Photo of Kelly Fritsch

Kelly Fritsch

Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Degrees:PhD (York)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 2617

Areas of Interest

Critical disability studies; crip theory; disability justice; ableism; access and accessibility; crip technoscience; political economy of disability; transinstitutional carceral ableism; abolition; medicalization, risk, curative imaginary, and the politics of diagnosis and treatment; disability culture; disabled futures.


Kelly Fritsch is a critical disability studies scholar and crip theorist. Her research examines the workings of ableist social relations, the neoliberal biopolitics of disability, and anti-assimilationist crip culture and politics. She is co-director of the Disability Justice & Crip Culture Collaboratory, a research lab bringing together disabled scholars, artists, designers, and activists working at the convergence of crip and disability arts, technoscience, design, access, and justice at Carleton University. Fritsch is cross appointed to the Feminist Institute of Social Transformation and the Institute of Political Economy.

Fritsch is co-author of We Move Together (2021), a children’s book about ableism, accessibility, and disability justice. To accompany this book, Fritsch et al. created an open-access education resource which features lesson plans, discussion prompts, printable templates, and activities for use by primary school educators and community groups. Fritsch et al. also developed open-access digital accessibility tools to support book users, including image and audio description, ASL interpretation, and a text-to-speech enabled ebook.

Fritsch is co-editor of Disability Injustice: Confronting Criminalization in Canada(2022). This collection explores how ableism is embedded in Canadian criminological institutions, policies, and practices, making incarceration and institutionalization dangerous and deadly for disabled people. This book highlights how a deeper understanding of disability relations can challenge the practices of crime control and the processes of criminalization.

Examining the words that shape our political landscape, Fritsch is co-editor of Keywords for Radicals: The Contested Vocabulary of Late-Capitalist Struggle (2016). This book traces the variations and usages of words that have come to define the imaginary of today’s radical left, illuminating the social transformations marking our contested present.

Prior to joining the Department of Sociology and Anthropology in 2018, Fritsch completed Prior to joining the Department of Sociology and Anthropology in 2018, Fritsch completed her Ph.D. in Social and Political Thought at York University and was a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at the Women & Gender Studies Institute and Technoscience Research Unit, University of Toronto.

Select Honors and Awards

2023, Research Achievement Award, Carleton University

2020, Early Career Research Award, Carleton University

Recent Courses

• SOCI 5401/WGST 5901 Critical Disability Studies
• SOCI 5005 Recurring Debates in Social Theory
• SOCI 3006/WGST 3812 Thinking the Social: Theories and Approaches (Crip Theory)
• SOCI 3060/DBST 3060 Critical Disability Studies
• SOCI 3430 Collective Action and Social Movements