Critical Disability Studies


Catherine Kudlick, History, UC Davis


Susan Schweik, English, UC Berkeley


Patrick Anderson, Communication, UC San Diego
Georgina Kleege, English, UC Berkeley
Victoria Marks, World Arts and Cultures, UCLA
Darrin Martin, Art, Art History, and Technocultural Studies, UC Davis
Mara Mills, English, UC Santa Barbara
Heather Love, English, University of Pennsylvania
Michelle Stuckey, Literature, UC San Diego



Through an innovative approach to traditional residency programs, this group of faculty, postdoctoral and graduate fellows and select outside participants will examine, frame, and cement the University of California system’s role at the forefront of the emerging international field of disability studies. Critical disability studies as we imagine it both finds itself in and attempts to move further than the initial paradigms of interdisciplinary inquiry. These paradigms tend to approach disability as a category of human experience on a par with race, gender, and social class. The Critical Disability Studies residence group will assess the state of the field and model new directions for it.

The group will explore topics such as global disability studies; intersections with other interdisciplinary and academic fields associated with identity categories; affect in/and disability studies; disability and social geographies; and work in new media and mixed genres.

By its very nature, disability invites us to rethink embodiment, cognition, and the underlying assumptions that have dominated how learning and collaborative conversations happen. For this reason, we will be experimenting with a hybrid model of “distributed residency”: This will include one-week stays in Irvine at the beginning and the end of the residency to establish a firm foundation for engaged collaboration and set the tone for several weeks of remote participation.

In addition to the twice weekly virtual meetings to present and discuss work, this “remote” phase will rely on collaboration technologies (e.g., Web conferences, videoconferencing, whiteboards, wikis, etc.) that provide innovative ways to foster sharing ideas, discussing details, completing work together, and developing a framework for ongoing collaborative work.

We will also encourage face-to-face local engagements as well as the possibility of a short (1-2 day) in-person gathering for the whole group at the midway point. Such a format requires not only a willingness to experiment and work collaboratively, but also a strong commitment to advancing critical disability studies through both theory and praxis.