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Feminist Perspectives on Neurodiversity and Neuronormativity

11:30 am - 5:45 pm | 29 January 2021
Online | Free

In recent years, there has been an exponential growth of intersectional theory, feminist and trans(feminist) activism, and an emerging field of neurodiversity studies. Neurodiversity is a social and political category that refers to neurodivergent people – i.e., dyslexics, ADHDers, dyspraxics, Tourette(r)s, dyscalculics and autistics – and neurotypical people. Rejecting the medical or individual model of disability, a neurodiversity perspective recognises that neurodiversity functions as an organising principle of society:

‘neuronormativity’ – i.e. norms of neurotypicality and neuroableism – structurally privileges neurotypical people and disadvantages neurodivergent people. At the same time, there is an increasing intersectional awareness of how neurodiversity – including both neurodivergence and neurotypicality – is marked by gender and cis-trans specificities and inequalities as well as by race, class, sexuality and, for instance, geopolitical location.

This understanding, then, does not approach neurodiversity ‘neutrally’: its baseline is to support struggles against not only neuro-ableism (including saneism and ableism) and sexism and misogyny, but also anti-black and other forms of racism, Islamophobia, transphobia and trans-exclusion, classism, and sexuality-based oppression. However, there remains a gap in knowledge production about these complexities.

With three interdisciplinary panels, the webinar Feminist Perspectives on Neurodiversity and Neuronormativity seeks to contribute to this discussion.

Register here

The event will take place on Zoom and attendees will be sent the Zoom details prior to the event.

The presentations have been pre-recorded and include (automatic) captions for neurodivergent and ESOL participants.

The Q&A is live.

The panels will have BSL interpretation.


  • Panel 1: 11.30am-12.35pm GMT

Narratives of Gendered Violence and Neurodivergent Survivors

Morrigan Hunter, Portland State University

Neuronormative Perspectives and Women with Sickle Cell Disorder

Myrle Blaine, University of Derby

Gender Panic and Autistic Childhood

Dr.des. Toby Atkinson, Lancaster University

  • Panel 2: 2-3.20pm GMT (UK time)

“I’m Always Doing a Billion Things”: Busyness as a Strategic Coping Mechanism for AD[H]D Women

Katya (Kate) Sullivan, Heriot-Watt University

Who Cares if Neurodivergence “Makes” us Queer?

Alyssa Hillary Zisk, University of Rhode Island

Autistic Disruptions, Trans Temporalities: A Narrative “Trap Door” in Time

Dr Jake Pyne, York University

Voice (less)? How do Memoirs (online and offline) by Autistic People Challenge Feminist Concepts and Methods Relating to Voice?

Prof Anna Reading, King’s College London

  • Panel 3: 4.30-5.35pm GMT (UK time)

“Your Father was a Computer”: Exploring how Autism became Associated with White Technocratic Masculinity in the Mid-20th Century

Elizabeth Maher, University of Illinois at Chicago

An Intersectional Reading of Work on Neurodivergent Spatialities

Dr Eric Olund, University of Sheffield

‘Tools, Tips and Tricks’: An Analysis of Gendered Neuronormativity in Self-Help Literature About and For ADHD Women

Dr Dyi Huijg, University of Roehampton

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