Visiting researchers

We welcome a number of inter/national colleagues each year.


Tsitsi Chataika, University of Zimbabwe, TUOS School of Education Visiting Researcher
a PhD graduate of Sheffield of University,  is a senior lecturer in inclusive education in the Department of Educational Foundations, which falls under the Faculty of Education at the University of Zimbabwe. Her research interests include the connection of disability, gender, education, childhood studies, development and postcolonialism. Tsitsi has been conducting disability awareness and mainstreaming workshops in countries such as Kenya, Malawi, South Sudan, Zambia and Zimbabwe. She recently developed a gender and disability mainstreaming training manual, which can be used by various stakeholders in Africa and beyond. In 2012, she set up a Zimbabwe Disability Inclusive Development Forum, which brings together disability activists, researchers, policy makers and ordinary citizens in order to network, share information, best practices, opinions and ideas, as well as lobby and advocate for disability inclusion in development processes in Zimbabwe. Tsitsi was part of a three-member team that recently evaluated a three-year inclusive education programme in Zimbabwe covering 30 model schools, which was initiated by Lenard Cheshire International, in collaboration with the country’s Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education. Tsitsi is a board member in various disability-related organisations.


Fulbright Scholar, Jack Levinson, Sociology Department, City College of New York
Disability Studies @ the University of Sheffield is delighted to host our Visiting Fulbright Scholar Dr Jack Levinson. He is around until the summer and we are very happy to have him with us. Here is a message from Jack:
I have come to Sheffield this spring as a Fulbright Scholar to work with Dan Goodley on the issue of social inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities. My Ph.D. is in sociology but my research and teaching ranges across fields and, in disability studies, social inclusion is a new area for me. My book, Making Life Work, is based on ethnographic research in a New York City group home for adults with intellectual disabilities. I argued that this setting is organized by a dilemma of freedom and not only by a problem of social control in order to show it depends fundamentally on the competent and skillful participation of all the people who live and work there. To do this, I craft an ethnographic approach that combines the insights of ethnomethodology, governmentality, and the sociology of work and organizations. My commitment to the study of everyday life is reflected in my various areas of interest which include non-medical psychoactive drug use, performance history and practice, and, more broadly, the relationship between expert knowledge and the everyday.

In Sheffield, the focus of my work with Dan Goodley on social inclusion emerged from an ongoing project of mine on the phenomenological parallels between critical movements in the early 1960s in American sociology (ethnomethodology) and dance (the Judson Dance Theater), each independent of and unknown to the other at the time. Judson’s radical refusals of foundational assumptions in concert dance rest on principles that provide insights for innovative and potentially community-building approaches to social inclusion.

In seeking new ways to generate movement, the Judson artists refused formal technique and incorporated ordinary uses of the body. They forced questions about what makes movement dance and what makes a body a dancer’s body. The result was the opening up of dance that rejected the allure of individual virtuosity or personal expression as defining ideas. The very idea of performance was recast. No longer the final, apparently flawless event meant, by definition, to conceal all that is messy and imperfect behind-the-scenes, performance became process: the collaborative, ongoing, ever changing processes of making, rehearsing, and staging.

Dan Goodley and I are working together on several writing projects. In one, we are forging connections between disability studies and some recent work in performance studies, for which field the Judson Dance Theater helped lay important early groundwork. Turning toward everyday practice, we are exploring the performance principles of “live art” as a new approach to social inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities that emphasizes collaboration and community in contrast to the common use of art as an individual therapeutic intervention. Finally, we are elaborating and expanding the conceptual consonance in our previous individual research on normative citizenship, governmentality, and dis/ability.

I am also very pleased for the opportunity to participate in the ongoing conversations and meetings that are expanding Disability Studies at the University of Sheffield with Dr Kirsty Liddiard and, from MMU, Dr Rebecca Lawthom and Dr Katherine Runswick Cole.


Eiríkur Smith is a doctoral candidate in Disability Studies in the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences at theUniversity of Iceland.
He has many years of experience working in disability services and has been a disability activist and advocate. His academic background is in Philosophy and Disability Studies. He has worked on various research projects including studies on childhood, disability and identity, critical analysis of service policies, and historical exploration on disability in Icelandic history. His doctoral research focuses on everyday lives in groups homes and is titled Constructions of disability and domesticity in group homes: Negotiating power, identity and social interactions. email


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