Want to share your contact details and research interests? Email Hannah at firstname.lastname@example.org with a paragraph or two and it will be upload it here.
Have a particular piece of research you want a second (or third, fourth, fifth…) opinion on? Email me and I’ll add you as a contributor to the main page, where you can upload your own post.
Emma Creedon, National University of Ireland, Galway (Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies)
Research: I am a IRC Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellow, based at the National University of Ireland, Galway and I am currently working on the research project ‘Performing Physical Disability: Challenging Representations of the Body in Modern and Contemporary Irish Drama’.This project is focusing on the role of physical disability in twentieth and twenty-first century Irish drama. Considering specific stagings of the disabled body, it is investigating how the convention of “cripping up”, an industry term describing the practice of an able-bodied actor playing a disabled character, can perpetuate stereotype and contribute to the marginalisation of those with physical disability in Irish culture. I am also the author of Sam Shepard and the Aesthetics of Performance (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) and I have taught extensively on English and Drama at NUIG and at University College Dublin.
Robert Dale, Kings College London, History
Research: My particular interest in the work of the Disabilities Studies Network relates to my research into disabled veterans of the Great Patriotic War. This forms one strand of my wider research into the economic, social and cultural impact of the Great Patriotic War on late Stalinist society. I’m particularly interested in the extraordinary difficult transitions to civilian life experienced by disabled ex-servicemen and ex-servicewomen after 1945. A large part of my doctoral research related to a local case study of these difficulties in Leningrad and the surrounding countryside. I’m currently working on a article exploring the urban myths about the disappearance of disabled veterans from major Soviet cities. Beyond this I’m interested in the experience of people with disabilities in twentieth-century Russian history.
Ruth Dunster, University of Glasgow, Theology
Research: I am working on a PhD in autism and theology at the centre for Literature, Theology and the Arts at the University of Glasgow.
Ewan Hannaford, University of Glasgow, English Language
Research: I am a postgraduate student at the University of Glasgow, working towards an MPhil in English Language and Linguistics. My current research investigates the coverage of mental health issues in the UK press over the last 30 years, following on from my undergraduate research into the mental health discourse of British newspapers over the last three years. My research is focused on the presence of stigmas in the mental health discourse of the UK press and the ways in which such coverage has developed over the years.
Ella Houston, Liverpool Hope University
Research: I am currently in my final year of a Disability Studies undergraduate degree. For my dissertation project I am interested in the application and prevalence of the social model of disability within the speech and language therapy field. Another element of my degree is focusing on representations of disability within film, specifically ‘Girl, Interrupted’. I am hoping to explore this in conjunction with ideas around ‘The Gaze’ and Goffman’s theory of stigma.
Myrthe Jacobs, University of Strathclyde, School of Psychological Sciences and Health
Research: My research focuses on how parents of children with intellectual disabilities view and respond to their child’s misbehaviour. I am interested in how parental cognitions influence the strategies parents use in response to their child’s misbehaviour and how this relates to the child’s behavioural problems. Parental cognitions are assessed by using an attributional framework, that is, how do parents view the causes of their child’s misbehaviour in terms of locus of causality, stability and control. The results of the study will contribute to understanding of how behaviour problems in children with intellectual disabilities develop and how families can be supported to reduce behaviour problems and alleviate stress.
Marcello Messina, University of Leeds, Music (Composition)
Research: I’m working as a disability support worker for the University of Leeds and Leeds Metropolitan University. I’m also in the final write-up year of my PhD in Music (Composition). I’ve gradually become more and more interested in the intersection between Disability Studies and Music, both in the context of my own work as a composer and as a subject of musicological research.
Chryso Pieridi, University of Surrey, Psychology
Research: My first study explored the experiences of people with brain injury who managed to return to work using the narrative method. Specifically, I was interested in how it feels to go back to work after having survived a brain injury and how the participant is narrating their experience, from their point of view. The aim of this study was to gain a better understanding of the process that a person with brain injury goes through in order to go back to work. In that way, rehabilitation services can change towards what is best for each individual. Improved rehabilitation services can lead to better support for the people with brain injury.
My current study in comprised of two parts. The first part will focus on the experiences of employers and Human Resources managers who have hired or accepted back to work an employee with a brain tumour. The second part will focus on the experiences of vocational rehabilitation staff and occupational health therapists who have worked with a person with a brain tumour who returns to work. The main purpose of the study is to explore what employing a person with a brain tumour means for employers, as well as the experiences of vocational rehabilitation specialists who provided service to a person with a brain tumour. The second purpose is to identify what may be influential at the time employers decide to hire someone who had experiences a brain tumour, and how to retain them, as well as recognise any perceptions that health professionals hold that might enable or prevent the individual’s re-entry into the work force. By incorporating their voices in the literature will help improve the provision of vocational rehabilitation services to people with brain tumours. This project is funded by Macmillan Cancer Support and is conducted in collaboration with the Royal Surrey County Hospital.
Chris Rossiter, University of Surrey, Occupational Psychology and Management Science
Research: The focus of my thesis is the intersection between disability and work. Specifically my research explores the impact of organisational decision making and managerial transactions on affective outcomes for employees with a non-visible disability. An eight factor typology of disability is utilised to highlight the visibility, apparentness and physicality of impairment. The research determines that a non-visible disability might include; chronic illness, poor mental health, a learning or intellectual disability, or a sensory impairment. Individuals with a non-visible disability may face unique difficulties in the workplace due to the need for disclosure and subsequent appraisals of legitimacy. Negative stereotypes and stigma, poor evaluations and expectations of performance and a general lack of awareness within organisations is cited as being a central barrier to the inclusion of more people with disabilities in to the workplace.
The impact upon social and personal identity, perceptions of fairness, value and competency, and job design may all contribute to poorer outcomes for employees with a disability. Understanding these processes both at the individual micro level and the organisational macro level, will provide greater insights in to the experiences of employees with a disability within the broader cultural, structural and procedural context of organisations.
Kristina Steinbock, Glasgow School of Art
I am a graduate of the Glasgow School of Art, now specializing in video-art, with specific interests in blindness and bodily experience of the world. I am currently researching Haptic visuality and sound art, and I teach individuals with visual impairments in Copenhagen. For more information on my work, see two of my videos works on blindness: ‘House without windows‘ and ‘A romantic notion of blindness‘. I am currently applying for a practice-based PhD, provisionally titled ‘Towards a new language of embodiment – blind experience and tactile sensatoin from the inside and out’. For more information, see my website, http://www.kristinasteinbock.com/.
Mark Swetz, University of London, Central School of Speech and Drama
Recent research: Using the social model of disability as a catalyst, this practice as research project starts with the understanding that theatre can disable some of its spectators. Contemporary theatre is conventionally visual. If a theatregoer has no or low vision she or he can be disabled by theatre.
A theatre director is in a unique position to influence opening performance to those with visual impairments or blindness. The idea of blind spectatorship is a provocation for directors and theatre makers. What are popular and experiential definitions of blindness? How does theatre disable someone with low or no-vision? Are artistic choices compromised by access strategies? What can a director do to open performance to a blind or visually impaired spectator? An investigation of historic directing practice and dramaturgy will demonstrate an ocular bias in contemporary performance.
Shelley Talbot, University of St. Andrews, Philosophy and International Relations
Research: I first became interested in disability studies after working as a carer, and I now have experience working with many disability organisations in the third sector. I’m particularly interested in philosophy of disability, and how disabled people and the disability rights movement differs from other minority groups. I’m also interested in policy regarding people with disabilities, and how this stems from perceptions of disability in the public consciousness.
Angela Turner, University of Strathclyde, The Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare
In October 2011 work began at the University of Strathclyde in the CSHHH on a large collaborative project exploring the history of disability and industrialisation. This work was funded by a grant of nearly £1 million from the Wellcome Trust and brought together academics from Strathclyde, the Universities of Swansea, Aberystwyth and Northumbria. The study focuses on how industrialisation shaped perceptions and experiences of disability between 1780 and 1948 and aims to create a research programme of international significance.
Professor Arthur McIvor and Dr Angela Turner at the CSHHH will work on the project for 3 years exploring the cultural history of disability in the Scottish coalfields. This work will form part of a wider study of four themes to be addressed by the whole research team: the effects of economic and technological developments; the role of medical and welfare services; the consequences of politics, trade unionism and social relations; and the implications of these historical factors for the literary genre of coalfield narrative. Prof McIvor and Dr Turner will produce 3 co-authored articles related to the Scottish coalfields in high quality peer reviewed journals over the next three years. They will also host a disability history roadshow and exhibition in the West of Scotland.
Dr Hannah Tweed, University of Glasgow, University of Edinburgh, University of Stirling, English Lit.
Hannah is now a Research Associate on the Cultures of Care Project (PI Alice Walker), based at the University of York.
Dr Nuala Watt, University of Glasgow, Creative Writing
Research: Partial Sight As An Aesthetic In Poetry.
My PhD project considered visual impairment as an aesthetic in poetry. Practice-led, with creative and critical components, it examined how visual impairment has been represented in literature, contesting that the dominant cultural dichotomy of ‘bind wretch/blind savant’ has distorted the representation of people with visual disabilities in literature and society. I feel that the lived experiences of people with visual impairments have been insufficiently imagined. The project considered how writers seeking to represent experiences of visual impairment can negotiate and challenges the cultural history of low vision, and how an aesthetic centering on partial sight can be reflected in a collection of poems. I cite Merleau-Ponty’s theories of embodied perception, and consider their relevance to poetic form – the body of the poem and the body of the poet. I have found ASL poetics to be a really useful example of how ‘poetry’ can be reimagined in terms of a different bodily experience, and aim to use this as a model as I move towards an aesthetic of partial sight. I question cultural links between vision and knowledge, vision and creativity, vision and worth. What kind of artistic vision is available to you if, in technical terms, you can’t see very much, and how do visually impaired poets negotiate the shadow of the blind seer? Morever, given that sight and blindness are often viewed as two sides of a dichotomy, what can the partially sighted writer say about blindness, and about sight? I sometimes worry that in producing poems in print I am continuing a tradition of blindness as a spectacle for sighted audiences, so also intend to produce poems in audio and Braille. I have recently read Goergina Kleege’s memori/cultural history of low vision Sight Unseen and also Stephen Kuusisto’s Planet of the Blind. I am moving on to Kuusisto’s poems, to Borges and also to Rosemarie Garland Thomson’s Staring: How We Look. I arrived in DS by chance after an English degree, and would be delighted to discuss these ideas with anyone working in a similar area.