Greetings from Minnesota! As one of the more senior members of the RDS editorial team, I'm excited to be making my blog debut.
2008 begins with a two-issue forum entitled To Dance Beneath the Diamond Sky with One Hand… devoted to disability and music. Some of the highlights are a study of a remarkable inclusive music program in Scotland by Peggy Duesenberry and Raymond MacDonald, a discussion of professional musicians dealing with breast cancer and recovery by Sarah Schmalenberger, Isaac Stein's touching, personal essay on Neil Young, a person with disabilities, father of sons with disabilities, and prominent disability activist, and Ray Pence's remarkable chronicle of soul-funk legend Curtis Mayfield's years as an artist with quadriplegia. For this forum, I was joined as co-editor by my dear friend Na'ama Sheffi, Chair of the School of Communication, Sapir Academic College, Israel.Prior to assuming my current position as Associate Editor for Forums, where I recruit and assist guest editors to work on theme issues of RDS, I served as guest co-editor (with my U of M colleague Christopher Johnstone) of the forum Parting the Waters: Disability and Deliverance in the Wake of Disaster. Inspired by Hurricane Katrina and the great Asian/African tsunami, contributions also included essays on such topics as the Montreal ice storm, the Israel-Palestine conflict, 9/11, and the AIDS in Africa. Contributors' fields included English literature, landscape architecture, social work, international education, and music. This was a particularly timely, provocative, and popular forum.
We've got several more forums in press or in progress that we think will be similarly interesting.
I'd just as soon not spoil the surprise of what's to come in the way of RDS forums, except to say that the sky's the limit. Please consider submitting a proposal for a cfp yourself. All topics will be considered, with preference given to editorial teams with at least one partner from beyond the US. We are, after all, An International Journal.
Finally, I want to share a news flash not (yet!) related to RDS. One of my all-time favorite music students at the U of M, Monthian Buntan, recently head of his native Thailand's Association of the Blind, has just been elected a Senator in that country. How cool is that?