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Tanya Titchkosky
Program Coordinator, Social Justice Education Program

phone: (416) 978-0451

Department: Social Justice Education

Research Overview

I work in the area of Disability Studies (DS).

My approach to DS is informed by cultural studies and interpretive sociology supported by Black, feminist, queer studies of a phenomenological ilk.

I am concerned with how human lives are made meaningful.

Currently, my DS work is supported by insight SSHRC grant, "Reimagining the Appearance and Disappearance of Disability in the Academy." Many of my recent publications are related to Disability & the Human Imaginary since they aim to explore depictions of disability and their relation to conceptions of the human.

I am especially focused on how University work and life produces particularly limited and limiting conceptions of disability and humanity.

Academic History

Ph.D., York University, Toronto, Ontario. Department of Sociology, January 31, 1997.
Dissertation Title: The Primacy of Between-ness: Marginality and Art

M.A., York University, Toronto, Ontario. Department of Sociology, September 1, 1992.
Thesis Title: Learning to Read: Desire and the Economy of Reading.

B.A., Augustana University College, Camrose, Alberta. Department of Sociology, April, 1988.

Teaching Overview

Graduate Courses:
-DisAppearing DisAbility in Social Justice Education*new in fall 2022*
-Disability Studies & the Media
-Doing Disability Studies: An Introduction.
-Disability Studies & the Human Imaginary.
-Doing Disability in Theory and Everyday Life.
-The Cultural Production of the Self as a Problem,
-Disability Studies and Interpretive Methods
-Social Theory and the Body.
-Sociology of Disability (Undergrad, Sociology, UT)

Independent Graduate Reading Courses -- Designed by Students, supervised by me:
-Disability & Dance
-Disability & Dramaturgical Inquiry
-Disability & Relationality
-Anishnebeg Hermeneutics.
-Disability and Borders: Cripn Borders and Social Theory
-Cochlear Implants and the Revelation and Production of Subjectivities of Deafness.
-Understanding Historical and Contemporary Discourses of Agency, -Resistance and Freedom in Social Theories
-Seeing Through Blind Eyes: A Disability Studies Exploration of Representations of Vision.
-Disability & Society: Advanced Social Theory and Visual Culture.
-Disability, Fixed Identity and Insubordination.
-Performing Disability: Resisting a Foreclosed Identity & Black Postmodern Theory,
-Understanding Historical and Contemporary Discourses of Agency, Resistance and Freedom in Social Theories
- Seeing Through Blind Eyes: A Disability Studies Exploration of Representations of Vision
-Disability & Society: Advanced Social Theory and Visual Culture.
-Disability, Fixed Identity and Insubordination. Half.
-Performing Disability: Resisting a Foreclosed Identity & Black Postmodern Theory,
-Language, Reading and Writing Disability
-Disability as a Problem of Maternal Care.
-Emotional Deviance and the Management of Human Suffering: The Politics of Interpretation
-Working the Norm: The Problem of Disability at Scotia Bank.
-Representing the Modified Body: 'Chinese-enough' Tattoos,
-Disability in Post Secondary Arts Education,
-Disability Narrative and Activism
-The Power of Anguish and the Anti-Colonial Compass,
-Diversity, Accessibility and Their Application in Institutions: When Disability is a Challenge,
-Theoretical Foundations in the Sociology of Emotion from a Disability Studies;

Representative Publications


2022.  DisAppearing: Encounters in Disability Studies edited by Titchkosky, Cagulada, DeWelles and Gold

2011.   The Question of Access: Disability, Space, Meaning.  Toronto: University of Toronto Press.  

2007.   Reading and Writing Disability Differently: The Textured Life of Embodiment. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.   

2003.  Disability, Self and Society. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 

2009.  Rethinking Normalcy: A Disability Studies Reader. Co-edited with Rod Michalko.  Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press.

A Selection of More Recent Publications

2020    The Bureaucratic Making of Disability, in New Formations. Special Issue, Bureaucracy. Issue: Number 100 - 101 Bureaucracy 10.3898/NEWF:100-101.13.2020. pp. 198-208(11).

Disability Studies in Education with Maddy DeWelles in Journal of Disability Studies in Education

The Educated Sensorium and the Inclusion of Disabled People as Excludable. Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, 21(1), pp. 282–290. DOI:  

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.

Blindness: A Cultural History of Blindness with Rod Michalko in Cultural History of Disability in the 20th Century: Volume 6 edited by David Mitchell and Sharon Snyder, DOI: 10.5040/

Companion to Disability & Media

 “The Fix is in – But Let’s skip it, “ in Atkinson, R. and Goodley, D., eds. (2020) Humanity under duress. Multitude Press , Sheffield . ISBN 9781916342705  pp. 49-53.

Blindness Simulation and the Culture of Sight, with Devon Healey and Rod Michalko. Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies. 13 (2): 123- 139.

Selected Old'ies but...

2019    Tanya Titchkosky “The Two-in-One. Walking with Smokie, Walking with Blindness by Rod Michalko, 1999” in Disability Experiences: Memoirs, Autobiographies, and Other Personal Narratives. Ed. G. Thomas Couser and Susannah B. Mintz. Vol. 2. Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference USA, 2019. p772-775.  Gale, a Cengage Company

2017    “Life with Dead Metaphors: Impairment Rhetoric in Social Justice Praxis,” in Lennard Davis, (Ed.), The Disability Studies Reader 5th Edition.  New York: Routledge. 

2017    “WHO’s MIND, Whose Future? Mental Health Projects as Colonial Logics,” with Katie Aubrecht. Disability and (Post)Colonial Identities. (Eds.) Shaun Grech and Karen Soldatic. London: Routledge.

2016    “To Pee or not to Pee,” in “Global Meets Local, Local Meets Global”, Rethinking disAbility: World Perspectives in Culture and Society edited by Patrick Devlieger, Steven Brown, Beatriz Miranda-Galarza and Megan Strickfaden. Leuven, Belgium: Garant Publishing. 

2015   “Normal,” Keywords in Disability, Benjamin Riess, Rachel Adams, and David Serlin (Eds.). New York: New York University Press.  130-133.

2014    “Monitoring Disability: The Question of the “Human” in “Human Rights Projects,”  Disability, Human Rights, and the Limits of Humanitarianism, Cathy Schlund-Vials and Michael Gill (Eds.). Burlington, VT: Ashgate Press. 119-136.

2014   “Narrative” with Rod Michalko, Disability Studies: A Student Guide, Colin Cameron (Ed.).  London: Sage. 101-104.

2012   “The Body as the Problem of Individuality: A Phenomenological Disability Studies Approach,” with Rod Michalko, Disability & Social Theory: New Developments and Directions, Dan Goodley, Bill Hughes and Lenard Davis (Eds.). London: Palgrave. 127-142.

2012.  “The Ends of the Body as Pedagogic Possibility,” for The Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies special issue on "Health, Embodiment, and Visual Culture."  Edited by Sarah Brophy and Janice Hladjk, Volume 34, Issue 3-4, 2012: 82-93

2011    “The Promise of Disability,” Inquiry into Practice: Reaching Every Student Through Inclusive Curriculum, Carol Rolheiser, Mark Evans, and Mira Gambhir (Eds.). 16-17.

2011.  “Firing Up Disability Studies: On the Edges of the Human Community,” in inaugural issue of the  Canadian Disability Studies Journal. Vol. 1(1): 82-108.

2010.  “The Not-Yet-Time of Disability in the Bureaucratization of University Life,” in DSQ,  Disability Studies Quarterly, Summer/Fall.  Vol. 30(3/4).

2008.   “‘To Pee or Not to Pee?’ Ordinary Talk about Extraordinary Exclusions in a University Environment,”  Canadian Journal of Sociology.  Vol. 33(1): 37-60.

Research Grants and Contracts

2016-23. PI. Re-imagining the Appearance and Disappearance of Disability in the Academy, SSHRC Insight Grant.

Collaborator with PI: Dr. Ronald Buliung, Geography, UTM, SSHRC Insight Development Grant Going to School: Toward Understanding the School Travel Experiences of Dis/abled Children and their Households. Awarded, 2017.

2015 Collaborator with PI: Dr. Ronald Buliung, Geography, UTM, Planning for Accessible School Travel: An Exploration of Disability Perspectives, Best Practices, Issues and Opportunities with Tim Ross, MA, MES, MCIP, Ph.D. Student in Department of Geography & Planning, University of Toronto. Awarded from Metrolinx. April 30, 2015

2009. Principal Investigator for a Standard SSHRC Grant for the study of The Cultural Production of Disability as an Excludable Type in University Life, with co-investigator, Dr. Rod Michalko. [Awarded #410-2009-2539]

2008-09. Principal Investigator for a Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) grant for the study of Representations of Disability in University Curriculum in Ontario [Contract received November, 2007]

2006-09. Principal Investigator for a Standard SSHRC Grant for the study of Organizing Disablement: The University and Disability Experience, with co-investigator, Dr. Rod Michalko. [#410-2006-2132]

Honours and Awards

2019 Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award, OISE/UT.

2018 Nominated, 2017-2018 Award for Distinguished Contributions to Teaching, OISE/UT

2015 Nominated, 2014-2015 Award for Distinguished Contributions to Teaching, OISE/UT.

2015 Fellow, The Critical Institute.

2014 The Canadian Disability Studies Association-Association Canadienne des dutes sur LIncapacit Tanis Doe Award for Canadian Disability Study and Culture

2008. Accessibility Award for Faculty at the Institutional level from the University of Toronto, Students for Barrier Free Access, Health and Well-being, and Accessibility Services.
2007. OISE/UT Research Celebration, Research Scholar (poster profile).
2005. Nominated for the St. Francis Xavier University, Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award.
2002. Recipient of the Certificate of Recognition: Outstanding Advocacy for Access Ability for Persons with Disabilities from the Disability Coalition of Antigonish/ Guysborough.

Professional Activities

Invited Addresses (selected):

Panel Member, Storying Disability Symposium, iHuman Project, Faculty of Education and Manchester Metropolitan University with Professor Dr. Karim Karim del Roco Garzn Daz, Universidad del Rosario, Colombia; Dr. Kirsty Liddiard, Sheffield University; and Dr. Rod Michalko. Sheffield University, UK, June 26th, 2018.

Disability in Fact and Fiction with Rod Michalko and presenter of Reimagining the Dis/Appearance of Disability in the Academy, at Manchester Metropolitan University, 2016.

Invited Panel Address, THE POLITICS OF DISABILITY ON CAMPUS: What we know and don't know about the appearance and disappearance of disability on campus, for The List, University of Toronto. Tranzac Club, Toronto. 2016.

Closing Plenary Meeting Points as a Prayer for Questions, with Prof. Nirmala Erevelles, CDS X Indigenous + Decolonizing Studies in Education organized by Dr. Eve Tuck, OISE of the University of Toronto, Sept. 30, 2016.

Invited Address, with Rod Michalko, Jean Pettifor Distinguished Lecture Series: Blinding the Power of Sight as a Transformative Ethics for Department of Community Health Sciences/ OBrien Institute for Public Health Seminar Series. May 27th, 2016, University of Calgary.

Invited Speaker, Evacuating Disability: Innovation on the Edges of the Human Community, for the Federations Equity Issues Portfolio panel of Congress, Rethinking Creativity and Innovation from a Disability Studies Perspective, May 31, 2012, Waterloo University, ON.

Guest Panel Speaker, The Spirit of Wonder & Disability Studies, for the Decolonizing the Spirit: Towards a Transgressive Pedagogy. March 31st , 2012, OISE/UT, ON.

Panel Member with Amy Sequenzie and Farrah Khan, Identity as Institutional Intersections, for Reclaiming our Bodies and Minds: Disability, Oppression, Action! RyeACCESS, University of Ryerson. March 16th, 2012.

Other Information

(Selected)Key Note, OCAD 2020 Teaching Expo, "Challenging Our Assumptions: Towards More Inclusive Ways of Teaching and Learning," Keynote: The Inclusion-Imaginary & The Promise of Disability. CAD, 1-2:30 January 17th 2020.

Respondent (and Organizer), "Critical Disability Studies and its Critical Influencers: How are Critical Indigenous Studies, Queer Studies, and Black Studies influencing CDS work today?" with Dan Goodley iHuman, University of Sheffield; Rebecca Lawthom, Manchester Metropolitan University; Dolleen Tisawii'ashii Manning, Kettle and Stoney Point First Nation SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow, Michigan State University, Dai Kojima, Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, University of Toronto; rosalind hampton, Black Studies in Education and Tanya Titchkosky, Disability Studies Department of Social Justice Education OISE, University of Toronto. July 29, 2019. OISE U of T, Toronto.

Key Note, "Strange Weather - A Disability Studies Forecast," Disability and Disciplines: An International Conference, Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool, UK. July 3-4th, 2019. captioned.

Key Note, "The Promise of Disability Studies in Education," for Teachers Collective, Victoria College, University of Toronto. March 15th, 2018.

Key Note, "Why the University Needs Disability Studies," Carleton University, March, 2018 with Rod Michalko, reading Things are Different Here.

Out of Sight! Symposium in honor of Rod Michalko's Scholarship, and presenter of Blind Focus co-hosted with Dr. Rinaldo Walcott and presenter of Blind Spots: Tapping Away at the Social. May, 2012 OISE/UT, ON.

Key Note: 14th Annual SESE Graduate Conference, Toward A Politics of Wonder: The Becoming Crisis of Pointing Out Oppression, April 21st, 2012,