Building a community for queer disability studies : lessons from the snail

Humphrey, Harvey and Slater, Jen and Coleman-Fountain, Edmund and Jones, Charlotte (2023) Building a community for queer disability studies : lessons from the snail. Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, 12 (1). pp. 1-28. (

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This article describes the Queer Disability Studies Network, a space set up for Queer Disability Studies academics and activists to find solidarity, particularly those experiencing marginalisation due to queerphobia, transphobia, intersexphobia and ableism in Disability, Queer, Trans and Intersex Studies; and for ideas in these disciplines to inform one another. The network was established to oppose the institutionalisation of ideas that would delegitimise trans lives and identities within academia and provides a space of solidarity and resistance within the neoliberal-ableist university. The article provides an explanation of the origins of the network. From this it uses the network’s snail motif to organise learnings from Trans, Queer, Intersex and Disability Studies into a set of 'lessons' for groups seeking to develop solidarities within academic and activist communities. These lessons raise critical questions related to concepts of 1) home, 2) temporalities and mobilities, and 3) embodiments and vulnerabilities. We conclude by discussing the implications of these lessons for practising solidarities and coalitional politics in contested times.