Patty Douglas

I respect the treaties that were made on these lands and acknowledge that Brandon University campuses are located on Treaty 1 and Treaty 2 Lands, the traditional homelands of the Dakota, Anishanabek, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dene and Metis peoples.

Assistant Professor

University of Toronto, Ph.D., M.A., B.Ed.
Office: Faculty of Education 109
Phone: 204-727-7486

Pronouns: she/ her

I am an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education here at Brandon University. I research and teach in critical disability studies, feminist mothering and (queer) histories of science and care as they relate to education, health and care systems. I focus broadly on challenging deficit understandings of embodied difference and imagining other possible worlds where disability justice is at the core. My approach to critical disability studies is informed by cultural studies, arts-based approaches, new materialism and interpretive sociology supported by feminist, queer theory and anti-racist and decolonial studies that take a critical approach. I came to Brandon University after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Re•Vision: The Centre for Art and Social Justice at the University of Guelph where I am a Research Affiliate. I am a member of the Faculty of Graduate studies at Brandon University and Adjunct Member of the School of Social Work Graduate Program at York University. I am a former special education teacher and mom of two sons, one of whom attracted the label autism. My current work is supported by a SSHRC Insight Grant ReStorying Autism in Education: Advancing the Cultures and Practices of Inclusion. I am working on two book projects related to this including a monograph Autism: Ethical Disruptions and Care Pedagogies and collected volume Unsettling Colonialist Ableisms in Public Education.

Recent Publications

Rice, C., LaMarre, A., Changfoot, N. & Douglas, P. (2020). Making spaces: Multimedia storytelling as reflexive, creative praxis. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 17(2), 222-239. DOI: 10.1080/14780887.2018.1442694

Douglas, P., Rice, C. & Siddiqui, A. (2020). Living dis/artfully with and in illness. Journal of Medical Humanities (Advance online publication 21st January).

Douglas, P. & Klar, E. (2019). Beyond disordered brains and mother blame: Critical issues in autism and mothering. In L. O. Hallstein, A. O’Reilly and M. Vandenbeld Giles (Eds.). Routledge Motherhood Companion. London: Routledge.

Douglas, P., Rice, C., Runswick-Cole, K., Easton, A., Gibson, M., Gruson-Wood, J., Klar, E., & Shields, R. (Advance online publication January 4, 2019). Re-storying autism: A body becoming disability studies in education approach. International Journal of Inclusive Education.

Gibson, M. & Douglas, P. (2018). Disturbing behaviours: O Ivar Lovaas and the queer history of autism science. Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience, 4(2).  

Douglas, P., Rice, C. & Kelly, C. (2017). Cripping care: Care pedagogies and practices (Editorial). Review of Disability Studies, 13(4), 1-12.

Current research projects

Re-storying Autism in Education: Advancing the Cultures and Practices of Inclusion (Principal Investigator and Project Director) is a local and international participatory multimedia arts project in Brandon, MB, SW Ontario and Yorkshire, England exploring autistic people’s, family’s, educator’s and practitioner’s experiences of inclusion within education systems. The project will cultivate new creative and scholarly outputs with significant policy and practice implications through research activities that pursue a central claim: meaningful inclusion requires the fulsome engagement of autistic individuals to rethink normalcy and reorient to autism not as a problem to be solved, but as human variation. This project is an Insight Grant funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. GRANT NUMBER: 435-2019-0129 (2019-2023)

Neurodiversity matters: An ethnographic investigation of discourse, practice, and identity (Co-investigator). What kinds of human diversity do we value? This grant explores how people and documents are currently using the term concept, and identity of “neurodiversity”. We will investigate what meanings, associations, and practices of “neurodiversity” reveal about contemporary social relations and discourses. This project is an Insight Development Grant funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. (2019-2021)

Disability Studies, Inclusion and Education (Principal Investigator), a project making disability studies interventions into inclusive and special education teacher education programs. A special issue on Disability Studies in Education is forthcoming, and an edited book collection planned. This project is funded by the Brandon University Research Committee New Faculty Research Grant. (2017-2020)

Inclusive Early Childhood Service System project: A longitudinal study of familial viewpoints of early childhood disability services (Co-investigator), a multi-phase project in partnership with the Brandon Friendship Centre investigating family experiences with early childhood disability services. This project is a Partnership Grant funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. GRANT NUMBER: 165720. (2018-2026)

Bodies in Translation: Activist Art, Technology and Access to Life (Co-investigator), is a project exploring disability art, Deaf art, Mad art, aging and e/Elder art, fat art, and Indigenous art, and access to life. We, the researchers, artists, curators, practitioners, and community members on this grant, explore the relationship between cultivating activist art and achieving social and political justice. This project is a Partnership Grant funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada GRANT NUMBER: 152623 (2016-2024)