Cressida Heyes Phd

Joshua St. Pierre

My main research is organized around the socio-political production of speech. Grounded in a feminist/crip phenomenology of speech and communication, I am interested in the many ways that embodied speakers become legible—or conversely are rendered illegible/ unintelligible/ irrational/nonhuman—through ableist norms that traverse social, political, and economic spaces and temporalities.

In my doctoral research—begun in 2013 under the supervision of Dr. Cressida Heyes—I am specifically concerned with the normalization and exclusion of particular communicative bodies, practices, and subjects within political economies. This inquiry intersects with discourses of political rationality, posthumanism, noise, feminism, neoliberalism, and affective labour, while spanning the disciplines of critical disability studies, philosophy, political theory, and communication studies.

My wider interests include eugenics, feminist and continental philosophy, queer theory, and feminist bioethics. In my master’s research, I focused more directly on the political and phenomenological performance of speech, and the way in which disabled speech is translated into bioethical discourse as an indicator of human rationality and personhood. This persistent curiosity with speech and the voice, largely untouched within critical disability studies, stemmed from a summer internship, and subsequent involvement with Living Archives on Eugenics in Western Canada, a project at the University of Alberta funded by the Community-University Research Alliance Program at SSHRC.

Professional Contributions

Refereed publications

“Distending Straight-Masculine Time: A Phenomenology of the Disabled Speaking Body.” Hypatia 30.1 (Winter 2015).
“Cripping Communication: Speech, Disability and Exclusion in Liberal Humanist and Posthumanist Discourse.” Communication Theory 25.3 (Spring 2015).

“The Construction of the Disabled Speaker: Locating Stuttering in Disability Studies.” In Literature, Speech Disorders, and Disability: Talking Normal, edited by Christopher Eagle, 9-23. New York: Routledge, 2013. First published in The Canadian Journal of Disability Studies 1.3 (2012): 1-21.

“Voicing Disability with Disabled Voices: Reimagining a Stuttered Identity.” In Barriers & Belonging: Student Narratives of Disability, edited by Leila Monaghan, Alison Quaggin Harkin, and Michelle Jarman (forthcoming, under review with Temple University Press, 2015).

Other publications

“Disability Rights.” Concepts, Living Archives on Eugenics in Western Canada. Web (forthcoming 2014).

Conference presentations

“Cripping Communication: Informational Ableism and Communicative Disability.” Society for Disability Studies. Minneapolis, MN. June 2014.

“Affective Labour, Disability, and Communicative Stress.” Canadian Disability Studies Association. Victoria, BC. June 2013.  

“The Performance of Reason: Speech and Intellectual Disability in Bioethical Discourse.” PhiloSOPHIA:  A Feminist Society. Banff, AB. May 2013.

“Betrayed By My Body: Involuntary Disabled Outing and Transphobic Violence.” (Dis)Ability?: Queer and Feminist Perspectives Workshop. University of Alberta, AB. October 2012.

“Advertising Ourselves: Neoliberal Ableism in Post-Secondary Institutions.” Canadian Society for Women in Philosophy. Calgary, AB. October 2012.

“The Construction of the Disabled Speaker.” Canadian Disability Studies Association. Kitchener-Waterloo, ON. June 2012.

“Haraway and the (Im)possibility of Cyborg Eugenics.” Humanities Computing Graduate Student Conference. Edmonton, AB. March 2012.

 Honours and awards

Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship (Doctoral), Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, 2013-16.
President’s Doctoral Prize of Distinction, University of Alberta, 2013-16.
Profiling Alberta’s Graduate Students Award, Government of Alberta, 2013.
Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship (Master’s), Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, 2012-13.
Graduate Student Scholarship, Government of Alberta, 2013.
Walter H Johns Graduate Fellowship, University of Alberta, 2012-13.
Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship, Government of Alberta, 2011-12.
Dean’s List, Briercrest College, 2008-09.