Books, 2013, pp. 197–225.
Long, Elenore, Jennifer Clifton, Andrea Alden, and Judy Holiday. “Fostering Inclusive Dialogue in Emergent University-Community Partnerships: Setting the Stage for Intercultural Inquiry.” Crossing Borders, Drawing Boundaries: the Rhetoric of Lines across America. Utah State University Press, 2016, pp. 227–253.
Mathieu, Paula. Tactics of Hope: Street Life and the Public Turn in English Composition. Boynton/Cook Publishers, 2005.
Miller, Elizabeth, Anne Wheeler, and Stephanie White. “Keywords: Reciprocity.” Community Literacy Journal, vol. 5, no. 2, 2011, pp. 171-178.
Opel, D. “Challenging the rhetorical conception of health literacy: Aging, interdependence, and networked caregiving.” Literacy in Composition Studies, 6(2), 136-150.
Parks, Stephen. Gravyland: Writing beyond the Curriculum in the City of Brotherly Love. Syracuse University Press, 2010.
Piepzna-Samarasinha, Leah Lakshmi. Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice. Arsenal Pulp Press. 2018.
---. “To Survive the Trumpocalypse, We Need Wild Disability Justice Dreams.” Truthout. 2018.
Restaino, Jessica. “Rejeting Binaries and Rethinking Relationships.” Unsustainable: Re-Imagining Community Literacy, Public Writing, Service-Learning and the University. Lexington Books, 2013, pp. 253-261.
Rosenberg, Lauren. “Navigating Difficulty in Classroom-Community Outreach Projects.” Community Literacy Journal, vol. 11 no. 2, 2017.
Rousculp, Tiffany. Rhetoric of Respect: Recognizing Change at a Community Writing Center. Conference on College Composition and Communication, National Council of Teachers of English, 2014.
Shah, Rachael W. Rewriting Partnerships: Community Perspectives on Community-Based Learning. Utah State University Press, 2020.
Skin, Tooth, and Bone: The Basis of Movement is Our People. Sins Invalid. 2nd ed., digital ed., 2019
Call for Submissions—Spring 2022
The Community Literacy Journal (CLJ) is excited to accept submissions for the second annual edition of Coda: Community Writing and Creative Work, a section dedicated to expanding the kinds of writing published in CLJ while supporting all writers—from within and outside the academy alike—who are involved in projects relating to community engagement and activism.
As part of CLJ, we value lived experience and communities that nurture an environment for writing and expression. We believe that the creative impulse resides in everyone, and that this impulse can be a force for personal, community, and societal transformation. Because we understand creativity to be deeply social, we’re just as interested in how an author (or a group of authors) created a piece of writing or art as we are in the piece itself.
Our first section of Coda (Spring 2021) included creative non-fiction about community writing projects, creative writing written by academics, and compilations of writing, including poetry, from community writing sites. Now we are looking to expand the section’s scope. We are soliciting creative work in any genre in English and/or Spanish. (Please see below for submission guidelines).
We are particularly interested in:
- Writing that engages multiple communities to advocate for social change
- Writing that seeks to foster belonging in communities
- Creative nonfiction that explores the messiness and complexity of community writing
- Creative work by academic scholars who theorize community writing
- Creative work about, with, or from communities that is beautiful, experimental, offbeat, or weird or that otherwise reflects a community context
If you don't see your particular writing approach mentioned here, message us and we’d be happy to talk about your potential contribution! Whatever you have written, if you have written it in a community context that’s meaningful to you, we want to read it.
Along with your submission, please include a short reflection, perhaps one or two paragraphs, telling us about how your work came to be. You may include information about how your piece reflects community engagement, what inspired you to create your piece, your personal journey as a writer; or about your community writing group (if you belong to one).
We are soliciting poetry, short stories, memoirs, essays, comics, plays, photography, and drawings. Please submit: up to three poems; one section of prose (a story or an essay) up to 3,500 words; a one-act play up to 10 minutes; or high resolution visual images (only in black and white).
Our submission deadline is December 1, 2021. We intend to have editorial decisions sent to authors no later than February 1, 2022.
To submit your work, or if you have any questions, please be in touch with the editors through .