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  • About the Contributors

Tanja Aho ( is a Visiting Assistant Professor of American Studies at American University. She received a PhD in American Studies in 2018 with a dissertation titled "A Mad Critique of Anti-Neoliberalism: Sanism in Contemporary Left Thinking on Political Economy." Her work on madness/disability, political economy, and popular culture has been published in American Quarterly, Lateral, JLCDS, and several essay collections. In 2015 she served as the interim managing editor of the Disability Studies Quarterly and is currently the co-chair of the American Studies Association's Critical Disability Studies Caucus.

Grit Alter ( holds a post-doc position at the Department of Subject-Specific Education (Unit of Language Education) at the School of Education, University of Innsbruck in Austria. Her dissertation Inter- and Transcultural Learning in the Context of Canadian Young Adult Fiction (2015) critically investigates concepts of cultural learning in view of literature in the EFL classroom and brings forward an understanding of transcultural literature to enhance transcultural competences. Her current work concentrates on picture books and diversity and she explores the potential of picture books for advanced learners. Her work on film, literature and new media in the EFL classroom, global education, and teaching methodology has contributed to several peer-reviewed conference publications and journals such as Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik, CLELE journal, and Postcolonial Studies and Transcultural Learning.

Owen Barden ( is a Senior Lecturer in Disability and Education at Liverpool Hope University. He is a core member of the Centre for Culture and Disability Studies, and Comments Editor for the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies. His main research interest is in investigating relationships between disability, technology, literacies, and learning.

Jade Bryan ( is an independent scholar who is currently training to be a psychotherapist with a specialist in Buddhist spiritual care. Her areas of research include sexual minority mental health, cultural critique informed by mad studies and disability justice perspectives; and sexual diversity and Buddhism.

Chloë Hughes ( is Professor of Teacher Education at Western Oregon University, USA, where she teaches literacy, literature, and diversity classes. Her research focuses on literacy learning among individuals with disabilities and on the portrayal of disability in children's and young adult literature. Her work has appeared in the Journal for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Rethinking Schools, War, Literature and the Arts, in addition to the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies. As a committee member for the Jane Adams Children's Book Award, she reviews children's literature for peace and social justice themes. She has also reviewed texts with representations of disability for the International and the United States Board on Books for Young People and the Worlds of Words Review. Her current research investigates protest songs as a means to examine resistance to tyranny with young people. [End Page 387]

Nicole Markotić ( is Professor of Canadian Literature, Disability Studies, Creative Writing, and Children's Literature at the University of Windsor, Canada. She is author of eight books, including her critical book, Disability in Film and Literature (2016), and her YA novel, Rough Patch (2017). She has edited a poetry collection by Dennis Cooley, By Word of Mouth (2007), a book of essays on Robert Kroetsch (2017), and co-edited (with Sally Chivers) a collection of essays on film and disability, The Problem Body: Projecting Disability on Film (2010). She has also edited special issues for Canadian Journal of Film Studies /revue canadienne d'études cinématographiques, Open Letter, and Tessera. She is currently working on a book about disability in children's literature.

Yayoi Mashimo ( received a Master of Arts in Teaching in Museum Education from George Washington University, supported by a Fulbright Grant. She is a teaching artist working with disabled people and also teaches art history as an adjunct instructor at Japan Lutheran College and Tokyo Union Theological Seminary, incorporating the perspectives of disability studies and object-based interactive discussion. She has developed and conducted inclusive gallery exploration sessions in a variety of museums and galleries in Japan, including the Fukushima Prefectural Museum...


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