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Anastasia Todd

Education

 Ph.D., Gender Studies, Arizona State University

 B.A., Women and Gender Studies, Arizona State University

 

Biography

Anastasia Todd is an Assistant Professor of Gender and Women's Studies at the University of Kentucky. Broadly, her research investigates the intersections of disability and girlhood from a feminist disability studies perspective. Her book project, Cripping Girlhood, is interested in what happens and what it means when certain disabled girl subjects gain cultural recognition and visibility as “American girls, too,” to use the words of Melissa Shang, who in 2014 created a viral Change.org petition imploring American Girl to create a disabled doll of the year. The book explores the promise and peril of this newfound cultural visibility for select disabled girls. In examining representations and self-representations of disabled girls and girlhoods across the mediascape at the beginning of the twenty-first century, spanning HBO documentaries to TikTok, Cripping Girlhood uncovers the variegated ways the figure of the disabled girl is imbued with meaning and mobilized as a spectacular representational symbol. Cripping Girlhood also explores how disabled girls, more than symbolic figures to be used in others’ narratives, circulate their own capacious re-envisioning of what it means to be a disabled girl. The book uncovers the cultural and political work that disabled girls’ self-representational practices perform, from cultivating disability community through generating intimacy online, to affirming the value of care labor and interdependence across the species line. 

Her new research project, in collaboration with Heather Switzer (WGS, Arizona State University) explores the intersection of invisible disability and young womanhood through creating and analyzing an archive of invisible disability narratives. As a cripistemological intervention, the project seeks to expand disability studies by taking seriously bodyminds that experience ableism yet have an uneasy and tenuous relationship with disability as it has been conventionally defined—that is, as physical, unchanging, and visible.  

Todd's teaching interests include feminist theory, disability studies, affect theory, crip and queer theory, intersectionality, and sexuality and body studies.

Selected Publications:

Anastasia Todd. 2018.  “Virtual (Dis)orientations and the Luminosity of Disabled Girlhood.” Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal. 11(3): 34-49.

Anastasia Todd. 2018. “‘I Am Crying…This Really Touched My Heart’: Disabled Girlhood and the Thick Materiality of the Virtual.” In Youth Mediations and Affective Relations, Eds. Susan Driver and Natalie Coulter. London: Palgrave Macmillan. 15-31.

Anastasia Todd. 2016. Disabled Girlhood and Flexible Exceptionalism in HBO’s Miss You Can Do It.” Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal. 9(1): 21-35.

Anastasia Todd. 2015. “‘Cute Girl in Wheelchair—Why?’: Cripping YouTube.” With Rachel Reinke. Transformations: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy. 25(2)168-174.