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Natalie Spagnuolo

Contract Instructor

Degrees:Ph.D. (York University), M.A. (Carleton University)

Natalie Spagnuolo is a critical disability studies scholar whose interests span a range of topics related to citizenship and belonging, often emphasizing anti-colonial and intersectional approaches to oppression. Much of her research focuses on questions of migration and displacement with particular attention to experiences of intellectual disability. Natalie has served as managing editor for disability and health-oriented journals and is currently co-director of a community-based disability film project and workshop series, employing arts-based and participatory methods to support storytelling. She is closely engaged in a number of disability organizations, serving various representative roles.

Areas for research: Critical disability theory and practice; biopolitics; political economy; migration; intellectual disability; critical policy studies; participatory and transformative methodologies

Select awards

SSHRC, Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Award

SSHRC, Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Master’s Scholarship

Select publications (refereed)

Spagnuolo N., El-Lahib Y., & Kusari K. (2019). Participatory training in disability and migration: Mobilizing community capacities for advocacy. Journal of Qualitative Research 26(3), 1-16.

Spagnuolo N. (2018). “Someone in Toronto … paid her way out here”: Indentured labour and medical deportation – The precarious work of single women. In Untold Stories: A Canadian Disability History Reader, 121-139. Eds., Hansen, N., Hanes, R., & Driedger, D. Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press.

Spagnuolo N., & Boulanger, J. (2018). An ‘unconscious terrain of habits’: Structural

violence against women labelled with intellectual disabilities. In Not a New Problem: Violence in the Lives of Women with Disabilities, 76-96. Eds. Owen, M., Hiebert-Murphy, D., & Ristock, J. Halifax: Fernwood Publishing.

Spagnuolo, N. (2018). Mobilising historical knowledge: Locating the disability archive. In Interdisciplinary Approaches to Disability: Looking Towards the Future, 153-163. Eds. Ellis, K., Garland-Thompson, R., Kent, M., & Robertson, R. New York: Routledge.

Spagnuolo N., & Shanouda, F. (2017). Who counts and who is counted? Conversations around voting, access, and divisions in the disability community. Disability & Society 32(4): 701-719.

Spagnuolo N. (2016). Political affinities and complex identities: Critical approaches to disability organizing. Canadian Journal of Disability Studies 5(2), 72-97.

Spagnuolo N. (2016). The medical inadmissibility of intellectual disability: A

postcolonial reading of Canadian immigration systems. Disability and the Global South 3(2), 1000-1021.

Spagnuolo N. (2016). Building back wards in a ‘post’ institutional era: Hospital confinement, group home eviction, and Ontario’s treatment of people labelled with intellectual disabilities. Disability Studies Quarterly 36(3), n.p.

Spagnuolo, N. (2016). Defining dependency, constructing curability: The deportation of ‘feebleminded’ patients from the Toronto Asylum, 1920-1925. Histoire sociale/Social History 49.98, 124-154