Call for Papers, Special Issue: “Towards a neurodiverse sociocultural linguistics”

Call for Papers, Special Issue: “Towards a neurodiverse sociocultural linguistics”
Editors Ayden Parish and Kira Hall
Neurodiversity, understood as the range of human cognitive and neurological variance, has been classically marginalized as only of interest through a medicalized, pathologizing lens. The neurodiversity movement, however, advocates that these differences should not be seen as biomedical entities to be first and foremost cured, but as variation to be accommodated and as lived experiences whose perspectives should be recognized and valued. Across the social sciences, neurodiversity-affirming approaches have come to demonstrate that a sociocultural angle is necessary, both in order to improve theorization of neurodiverse conditions and also to bring a new critical eye to current theories that only account for normative relationships with language and sociality. Crucially, these critiques make important steps in asserting the agency of neurodivergent individuals. We hope to further enrich these discussions with specific attention to sociocultural linguistics as a site for neurodiverse intervention.
We invite papers for a special topics issue on neurodiversity to be submitted to Language in Society. Our aim is to demonstrate the necessity of incorporating neurodiversity into the study of language in social life and to showcase the productive new directions engendered by such approaches. We welcome a broad vision of neurodiversity that includes not only neurodevelopmental disabilities such as autism, ADHD, and Tourette syndrome, but also other neurological conditions like dementia and aphasia, as well as mental illnesses, including but not limited to schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and OCD.

We are interested in papers from a diversity of disciplinary viewpoints, including linguistic anthropology, sociolinguistics, socially-oriented discourse analysis, crip linguistics and related perspectives, among others. Possible topics include:

  • Analyses of interactions amongst neurodiverse speakers
  • Ethnographic approaches to language and embodiment in neurodiverse communities
  • Discourse analytical approaches to the construction of neurodiversity and neurotypicality
  • Critical reframings of traditionally pathologized linguistic behaviors such as echolalia or “disorganized” speech
  • Other creative, socially-oriented approaches to the intersection of neurodiversity and linguistics
We are especially interested in hearing from early career scholars and those examining neurodiversity’s intersections with race, gender, sexuality, and other disabilities.

If you are interested in submitting a paper to the special issue, please email an abstract of up to 500 words by January 8th to the editors. Full drafts of selected papers will be due in May of 2024. Please feel free to write the editors with any inquiries: Ayden Parish ( and Kira Hall (