The Centre for Global Disability Studies celebrates the first cohort of Graduate Student Summer Research Fellows

Centre for Global Disability Studies is pleased to celebrate the first cohort of Graduate Student Summer Research Fellowships. These competitive fellowships are awarded to graduate students from across the three campuses whose research contributes to disability and ableism studies with a critical anti-colonial focus. The inaugural 2022 awardees were Vanessa Maloney (PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology) and Elaine Cagulada (PhD Candidate, Social Justice Education at OISE).

Two fellowship awards of $5000 each are inteded to support summer research endeavors that further the completion of the dissertation, either writing or supplemental research not covered by other funding. For instance, funds may support writing up time, a trip to an archive, or supplemental/follow-up fieldwork with research participants. Awardees share their research with the Centre for Global Disability Studies Core Lab and/or the broader campus community in the fall following the award.

Both Cagulada and Maloney opted to use their fellowship stipend to support dissertation writing time, and presented their new research to peers and faculty in Core Lab meetings in fall 2022.

In her research presentation, Cagulada, a critical sociologist and cultural studies scholar, presented an original analysis of the training module that instructs members of the Toronto Police Department in how to interact with disabled members of the public, developing an analysis through a method of asking what story the text tells about disability. This chapter contributes to Cagulada’s broader analysis of policing and disability.

Maloney, a sociocultural anthropologist, conducted ethnographic fieldwork in the Cook Islands (a nation in the Pacific near New Zealand) in 2020-2022, focused on migration, disability, and economies of care. Following a summer of analyzing ethnographic data and writing, Maloney shared a presentation of a dissertation chapter in progress. In the chapter, Maloney offers an ethnographic examination of the way that Cook Islands elders understand the loss of family care networks as family members leave the islands to work in New Zealand. Maloney argued that these stories suggest that the cultural concepts of home and care are culturally-specific to the Cook Islands and impact how people understand the concept of disability.

Lively discussion followed both presentations, as a supportive Core Lab community of scholars from across a variety of disciplines who offered ideas, questions, and praise.

Read more about the 2022 Centre for Global Disability Studies summer research fellows here.