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Critical Disability Studies Thematic Group

Aims and Objectives (updated Feb 2021)

For full details about the above High School competition, click here.

Year Established: 2008

This group is comprised of scholars whose work and research in Critical disability Studies include: disability, race, and ethnicity; disability and poverty; education, schooling, and pedagogy; disability and children; law and human rights, free speech and hate speech; policy; violence and marginality, ableism, ability and use of technology, and social inclusion. Members include those with lived experience of disability, madness, and neurodiversity as well as allies, who are activists, advocates, bureaucrats, educators, carers, and parents.

The CDS thematic group facilitates and supports research and collaboration into the social life of ability and disability, however that is defined, and the broad and various intersectionalities within these fields. It also aims to promote social awareness, foster collaborative endeavours, and disseminate knowledge around issues pertaining to dis/ability and dis/ableism.

Aligning with our critical disability studies politics and praxis, we are:

  • respectful of the foundations of disability studies, and in particular the social model of disability;
  • attuned to the local and global, regional and urban, national and international contexts and their differential impacts on disabled people;
  • attentive to the relational qualities of disability, and while ‘critical disability studies might start with disability it never ends with it, remaining ever vigilant of political, ontological and theoretical complexity’ (Goodley 2019: 191);
  • mindful that analyses of disability should not preclude considerations of other forms of injustice, including racism, sexism, heterosexism, and other vectors of power;
  • adherents of relationality and criticality (including within critical disability studies itself);
  • Interested in imagining disability as the site of human un/becoming.
    Additionally, the CDS group is committed to collegial and cohesive forums that encourage debate and reflection, supporting emerging and post-graduate students, and providing avenues for researchers to collaborate and share their research in supportive inclusive environments.

Note: our account of critical disability studies draws from Goodley (2017) and Shildrick (2012).

Goodley, D 2017, Disability Studies: An Interdisciplinary Introduction, 2nd edn, SAGE, London.

Shildrick, M 2012, ‘Critical Disability Studies: Rethinking the Conventions for the Age of Postmodernity’, in Routledge Handbook of Disability Studies, edited by N Watson, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 30-41.

Upcoming Competition & Events

High School Written/Visual Arts Competition



Critical Disability Studies Forum on Covid-19

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Archived Aims and Objectives
Archived Aims and Objectives
  • foster the recognition of existing, and the development of new, critical sociologies on disability, with the aim of building upon recent theoretical developments that examine the social , cultural, economic and political relations of disability;
  • encourage critical research that examines the intersectionality of disability, gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, migration, class and Aboriginality;
  • build links with disability communities to facilitate research networks across Australia to generate collaborative research & publishing projects between scholars, disability activists and disabled people;
  • provide a collegial and cohesive forum which encourages critical debate and reflection;
  • support emerging scholars and post-graduate students;
  • provide an avenue for researchers to have draft papers informally reviewed by members; and
  • encourage the submission of papers to TASA conferences from critical disability scholars, disability activists and disability communities engaged in counter-hegemonic knowledge production.


Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events

Recent News

Recent Articles
Recent Articles

Group Conveners:

Lise Mogensen
Lise Mogensen
Western Sydney University 

Karen Soldatic
Karen Soldatic
Western Sydney University 

Group Members Blog Publications Group Forum Group Committee