Vision, Passion, Action

In Good Company

The podcast of Kathryn Church's presentation for “Engaging Disability 2007" is one of several significant and broad-ranging lectures that can be accessed as audio MP3 files from the Engaging Disability website.

Bodies, clothing, technology

Into and Out of the Closet: Discovering the Lifeworlds of Disabled Women through their Clothing

A jacket modified for a wheelchair-user, with back centre seam open.

Since the mid-1980s, I have been engaged in a series of research projects that investigate the productive activities of people who are socially devalued. My primary focus has been the lives of people with disabilities, paying particular attention to the involvement of psychiatric survivors (the “mentally ill”) in policy-making and local economic development. I have a strong parallel interest in the unrecognized work of women as evidenced by an eight-year study of domestic sewing. Overall, my project has been to discover, analyze and celebrate (these) invisible histories. I have conducted this work from/across a variety of sites. Since 2002, it has been attached to a university-based research institute and increasingly influenced by an explosion of writing in the emerging field of Critical Disability Studies.

Brief description of "Into And Out Of The Closet: Discovering The Lifeworlds Of Disabled Women Through Their Clothing". Dr. Kathryn Church, Principal Investigator.

Out From Under - Labouring.

Out From Under - Dressing.

Available online:

Church, K. Wearing my heart on my sleeve: Unfolding the politics of dress among women with disabilities. Presented to the Monday Night Lecture Series for “Engaging Disability 2007,” University of Victoria (Victoria, April 2007; audio podcast)

Henderson, H. New Take on the Fabric of Life: Exploring Closets of Disabled Women.  Toronto Star, July 15, 2006.