Building a Community for Queer Disability Studies: Lessons from the Snail


  • Harvey Humphrey University of Strathclyde, Glasgow
  • Jen Slater Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield
  • Edmund Coleman-Fountain Northumbria University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
  • Charlotte Jones Swansea University, Swansea


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.

Author Biographies

Harvey Humphrey, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow

University of Strathclyde, Glasgow

Jen Slater, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield

Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield

Edmund Coleman-Fountain, Northumbria University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Northumbria University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Charlotte Jones, Swansea University, Swansea

Swansea University, Swansea



How to Cite

Humphrey, H., Slater, J., Coleman-Fountain, E., & Jones, C. (2023). Building a Community for Queer Disability Studies: Lessons from the Snail. Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, 12(1), 1–28. Retrieved from