Photo of Xuan Thuy Nguyen

Xuan Thuy Nguyen

Associate Professor

Degrees:Ph.D. (McGill University), M.Ed. (McGill University)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 5042
Office:1317 Dunton Tower

Research interests

  • Critical disability studies
  • Childhood Studies
  • Critical policy studies
  • Inclusive education
  • Critical theory
  • Human rights and post-colonial studies
  • Visual methodologies

My research examines the ways girls and women with disabilities in the global South participate in research to claim their rights. I use arts-based, community-engaged, decolonial, and participatory research to engage girls and women with disabilities. I currently work on a number of projects. My collaborative research project, Transforming Disability Knowledge, Research, and Activism, is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) [2016-20]. This project aims to challenge gaps of knowledge on girls and women with disabilities in Vietnam by connecting knowledge, research, and activism for their inclusion. I am also a co-investigator of a SSHRC’s Partnership Project, entitled Engendering Disability-Inclusive Development (EDID) [2020-27]. This project aims to foster the inclusion of diverse women and girls with disabilities in Canada, Haiti, South Africa and Vietnam in the context of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by focusing attention, increasing knowledge and creating new opportunities for these women and girls to participate in transnational research.

I currently work with academics, activists, and Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs) in Vietnam, South Africa, and India to development a new project that engages girls and young women with disabilities across these communities in the global South. My book, The Journey to Inclusion, published by Sense/Brill Publishers, critically engages with the politics of inclusion and exclusion through the emergence of disability rights, development, and inclusive education discourses at the global, national, and local levels. It challenges academics and activists to engage more deeply with the meanings and politics of inclusion in the intersection between global and local histories.

I have mentored several undergraduate and graduate students across Canadian and Vietnamese universities. I am available to supervise graduate students in Canada/the global North to engage in transnational social justice research and activism with disabled girls and women in the South.

Selected Publications 


Nguyen X. T. (2015). The journey to inclusion. Rotterdam: Sense/Brill Publishers (published within the Studies in Inclusive Education Series STIE, Volume 29) 


Peer-Reviewed Book chapters 

Nguyen, X. T. (2019). Unsettling “inclusion” in the global South: A post-colonial and intersectional approach to disability, gender, and education. In Schuelk, M. J., C. Johnstone, G. Thomas, & A. Artiles (Eds.). SAGE Handbook of inclusion and diversity in education. London: Sage. 

Stienstra, D. & Nguyen, X. T. (in press). Opening to the Possible: Girls and Women with Disabilities Engaging in Vietnam. In Wiebe, S. M. & L. Levac (Eds.). Creating spaces for engagement. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 

Mitchell, C., De Lange, N., & Nguyen, X. T. (2016). The participation of girls with disabilities in Vietnam in a photovoice project. In J. Coffey, S. Budgeon, & H. Cahill (Eds). Learning bodies- the body in youth and childhood studies. Singapore: Springer. 


Peer-Reviewed Articles 

Nguyen, X. T., & Mitchell, C. (2019). Disability, Intersectionality, and Struggles over Social Justice: Reframing Debates over Children’s Rights. Canadian Journal of Children’s Rights, 6(1), pp. 1-23. Available at 

Nguyen, X. T., Stienstra, D., Gonick, M., Do, H., & Huynh, N. (2019). Unsettling research vs. activism: How might critical disability studies disrupt traditional research boundaries? Disability & Society, 34(7-8), 1042-1061. 

Nguyen, X. T. (2018). Critical disability studies at the edge of global development: Why do we need to engage with Southern theory?. Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, 7(1), 1-25. Available at 

Nguyen, X. T., & Johnson, P. (2017). Transnational conversations in the context of disability rights: Building the potential for global activism. Third World Thematics, 20(20), 1-15. 

Nguyen, X. T. (2016). Girls with disabilities in the Global South: Rethinking the politics of engagement, Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal9(2), special issue on Disability and Girlhood: Transnational Perspectives, 53-71.  

Erevelles, N., & Nguyen, X. T. (2016). Disability, girlhood, and vulnerability in transnational contexts. Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal9(2), special issue on Disability and Girlhood: Transnational Perspectives, 3-20. 

Nguyen, X. T. (2015). Genealogies of disability in global governance: A Foucauldian critique of disability and development. Foucault Studies. Special issue on New work on Foucault and Disability, 19, 67-83. Available at 

Nguyen, X. T., Mitchell, C., De Lange, N., & Fritsch, K. (2015). Engaging girls with disabilities in Vietnam: Making their voices count. Disability & Society, special issue on Disability: Who counts? What count?, 30(5), 773-787. 

Nguyen, X. T., & Mitchell, C. (2014). Inclusion in Vietnam: An intersectionality perspective on girls with disabilities and education. Childhood21(3), 324-338.  


Film & creative productions 

Transforming Disability Knowledge, Research, and Activism (TDKRA). (2019). Our Journey. Available at 

Nguyen, X. T., Rahim, N., Miron, A., Dang, T. L., Mitchell, C. (2019). (Eds.). Envisioning inclusion: Transforming Disability Knowledge, Research, and Activism. Hanoi: Hong Duc Publishers. 

Media and policy outputs 

Transforming Disability Knowledge, Research, and Activism (TDKRA). (2020). Policy brief. Available at 

Interview with Nick Ward (2019). The journey to global inclusion.  FASSinate 2020 (pp. 138-149). Available at 


Graduate student supervisions  

Hilda Smith (2020). Understanding the Role of Community in Knowledge Mobilization. Doctoral thesis, York University (co-supervising with Geoffrey Reaume, Critical Disability Studies, York University). 

Juan Saavedra (2020). An Undetectable Work-Ethic: Design Activism’s detour and micro-manifesto into subcultures of queer disability and innovation. MA thesis, Carleton University (co-supervising with Hallgrimsson Bjarki, School of Industrial Design, Carleton University). 

Bernasky, T. (2014). Towards anti-colonial inclusion: An analysis of Australian and British disability inclusive development workMA thesis, York University.