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Dr Rebecca Mallett BA (Hons), MA, PgCLTHE, PhD

Principal Lecturer


Summary

I am a principal lecturer and Quality Lead in the Department of Education, Childhood and Inclusion.  I teach on undergraduate education courses as well as supervise doctoral level students. My main areas of research include 'disability' in popular culture, the constitution and regulation of interpretative strategies within cultural disability studies and, more recently, the commodification of impairment.  I am on the editorial board of Disability and Society and am a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

About

Like many people, the academic study of disability was not something I had heard much about. However, during my doctoral research, I was introduced to the idea that disability can, and should, be studied from social and cultural perspectives. Since then, I have discovered a growing and vibrant area of academics, activists, practitioners and, most importantly, disabled children and adults. Everyone involved shares an interest in gaining a better understanding of the prejudice and discrimination people with impairments face and in finding ways to make the world more accessible and accommodating for all.

My University of Sheffield/ESRC-funded PhD research, subsequently, evolved into a re-evaluation of how we interpret cultural representations of disability. Assessing how texts, as diverse as poems by Walt Whitman, novels by Toni Morrison and sitcoms on British television, I explored the constitution and regulation of interpretative strategies within the emerging area of Cultural Disability Studies.

My current areas of research include the cultural functioning of 'impairment categories' as promises of 'new normals', the commodification of impairment, such as autism and the teaching/researching of 'disability' through cultural texts.

Beyond the world of research, I am the Quality Lead for the Department of Education, Childhood and Inclusion taking the lead on quality enhancement across all the department's provision.  I also provide 'disability equality' related sessions for a variety of other courses, and supervise doctoral students on EdD and PhD programmes.

Teaching

Most of my teaching is in the Department of Education, Childhood and Inclusion (Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities). Teaching topics of particular note include:

• the potential of Disability Studies for the study and practice of education

• the potential of 'disability theories' for enhancing professional practice

• researching disability/education through texts

• debating contemporary education issues

• embodied experiences of education

In recent years, my teaching on Disability Studies led to a co-authored textbook (with Katherine Runswick-Cole) entitled Approaching Disability: Critical Issues and Perspectives which is now used as the set text on various undergraduate courses.

Research

Current areas of research include the cultural functioning of 'impairment categories' as promises of 'new normals', the commodification of impairment (such as autism) and the teaching/researching of 'disability' through cultural texts.

Disability Studies at Sheffield Hallam University

Publications

Mallett, R., Runswick-Cole, K., & Collingbourne, T. (2007). Guide for accessible research dissemination: Presenting research for everyone. Disability and Society, 22 (2), 205-207. http://doi.org/10.1080/09687590601141683

Mallett, R., Runswick-Cole, K., & Collingbourne, T. (2007). Guide for accessible research dissemination: presenting research for everyone. Disability and Society, 22 (2), 205-207. http://doi.org/10.1080/0968759061141683

Conference papers

Mallett, R., & Runswick-Cole, K. (2010). Knowing me, knowing you, aha!: does the urge to know impairment reveal an urge to know normal? In Critical Disability Studies Conference : Theorizing Normalcy and the Mundane, Manchester, 12 May 2010 - 13 May 2010. http://www.rihsc.mmu.ac.uk/event_news/news.php?id=80

Mallett, R. (2010). Autism in the academy: construct, consume, commodify. In Society for Disability Studies Conference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2 June 2010 - 5 June 2010. http://disstudies.org/annual-conference/archive/2010-conference/program/

Mallett, R., & Madriaga, M. (2009). Negotiating 'normal': how notions of US national identity are (re)constructed in The West Wing. In Society for Disability Studies Conference, Tucson, Arizona, 17 June 2009 - 20 June 2009. http://disstudies.org/annual-conference/archive/2009-conference/program/schedule/

Book chapters

Slater, J. (2016). The (Normal) Non-Normativity of Youth. In Mallett, R., Ogden, C., & Slater, J. (Eds.) Theorising Normalcy and the Mundane : Precarious Positions. (pp. 14-44). Chester: University of Chester Press: http://storefront.chester.ac.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=12_14&products_id=626

Hodge, N. (2016). Schools without labels. In Runswick-Cole, K., Mallett, R., & Timimi, S. (Eds.) Re-thinking autism: diagnosis, identity and equality. (pp. 185-203). London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers: https://www.jkp.com/uk/re-thinking-autism-1.html

Mallett, R., & Runswick-Cole, K. (2012). Commodifying autism: The cultural contexts of 'disability' in the academy. In Goodley, D., Hughes, B., & Davis, L. (Eds.) Disability and social theory : new developments and directions. (pp. 33-51). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Mallett, R., & Madriaga, M. (2010). Images of criminality, victimisation and disability. In Shoham, S.G., Kneeper, P., & Kett, M. (Eds.) International handbook of victimology. (pp. 585-610). Boca Raton, Fla. ; London: CRC

Books

Mallett, R., Ogden, C., & Slater, J. (Eds.). (2016). Theorising Normalcy and the Mundane : Precarious Positions. Chester: University of Chester Press. http://storefront.chester.ac.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=12_14&products_id=626

Mallett, R., & Runswick-Cole, K. (2014). Approaching disability: Critical issues and perspectives. http://doi.org/10.4324/9781315765464

Theses / Dissertations

Campbell, S.C. (2017). The social construction of dyslexia in UK higher education. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Mallett, R. http://doi.org/10.7190/shu-thesis-00039

Presentations

Mallett, R. (2010). Beyond the classroom walls: using popular culture to promote disability equality. Presented at: Perspectives on Inclusive Development: Embracing Diversity and Creating Disability-sensitive Communities Conference, Sarawak, Malaysia, 2010

Other activities

Editorial board member of Disability and Society and the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies.

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

I coordinate the Disability Research Forum. Membership is free and open to anyone.

Postgraduate supervision

I am currently supervising doctoral students on these topics

  • deconstructing 'dyslexia' in university study support
  • exploring 'challenging behaviour' and school sport
  • 'experiencing' the SENCO quantification
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