Research Interests, Politics and Practice

My scholarly interests sit primarily at the intersections of disability, impairment and embodiment, disablist and ableist cultures, and gender, sexuality, love, intimacy and sexual citizenship in contemporary times. My broader research interests extend to theories of childhood, youth and ageing (particularly in the context of disability), disability and sex work, social theories of the body, psycho-emotional disablism and violence. Methodologically, I am drawn to co-production and participatory research and narrative and arts-informed methodologies.

Conference art

Ableism and the question of the human, Toronto, July 2013 (artwork by Jes Sache)

As an avid public sociologist (see Burowoy 2013) and activist scholar, I view the effective, ethical and accessible communication of knowledge as a form of social and political justice. As such, I work within the communities I research and always translate and disseminate all new knowledges from my research outside of the academy to non-academic audiences, spaces, and readers, as well as to key stakeholders of the research (disabled people, their organisations, and allies). This is to ensure that research findings have a wider impact; that they ‘exist’ in real life worlds and thus are referred to, read by, and transfer to the everyday lives of disabled people. To read more about the ways in which I did this post-PhD please click here.

Publication art

Publication Art, property of Shameless Magazine, CA.

While the ability to explore the social world, to question the fundamentally naturalised, pathologised, and normalised is a privilege, the most thrilling aspect of research (in my view) emerges from the potential social change that becomes possible where new knowledges, stories, lives and histories are unearthed and loosed into the world. Thus, in my own research practice, I purposefully design and utilise innovative and creative research design, methods and methodologies in order to expand the ways in which academic knowledge is produced and used, and I have a commitment to co-production methodologies and partnership working, viewing research as a reciprocal, communal, and collective project.

 

Poster for my talk at the University of Toronto New College Speaker Series, Toronto, Canada, 2013 (Artwork by Eduardo Trejo)

Poster for my talk at the University of Toronto New College Speaker Series, Toronto, Canada, 2013 (Artwork by Eduardo Trejo)

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