Professor Katherine Runswick-Cole


Katherine Runswick-Cole is Chair in Education in The School of Education and joined the University of Sheffield in November, 2017. She has previously worked at Manchester Metropolitan University and Sheffield Hallam University.

Katherine Runswick-Cole is on Twitter @k_runswick_cole

Research Interests

Katherine’s research is located in the field of critical disability studies.  Critical disability studies aim to understand and challenge exclusionary and oppressive practices associated with disablism and consider the ways these intersect with other forms of marginalisation including hetero/sexism, racism, poverty and imperialism.

Her research focuses on the lives of disabled children and young people and their families and allies, and with the emerging field of disabled children’s childhood studies. Her work in critical autism studies seeks to explore the socio-cultural presence of autism and the impact of this on the lives of labelled people. Recent work alongside people labelled with learning disabilities has sought to trouble the category of the human and informed the development DisHuman studies.  Dishuman studies seek to challenge the narrow and normative conceptions of the human that haunt the lives of disabled people.

Key Publications

Runswick-Cole, K., Curran, T. and Liddiard, K. (eds) (2017) The Palgrave Handbook of Disabled Children’s Childhood Studies, Baskingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.


Runswick-Cole, K., Mallett, R. and Timimi, S. (eds) (2016) Re-thinking autism, London: Jessica Kingsley Publishing.


Goodley, D., Runswick-Cole, K. and Liddiard, K. (2015) The DisHuman Child in Discourse: The Cultural Politics of Education DOI: 10.1080/01596306.2015.1075731#.Vh-V2844RDE


Runswick-Cole, K. and Goodley, D. (2015) DisPovertyPorn: Benefits Street and the Dis/ability Paradox, Disability & Society, 30 (4): 645-649.


Mallett, R. and Runswick-Cole, K. (2014) Approaching Disability: critical issues and perspectives, Abingdon: Routledge.


Goodley, D. and Runswick-Cole, K. (2014) Becoming dis/human:  Thinking about the human through disability, Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 37 (1): 1-15.

Runswick-Cole, K. and Goodley, D. (2013) Resilience: a Disability Studies and Community Psychology Approach, Social and Personality Psychology: Compass, 7 (2): 67-78.

Goodley, D. and Runswick-Cole, K. (2012) Reading Rosie: the postmodern dis/abled child, Educational and Child Psychology, 29(2): 53-66.


Runswick-Cole, K. (2011) Time to end the bias towards inclusive education? British Journal of Special Education, 38 (3): 112-120.

Goodley, D. and Runswick-Cole, K. (2010) Emancipating play: Dis/abled children, development and deconstruction, Disability & Society, 25 (4): 499 – 512.


Ryan, S. and Runswick-Cole, K. (2008) Repositioning Mothers: Mothers, Disabled Children and Disability Studies, Disability and Society, 23 (3): 199-210.