Director: Cassandra Hartblay
Centre Coordinator: Deanna D’Souza
CGDS members include faculty, researchers, graduate students, and staff across the three campuses of the University of Toronto. The following list is organized alphabetically by last name and is not differentiated by role or status.
Learn more about courses in Disability Studies at UofT here.
Associate Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, University of Toronto
Susan Antebi is Associate Professor of Latin American Literature in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on disability and corporeality in the contexts of contemporary and twentieth-century Mexican cultural production. Her most recent book is Embodied Archive: Disability in Post-Revolutionary Mexican Cultural Production (U of Michigan Press, Winner of the Tobin Siebers prize, 2021). She is also the author of Carnal Inscriptions: Spanish American Narratives of Corporeal Difference and Disability (Palgrave-Macmillan 2009). Her co-edited volumes include Libre Acceso: Latin American Literature and Film through Disability Studies, with Beth Jörgensen, (SUNY, 2016); and The Matter of Disability: Materiality, Biopolitics, Crip Affect, with David Mitchell and Sharon Snyder, (U of Michigan Press, 2019). Her work has been funded by a SSHRC Insight Grant and a Chancellor Jackman Faculty Research Fellowship. Her current research projects centre on eugenic legacies in contemporary Mexico and the Americas, and on para-abnormal agency in literature and spectacle.
Keywords: disability; eugenics; latin america; literature; film; spectacle; materiality
[Image description: A photo of a middle-aged light-skinned woman with chin-length brown hair. She is smiling at the camera with her head tilted to one side. She wears a neutral colored blouse with small flower pattern and stands in a room with light blue walls and sunshine coming through the windows.]
Chloë G. K. Atkins
Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Toronto
Atkins is the primary investigator of The PROUD Project on Employment and Disability (funded by SSHRC, DNDRC, TechNation, The Catherine and Frederik Eaton Family Charitable Foundation and other private donors). It is a multinational, multiyear study looking at the conditions which encourage and sustain the employment of qualified disabled persons in the workplace. She is a previous CIHR grant holder for a project about the management of rare and difficult-to-diagnose illness. Atkins is the author of My Imaginary Illness (Cornell 2010), awarded three prizes including The American Journal of Nursing’s Book of The Year (2011). She has held Clarke, Fulbright and SSHRC Fellowships.
Keywords: disability; bioethics; vulnerable minority identities; human rights; phenomenological research; narrative scholarship
[Image description: A photo of a middle-aged woman with short brown hair, and with gray at the temples. She is smiling at the camera with her head tilted to one side. She wears a cream-coloured, cable-knit sweater with a pale blue scarf around her neck. She stands in front of green vines in a woodland]
Assistant Professor, Department of Health & Society, University of Toronto Scarborough and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health
Hilary Brown, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health & Society at the University of Toronto Scarborough and in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. She is cross-appointed to the Temerty Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry and is an Adjunct Scientist at Women’s College Hospital. Dr. Brown holds a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Disability and Reproductive Health. Her research program uses epidemiologic methods to examine maternal and child health and health care access across the life course, with a focus on populations with disabilities and chronic illness. You can read more about her research here: https://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/people/hbrown/
Teaching interests: Dr. Brown teaches courses in public health, epidemiology, and reproductive health at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Key words: disability; chronic illness; health care access; health equity; maternal and child health; sexual and reproductive health
[Image description: Hilary, a white woman with long brown hair, wears a light blue shirt and navy blazer, and smiles at the camera]
Department of Geography, Geomatics and Environment, University of Toronto Mississauga
Graduate Chair, Geography and Planning
Professor Ron Buliung holds a Ph.D. (2004) in Urban Geography from McMaster University. He is a faculty member in the Department of Geography, Geomatics and Environment at UTM, and the Graduate Chair of the tri-campus graduate programs in Geography and Planning (UTSG). His interest in disability scholarship stems largely from his lived experience as the parent of a child who lives with the disabling aspects of the world around us on a daily basis. Ron has organized his entire research practice and graduate supervision around themes related to disability in the city, with a focus primarily, but not exclusively, on the experiences of children and youth. Recent published works have focused on access to education, school transport, and food insecurity. As a parent, Ron has discovered ample opportunity to develop a role as an advocate for children with disability, particularly in relation to access to education. The COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly instructive in illuminating the myriad battles left to fight, and the presence of a prevailing undercurrent of ableism that persists in children’s education to this day!
Recent public lectures & podcasts:
Childhood, Access to Education and Transportation. Equity in Transport Seminar Series, McGill University. September 17 2020. https://youtu.be/_892_GL8tOQ
Buliung, Ron, narrator. “Advocating for accessibility – improving accessibility for children on the move” View to the U, UTM, 10 March. 2017. https://soundcloud.com/user-642323930/ron-buliung-advocating-for-accessibility-improving-accessibility-for-children-on-the-move. PDF: https://www.utm.utoronto.ca/vp-research/sites/files/vp-research/public/shared/Podcast3-transcribed%2CMarch2017.pdf
Recent publications (published under Open Access licensing):
Ross, T., Bilas, P., Buliung, R., El-Geneidy, A. (2020) A Scoping Review of Accessible Student Transport Services for Children with Disabilities. Transport Policy. 95: 57-67. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tranpol.2020.06.002
Schwartz, N., Tarasuk, V., Buliung, R., & Wilson, K. (2019). Mobility impairments and geographic variation in vulnerability to household food insecurity. Social Science and Medicine. 243. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2019.112636
Schwartz, N., Buliung, R., Wilson, K. (2019). Disability and food access and insecurity: A scoping review of the literature. Health and Place. 57: 107-121. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.healthplace.2019.03.011
Ross, T. and R. Buliung (2018). A Systematic Review of Disability’s Treatment in the Active
School Travel and Children’s Independent Mobility Literatures. Transport Reviews. 38(3): 349-371. https://doi.org/10.1080/01441647.2017.1340358
[Image description: colour photo of two people, profile view. Father (Professor Buliung) looking at his 8 year old daughter (and vice versa), sharing a smile]
PhD Candidate, Department of Social Justice Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto
Elaine Cagulada is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Social Justice Education at OISE, University of Toronto. She is interested in the single stories of deafness, disability, race, and policing produced and reproduced by the ruling relations, her focus primarily being on the institution of police. Through poetry and counterstory, Elaine develops a narrative approach to making disability matter differently, engaging carceral enclosures and practices as sites of dependence and resistance. Influenced by teachings abound in disability studies, Elaine wonders what different stories of deafness, disability, and race, what radical possibilities for Being, might be let loose with and through interpretation.
Keywords: interpretive disability studies; philosophies of race; deafness; policing; carceral practices
[Image description: Pictured is a brown-skinned woman wearing a floral dress. The woman is smiling with her head turned, her gaze fixed somewhere beyond the left of the camera. Her hair is long and falls past her shoulders and a pair of sunglasses sits atop her head. ]
Senior Research Associate, Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto
I am a medical anthropologist with an undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley and a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. Between 1994 and 2010, I lived in the UK, where I taught anthropology at the University of Durham for four years, and then joined the research staff first at the University of Newcastle and later at Brighton and Sussex Medical School. Since 2011 I have been based in the Health Services Outcomes and Evaluation Research Unit within the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto, where I am a senior research associate. Current topics of interest include knowledge translation, osteoporosis and risk assessment, supporting primary care practitioners in managing patients with chronic pain (through UHN’s Project ECHO Ontario / Chronic Pain and Opioid Stewardship program), aging and technology (with AGE-WELL-NCE), and spinal cord injury. In my spare time I write fiction and creative non-fiction.
Keywords: chronic pain; osteoporosis, knowledge translation; spinal cord injury; medical anthropology
[Image description: a head shot of an older white woman with dark, curly, chin-length hair. Trees and the CN Tower are visible but out of focus in the background]
Maddy De Welles
PhD Student, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto
Madeleine (Maddy) De Welles is a PhD student in disability studies in the Social Justice Education department at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE, University of Toronto). Maddy’s research and writing focuses on disability studies and childhood studies, and she is guided by phenomenology and interpretive sociology. She is especially interested in writing about children’s artefacts, such as storybooks, dolls, television shows, and young adult novels. Maddy also loves teaching and working with children of all ages.
Keywords: disability studies; childhood studies
[Image description: a female-presenting, white woman looks, smiling at the camera. She has long dark brown hair. She is wearing round glasses and a burgundy short-sleeved shirt]
[Image Description: Close-up colour portrait of Tina Doyle smiling. She has long blond hair, below her shoulders, with blue/green eyes. She is wearing a black turtleneck with a cream background.
[Image description: A photograph of Miggy, a Filipino person with short black hair. He is wearing a blue-grey t-shirt, and giving the camera a big toothy grin]
Professor and Chair, Department of Health and Society, University of Toronto Scarborough
Jessica Fields is Professor and Chair of the Department of Health and Society and Professor of Sociology at University of Toronto Scarborough. Fields’ research focus on racialized and gendered discourses of vulnerability and risk, with a particular focus on sexual health education’s gendered and racialized lessons about the array of relationships, identities, desires, and behaviors that people imagine and pursue for themselves and others. With Laura Mamo and Jen Gilbert, Fields leads The Beyond Bullying Project (funded by the Ford Foundation), a community-based storytelling project that interrogates policymaking that challenge perceptions of LGBTQ sexualities and youth as problems for schooling. Fields is currently completing her monograph, Problems We Pose: Feeling Differently about Qualitative Research (University of Minnesota Press), in which she welcomes emotion and feeling as a source of insight—not an obstacle to understanding—into the racialized, gendered, and sexual inequities that compromise health and well-being.
Keywords: sexuality, gender, race, education, vulnerability and risk
[Image description: a light-skinned person with short gray hair and black and tortoise-shell cat-eye glasses looks at the camera over her left shoulder. She is smiling with light pink lips and her teeth showing. Her face is lightly wrinkled with brow lines and laugh lines. She wears a black turtleneck and small silver earrings]
Post-Doc Fellow, York University
Dr Efrat Gold is a postdoctoral fellow at York University, engaging in mad and disability studies. Using interpretive and critical theory and methods, Gold critiques the psy-complex, moving toward contextualized and relational understandings of suffering, crisis, and distress, and foregrounding those most vulnerable and marginalized by psychiatric power, discourse, and treatments. Her scholarship focuses on constructions of psychiatric legitimacy that naturalize and reproduce medicalized understandings of human suffering, thereby casting off all other possibilities. Through explorations of norms and meaning-making, Gold unsettles psychiatric ideology by unearthing the present absences of those deemed mad and exploring life-affirming possibilities for mad inclusion. Gold’s publications appear in scholarly and community venues, indicating her commitment to producing research and pedagogy that is accessible to and includes mad and disabled people through consultation, activism, and solidarity. Using archival material and artefacts related to mad and disabled people’s history, Gold’s unique scholarly approach unearths the often-overlooked active role of mad and disabled people in pushing back against oppressive boundaries of normalcy and creating affirmative alternatives and potentials. Motivated by social justice-informed approaches to madness and disability, Gold works across difference, moving towards an emancipative politics that recognizes the entwined landscape of oppression within efforts to build different futures.
To read more on her position on psychiatry and alternative approaches see: https://health.yorku.ca/health-profiles/index.php?dept=&mid=2086118
Keywords: mad studies; disability studies; critical psychiatry; antipsychiatry; interpretive research
[Image description: a light-skinned person with medium-length wavy brown hair and clear-framed glasses looks at the camera, smiling slightly, wearing a white shirt and pin-striped blazer. The background is blurred graffiti in an alleyway, with the sun shining through]
Professor, Department of English, Institute for Life Course and Aging, University of Toronto
Marlene Goldman is a writer, filmmaker, and English professor at the University of Toronto. Her most recent book, Forgotten, which traces the history of Alzheimer’s disease, was nominated for both the Gabrielle Roy Prize (2018) and The Canada Prize (2019)—the top scholarly book published in the Humanities. She is currently writing a book entitled Performing Shame that examines and challenges the connection between shame and stigma, with an emphasis on literary portrayals of disability. Her first short film, Piano Lessons, adapted from Alice Munro’s In Sight of the Lake offers a rare, first-person account of deep dementia. Her second film, Torching the Dusties, an adaptation of the Margaret Atwood short story of the same name, explores intergenerational tensions as well as the effects of age-related macular degeneration. Both films serve as accessible viewing as well as a case studies for clinicians, caregivers, and people living with age-related disorders. Dr. Goldman hopes her interdisciplinary approach will serve to broaden awareness of a spectrum of challenges including dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and vision loss. Her current film—funded by the Canada Council and based on the short story by Souvankham Thammavongsa entitled “Manipedi”—is in pre-production, and focuses on the effects of brain injury on a professional boxer. Please see her website for more information: http://www.marlenegoldman.ca
Key words: literature; age studies; Alzheimer’s disease; brain injury; film
[Image description: A smiling, light-skinned woman with short, red-blond hair looks at the camera. She is wearing glasses with red, rectangular frames]
Assistant Professor , Department of Health & Society , Graduate Faculty in the Department of Anthropology and the Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies
She/her or They/them
Dr. Hartblay was appointed the inaugural director of CGDS in 2020, after spearheading the centre’s proposal development. Dr. Hartblay is a cultural and medical anthropologist working at interdisciplinary intersections with disability studies, performance studies, critical design studies and global postsocialism, with a regional research focus on Russia and the Russian-speaking former Soviet Union. Her recent book, I WAS NEVER ALONE, OR OPORNIKI (University of Toronto Press 2020) presents a play script based on ethnographic interviews with adults with mobility and speech impairments in one Russian city, developed in conversation with research participants, and considers the theoretical implications of disability access as an aesthetic as well as political element in theatrical productions, and offers performance ethnography exercises for other ethnographers. The play has been staged at UNC-Chapel Hill, UC San Diego, and Yale University. She is currently at work on an ethnographic monograph about the globalization of the concept of disability access in post-Soviet Russia. Dr. Hartblay’s publications appear in journals including American Ethnologist, South Atlantic Quarterly, and Current Anthropology.
Dr. Hartblay teaches Introduction to Disability Studies, Global Disability Studies, Documentary & Memoir Workshop, and other courses in disability studies and health humanities in the Department of Health & Society at UTSC. At the graduate level, Dr. Hartblay teaches Disability Anthropology, Anthropology of Gender & Sexuality, and other courses.
Keywords: disability studies; Russia; postsocialism; theatre; performance ethnography; anthropology
[Image description: Portrait color photo from the mid-chest up. Dr. Hartblay is standing on a beach on a cold and overcast day wearing a grey wool coat, black sweater, and gold earrings. Their hair is short on the sides and long and swoopy medium brown on top. They are smiling just a little bit so that you can see dimples but not teeth]
Postdoctoral Fellow, York University, School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design & Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts and Technology
Sessional Lecturer, Disability Studies Stream in the Critical Studies in Equity and Solidarity Program at New College Faculty of Arts and Science, University of Toronto
Devon Healey works in the area of critical disability studies, theatre and drama as well as in education. All of her work is grounded in her experience as a blind woman guided by a desire to show how blindness specifically and disability more broadly can be understood as offering an alternate form of perception and is thus, a valuable and creative way of experiencing and knowing the world. She holds a two-year Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Postdoctoral Fellowship with York University’s School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design in association with the Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts and Technology. Devon is an award-winning actor and holds a PhD in Disability Studies from OISE/University of Toronto. She has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in disability studies at OISE/UT and New College, University of Toronto. Devon is the co-founder of Peripheral Theatre and her publications include a forthcoming book titled, Dramatizing Blindness: Disability Studies as Critical Creative Narrative (Palgrave Macmillan, early 2021), “Eyeing the pedagogy of trouble: The Cultural documentation of the problem subject,” in The Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, as well as a paper co-written with Drs. Tanya Titchkosky and Rod Michalko titled, “Understanding blindness simulation and the culture of sight,” in the international Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies.
Keywords: disability studies; blindness; theatre and drama; perception; autoethnography
Peripheral Theatre https://peripheraltheatre.com
Research Gate https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Devon_Healey2
[Image description: Devon has medium brown shoulder-length hair that has a slight wave to it in this photo. She has blue eyes and white skin. Her head is slightly titled down with her eyes raised looking directly toward the camera. The photo is a tight shot of Devon’s face and shoulders]
Associate Professor, Teaching, in The Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and Women’s and Gender Studies at UTSC
Nancy Johnston is a writer, fibre artist, and Women’s and Gender studies professor at UTSC. For the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL), she develops writing support across the disciplines, and I teach courses in Women’s and Gender Studies. Her areas of research interest are writing pedagogy and inclusive design, disability advocacy in Canada, and disability arts and writing. Her most recent publication explores responses of Canadian disability arts organizations to the pandemic, “Rethinking Access” (2020) for Studio Magazine: Craft and Design: https://www.studiomagazine.ca/issues/2019/vol-15-no-2
As a coordinator and in CTL, she designs teaching resources for faculty to support dialogue on inclusive design in higher education. She has co-presented workshops and campus events to support new teaching faculty and TAs on inclusive practice in the classroom. She co-authored with Tina Doyle, director of AccessAbility Services, on student perspectives on inclusive pedagogy. Johnston, Nancy, and Tina Doyle. 2011. “Inclusive Teaching: Perspectives of Students with Disabilities.” Open Words: Access and English Studies 5.1: 53 – 60. https://uwaterloo.ca/english/sites/ca.english/files/uploads/files/open_words-spring_2011.pdf
Her course Gender and Disability (WSTC40), launched in 2010, is an introduction to disability advocacy with an intersectional perspective on human rights and social justice movements, and disability representation and media. My courses integrate opportunities for students to explore creativity as a tool for self-expression and advocacy and research on disability arts. https://rethink.utoronto.ca/student-mental-health-advocacy-in-the-classroom/
Keywords: disability advocacy, disability arts, access and inclusion, inclusive teaching and design
PhD Student, Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto
Gyuzel entered a PhD program in Socio-Cultural Anthropology at the University of Toronto in 2019. She completed her MA in Anthropology at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver and MA in Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney, Australia. Her PhD research focuses on disability diagnosis and implications diagnosis has for people with disabilities in their everyday lives in highly medicalized post-Soviet Kazakhstan. Her research interests include critical disability studies, care, post-socialism, ethnographic fiction, performative ethnography and feminist ethnography.
Her doctoral research focuses on cognitive disability diagnosis in highly medicalized post-Socialist context.
Keywords: disability, Kazakhstan, Central Asia, stigma, institutionalization, care, post-Soviet
[Image description: A picture of Gyuzel outside by a lake on a sunny Fall day. She has brown straight mid-length hair. She wears a green parka over a white sweater and a grey jacket. Her head is turned slightly to the left]
PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto
Vanessa Maloney is a fourth year PhD candidate in Socio-Cultural Anthropology at the University of Toronto who has conducted ethnographic research with disabled adults and care services in the Cook Islands, as well as past projects in New Zealand and Tonga. Vanessa’s current work traces how networks of care are carved out within global flows of power, people, and money, and how these care economies unevenly shape disability experiences globally. This work draws on critical disability studies, feminist theories of care and anthropological understandings of interdependency to look at how care is negotiated within the constraints of global capitalism and neocolonialism.
Selected teaching and research interests: feminist and anthropological theories of care; global critical disability studies; the Pacific region; anthropology of exchange and personhood; cross cultural studies of ageing
[Image description: photo shows a person with short curly brown hair, light skin and blue eyes with a bright blue T-shirt standing in front of a sunny backdrop of green foliage]
Anne McGuire is an associate professor with the program for Critical Studies in Equity and Solidarity at New College, University of Toronto. Professor McGuire’s areas of teaching and research draw on anti-racist and decolonial theories in disability studies, queer/crip theory, child studies, and feminist science and technology studies to study the structural and material conditions of human vitality and precarity. Her current research traces the emergence of broad spectrum approaches to health and illness and reads these against the backdrop of neoliberal social and economic policies. Professor McGuire’s 2016 monograph, War on Autism: On the Cultural Logic of Normative Violence (University of Michigan Press), was awarded the 2015 Tobin Siebers Prize for Disability Studies in the Humanities. She is the recipient of the June Larkin Award for Pedagogical Development and U of T’s Early Career Teaching Award for her work advancing accessibility in post-secondary classrooms. She is also the co-author of We Move Together (AK Press, 2021), a children’s book on disability, access, and community.
Keywords: critical disability studies; sociology of the body; child studies; queer and crip theory; pedagogy and accessibility; sociology of mental health and illness
[Image description: Anne is smiling to the camera, wearing glasses, red lipstick, and a black shirt.]
David C. Onley
Senior Lecturer & Distinguished Visitor, Department of Political Science, University of Toronto Scarborough
David C. Onley is the former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, 2007-2014. As Senior Lecturer and Distinguished Visitor at the University of Toronto Scarborough, he teaches two senior seminar courses in Political Science: The Politics of Disability, and The Vice Regal Office in Canada.
Prior to his appointment, Onley had a 22-year career with Toronto’s Citytv and was the first newscaster in Canada with a visible disability.
Follow Professor Onley on Twitter at: @HonDavidOnley
Areas of research include accessibility and equality of opportunity.
[Image description: pictured is a white man with clean cut grey hair, wearing a business suit and tie, sitting on a mobility device, in front of Canadian and provincial flags.]
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Anthropology
Celeste’s research is situated in socio-cultural and medical anthropology, and engages in close interdisciplinary conversation with critical disability studies, critical gerontology, and queer and trans studies. Grounded in a commitment to examining and challenging normative age relations and ableist ideologies, and tuned into the power of narrative, Celeste’s work aims to advance critical conversations and imaginings about aging, disability, gender and gender nonconformity, and “care”, broadly conceived.
Celeste holds an MA and PhD in Anthropology from the University of Toronto (2022). Since 2020 she has worked as a community-based researcher in the Research Department at Egale Canada, where her work focuses on 2SLGBTI aging, health, and housing issues. Over the last ten years Celeste has led and collaborated on multiple inter- and multi-disciplinary projects that consider issues of access and equity in the realms of health and aging, including work on palliative care, dementia and unpaid care, elder abuse prevention, and intergenerational storytelling.
Funded by the Alzheimer Society Research Program, Celeste’s current postdoctoral research, Stranger Than Family, focuses on capacity, consent, and substitute decision-making for people facing dementia who are “going it alone”. This project builds on her doctoral research that examined the social dynamics and norms shaping the lives of LGBTQ older adults residing in long-term care homes and in non-institutional settings in Toronto, Canada.
Key words: aging; disability; care; consent and capacity; gender and sexuality; ethics; ethnography
[Image description: A tan skinned person with short dark hair smiles into the camera. They are wearing a dark green blazer and standing outside against a dark blue textured wall.
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Toronto Mississauga
I am an Associate Professor of Sociology and affiliated faculty in the Munk School working at the intersection of politics and inequality. I am specifically interested in the interaction between disability, politics and policy, and the production of labour market and wealth inequality. Some of my more recently published papers include “Barriers to Economic Security: Disability, Employment, and Asset Disparities in Canada“ in the Canadian Review of Sociology, “Hierarchies of Categorical Disadvantage: Economic Insecurity at the Intersection of Disability, Gender, and Race“ in Gender & Society and a forthcoming piece in The Sociological Quarterly “Combating Inequality: The Between- and Within-Group Effects of Unionization on Earnings for People with Different Disabilities.” I am also author of the book, Politics of Empowerment (Stanford University Press, 2019).
Key words: politics; policy; inequality; health
[Image description: Colour headshot of a white male with dark, medium-to-long hair, and facial hair]
PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology & Sexual Diversity Studies, University of Toronto
Hannah is a 4th year PhD Candidate in Anthropology and Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto. She is working with intellectually disabled adults in Montréal, Québec to build consent cultures and dismantle ableism. Hannah is currently ‘in the field’ where she is conducting ethnographic research at day centres that provide social and education services to the anglophone disability community in Montréal. By focusing on presumptions about (in)capacity to consent, Hannah’s research explores the disproportionate levels of sexualized violence and ableism experienced by intellectually disabled adults, the regulation of their intimate and lives, and the limits of the consent model for solving the problem of sexual and structural violence. Her work emerges at the intersection of anthropology, disability justice, and queer studies. As an applied anthropologist, Hannah is committed to community-driven work, feminist research methods, and accessibility as a research and interpersonal ethic. Hannah is also an educator and facilitator with expertise in sex education, consent practices, and accessibility.
Key words: ethnography; ableism; intellectual disability; intimacy & sexuality; ethics of consent; settler colonialism
[Image description: A white women with short curly red hair smiles at the camera. She is wearing a brown and black leopard print silk shirt. The trees in the background are autumnal yellow and green leaves]
Scientist, Bloorview Research Institute, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital
Assistant Professor (Status), Department of Geography & Planning and the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, University of Toronto
Tim Ross, PhD, RPP, MCIP, is a Scientist and Director of the Engagement and Planning for Inclusive Communities Lab (i.e., EPIC Lab) within the Bloorview Research Institute at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. He is also an Assistant Professor (Status) in the Department of Geography & Planning and the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute at the University of Toronto. Tim’s research is focused on understanding the experiences and critical perspectives of families living with childhood disability and using their input to help advance more diverse and inclusive communities. His research examines a range of topics, including transportation and mobility, inclusive play, housing, institutional ableism, access to education, and access to paediatric health care. Questions about experiences of disability, the normalcy of ableism, and how they relate to the planning and design of our built environments, services, and systems are central to Tim’s research.
Tim holds a PhD in Planning from the University of Toronto and is a Registered Professional Planner with private sector consulting experience in land use planning and international master planning.
Keywords: childhood disability, inclusive play, transportation, institutional ableism, education access, pediatric health care access
[image description: Tim, a white man with short light brown hair, is smiling. He is wearing glasses, a white collared shirt, and a navy sport coat.]
Lesley A. Tarasoff
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Health and Society, University of Toronto Scarborough
Lesley A. Tarasoff, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Health and Society at the University of Toronto Scarborough and in the Azrieli Adult Neurodevelopmental Centre at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. She leads the qualitative component of a NIH-funded project on the perinatal health of women with disabilities in Ontario (PIs: Hilary Brown, UTSC, and Yona Lunsky, CAMH) and her own CIHR-funded research on the preconception health and reproductive life plans of women with disabilities. She is a Co-Investigator on the CIHR-funded RESPCCT Study, a Canada-wide online survey study of the pregnancy and birth care experiences.
She holds a PhD in Public Health Sciences, with a specialization in women’s health, from the University of Toronto. Primarily drawing on qualitative methodologies, her program of research aims to understand and address disparities and inequities in reproductive and perinatal health and health care experiences among often-stigmatized and marginalized populations, chiefly women with disabilities and sexual minority women. You can read more about her research here: http://www.latarasoff.com
Keywords: Community-based research; disability; feminist disability studies; health equity; LGBTQ health; perinatal health; qualitative research; reproductive health
[Image description: A head shot of a light-skinned woman, with green eyes and long brown hair, who is wearing brown glasses, bright pink-red lipstick, and a maroon shirt. She is smiling but no teeth are showing. A brick wall covered in green ivy is visible but out of focus in the background]
Andrea Marie Whiteley (Matishak)
Dr. Whiteley received her PhD from the University of Calgary in Communication Studies. Andrea is currently a postdoctoral fellow for the PROUD Project (Phenomenological Research/Remedies on (Un)Employment & Disability (PROUD) Project, working with Dr. Chloe Atkins, at the University of Toronto. As a caregiver of a person with a disability, she is passionate about improving the quality of life for people with disabilities. Andrea and Chloe were recently awarded a SSHRC Connections grant to produce podcasts with the participants from the PROUD Project. The PROUD research team considers the sharing of research results with participants and the public extremely important. We believe that knowledge mobilization efforts should be ongoing throughout the life of a research project, rather than something done at the end as an afterthought. We are also grateful for funding from the CGDS for this podcast project entitled “Broadcastability.”
Dr. Whiteley’s extensive research expertise focuses on open access to social sciences research and the public good, knowledge mobilization and research impacts. Her dissertation addressed the importance of open access to social sciences and humanities research for people outside of academia working in social sciences and humanities related fields. She has also written about climate change fiction and has participated in many qualitative research projects in the fields of communication, health and the environment. She has worked previously as a research coordinator for the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Communication and Culture (currently the Department of Communication, Media and Film) and has many years of research grant writing experience. Andrea has recently completed a post-doctoral internship project at Simon Fraser University evaluating the Community Scholars Program that allows community-based and non-profit organizations to access academic research. This project was funded by Mitacs and the United Way of the Lower Mainland and supervised by Dr. Juan Alperin, Director of the ScholCommLab at SFU.
[Image description: Andrea is a white, middle-aged woman that is smiling. She has light brown shoulder-length hair and green eyes. Behind her is a painting of the sunrise over the ocean. She is wearing a pink sweater and a silver chain around her neck.]
Katherine Schaap Williams
Assistant Professor, Department of English, University of Toronto
Dr. Williams is a scholar of literature and performance whose research and teaching focuses on early modern English drama, critical disability studies, and performance theory. Her forthcoming book, Unfixable Forms: Disability, Performance, and the Early Modern English Theater (Cornell UP, 2021), explores how disability becomes a lightning rod for the theater’s work with the body of the actor—and how theatrical performance, in plays by Shakespeare, Jonson, Middleton, Rowley, Dekker, and others, changes how we think about disability.
She has published essays and book chapters about Richard III as a “dismodern” subject (Disability Studies Quarterly); the vibrant early modern concept of deformity (English Studies); the temporality of cure in early modern medicine and theological ritual (Disability, Health, and Happiness in the Shakespearean Body); the character of Cripple and early modern disability in the unattributed play The Fair Maid of the Exchange (1607) (English Literary History); the rhetoric of disability in the early modern theater (Early Theatre); and an overview of critical disability studies for Shakespeare scholars (The Arden Research Handbook of Contemporary Shakespeare Criticism). She edited the 1605 play Eastward Ho, by George Chapman, Ben Jonson, and John Marston, for The Routledge Anthology of Early Modern Drama (2020).
She has also written an article for the British Library “Discovering Literature: Shakespeare” resource (“Richard III and the Staging of Disability”) and she wrote the programme note “Representations of Richard,” for the Donmar Warehouse production of Teenage Dick by Mike Lew, which premiered in London in 2019. She is currently at work on essays about dramatic character, repetition, and disability in modern performance, and is beginning a new project on disability and early modern discourses of sovereignty.
Research keywords: Shakespeare and early modern drama, Critical disability studies, Performance theory, Renaissance history of medicine
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Professor, Department of Social Justice Education, OISE, University of Toronto
Dr. Tanya Titchkosky is Professor in Social Justice Education at OISE teaching and writing in the area of disability studies for more than 20 years. Her books include Disability, Self, and Society, as well as, Reading and Writing Disability Differently and The Question of Access: Disability, Space, Meaning. She is also co-editor with Rod Michalko of Rethinking Normalcy: A Disability Studies Reader. Tanya works from the position that whatever else disability is, it is tied up with the human Imagination — interpretive relations steeped in unexamined conceptions of “normalcy. Pursing an interpretive version of disability studies that questions Western ways of knowing, Tanya relies on critical approaches such as phenomenology influenced by Black, Queer and Indigenous Studies. Following this work, she hopes to reveal the restricted imaginaries that surround our lives with disability, especially in University settings. This approach is throughout Tanya’s work including courses, such as, such as “Disability Studies and the Human Imaginary,” “The Cultural Production of the Self as a Problem,” as well as “Disability Studies: Interpretive Methods.” Tanya’s research is aided by an Insight SSHRC grant, “Reimaging the Appearance and Disappearance of Disability in the Academy”.
In 2019, Tanya she was the recipient of the OISE Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award. In 2014 she was awarded The Canadian Disability Studies Association-Association Canadienne des Études sur Le Handicap, Tanis Doe Award for Canadian Disability Study and Culture.
A few recent publications include:
The Bureacratic Making of Disability inNew Formations https://www.lwbooks.co.uk/new-formations/100-101/the-bureaucratic-making-of-disability
Disability Studies in Education with Maddy DeWelles in Journal of Disability Studies in Education https://brill.com/view/journals/jdse/aop/issue.xml
The Educated Sensorium and the Inclusion of Disabled People as Excludable. Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, 21(1), pp. 282–290. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16993/sjdr.596
The Cost of Counting Disability: Theorizing the Possibility of a Non-Economic Remainder,” Critical Readings in Interdisciplinary Disability Studies: (Dis)Assemblages, Edited by Linda Ware. New York, New York: Springer. 25-40. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-35309-4
Blindness: A Cultural History of Blindnesswith Rod Michalko in Cultural History of Disability in the 20th Century: Volume 6 edited by David Mitchell and Sharon Snyder, DOI: 10.5040/9781350029323.ch-005
Keywords: Disability Studies; Interpretive methods; Cultural Studies; Sociology of Knowledge
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Walter Rafael Villanueva
PhD Student, Department of English, University of Toronto
Walter is a second-year PhD student in the Department of English. His research primarily focuses on depictions of mental illness in contemporary Canadian literature.
Research interests: English-language literature; post-WWII Canadian literature; literary disability studies; history of psychiatry in Canada
Zoë H Wool
Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto Mississauga
Zoë H Wool is assistant professor in the department of anthropology at the University of Toronto, Mississauga, where she teaches courses on topics ranging from the anthropology of toxicity to gender and disability. Professor Wool’s work spans anthropology, disability studies, queer theory, and feminist science and technology studies, with a focus on the materialities of post-9/11 warmaking and military harm and the tyrannies of normativity in the contemporary United States. Her first book After War: The Weight of Life at Walter Reed (Duke UP, 2015) is an ethnography of ordinariness among injured US military members and the family members that live with them as their bodies are medically stabilized. Among other things, it tracks the encounter between disability and heteronormative masculinity, and intimacy in a context freighted with national significance. Professor Wool is currently working on three new book projects, including The Significance of Others, a collection of ethnographic essays about experiments and inequities in disability worldmaking which creates traffic between veteran worlds and queer disability work. For more on her research, see www.zoewool.com. You can read some of her other disability-related work here [https://anthrodendum.org/2018/08/13/check-your-syllabus-101-disability-access-statements/] and here [http://somatosphere.net/2014/life-support.html/].
Keywords: anthropology; critical disability studies; gender and sexuality; toxicity; US military
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Centre Coordinator, Centre for Global Disability Studies
Deanna D’Souza is the Centre Coordinator for The Centre for Global Disability Studies. She has over 5 years of experience providing program coordination support, 3 of which have been in Equity and Diversity work. In addition to her role as Centre Coordinator, Deanna also supports the Toronto initiative for Diversity and Inclusion (TIDE), a grassroots service group consisting of University of Toronto (U of T) faculty members from across disciplines, with a focus on advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion at U of T.
Prior to working at U of T, Deanna supported a national program of work on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at National Health Service (NHS) in London, England. Deanna holds a Bachelor of Arts in Arts and Contemporary Studies from Toronto Metropolitan University, with a Major in Global Studies and a Minor in Politics.
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