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Dr. Arseli Dokumaci,

Associate Professor, Communication Studies
Canada Research Chair in Critical Disability Studies and Media Technologies
Director, Access in the Making (AIM) Lab

Dr. Arseli Dokumaci,
A forest in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal with all the wonderful colours of the Fall. Arseli, an olive-skinned woman in her early 40s, is standing and gently smiling at the camera. She has with black-framed glasses, and is wearing an orange puffy vest on top of a jean jacket and a black hoodie, and her hair is hidden under a grey beanie.
Photo by Francois Vincent 2021
Availability: By appointment.


I am an interdisciplinary scholar and media-maker. My scholarly and creative work lies at the crossovers of disability studies, performance studies and medical anthropology. In my research, and research-creation videos, I explore how disabled people go about their everyday lives, and improvise activist affordances. I am particularly interested in exploring how disability can be a critical a method to rethink and practice media in new ways.  

FQRSC postdoctoral fellow, McGill University, Department of Social Studies of Medicine

ERC postdoctoral fellow, University of Copenhagen, Department of Anthropology

Postdoc, Communication Studies, Concordia University

PhD, Performance Studies, Aberystwyth University 

MA, Film and Communication, Bahçeşehir University

BA, Translation and Interpreting, Boğaziçi University




Dokumaci, A. (2023). Activist Affordances: How disabled people improvise more habitable worlds. Duke University Press.   

(Selected) Articles

Dokumaci, A., Besette-Viens, R., Goberdhan, N., Mazowita, A., Lucas, S. & Stainton, J. (2023). Spaced Apart: Autoethnographies of Access throughout the COVID 19 Pandemic. Space and Culture Journal, 26(3), 365–382.  

Dokumaci, A. (2022). Vision Portraits: Rodney Evans and Rites of Passage into Blindness. Film Quarterly, 76(2), 48–54.  

Dokumaci, A. (2022). Off Limits: When Desire for Intellectual Access is Ruptured. Fieldsights. 

Dokumaci, A. (2020). People as affordances: Building disability worlds through care intimacy. Current Anthropology, 61 (suppl. 21), S97-S108.   

Dokumaci, A. (2019). A Theory of Micro-activist Affordances: Disability, Improvisation and Disorienting Affordances. The South Atlantic Quarterly, 118 (3), 491–519.  


Dokumaci, A. (2018). Disability as Method: Interventions in the Habitus of Ableism through Media-Creation. Disability Studies Quarterly, 38(3).

Dokumaci, A. (2017). Performing Pain and Inflammation: Rendering the Invisible Visible”, AMA Journal of Ethics, Special section: Images of Healing and Learning, 19(8), 834-838.

Dokumaci, A. (2017). Vital Affordances / Occupying Niches: An Ecological Approach to Disability and Performance. RiDE: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, 22(3), 393-412.  

Dokumaci, A. (2016). Affordance Creations of Disability Performance: Limits of a Disabled Theater. Theatre Research in Canada, 37(2), 164-199.  

Dokumaci, A. (2013). On Falling Ill. Performance Research: A Journal of the Performing Arts, 18(4), 107-15. 

Artistic performances


Video Production 


Dokumaci, A. (Director). (2022). Activist affordances: How disabled people improvise more habitable worlds.Independent Production.

Dokumaci, A. (Director). (2018). Disability as method: Audio-description as crip time [Video]. Independent Production. Ohio State University. Libraries.  

Exhibition Participation 


Dokumaci, A. (2022). Activist affordances: How disabled people improvise more habitable worlds [Video]. VIII Bienal de la Fundación ONCE, La Casa Encendida, Madrid, Spain.

Dokumaci, A. (2021). AIM Logo description as poetic writing. Audio description in the making.

Dokumaci, A. (2018). Disability as method: Audio-description as crip time [Video installation]. Vibrations Exhibition, Concordia University 4th Space, Montreal, Canada. 

Dokumaci, A. (2018). Performing pain and invisible disabilities [Drawing]. Vibe: Challenging Ableism and Audism through the Arts Symposium, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. 

Dokumaci, A. (2017). Performing pain and invisible disabilities [Drawing]. MANIFESTO: A Modest Proposal, Pitzer College Art Galleries, Claremont, United States. 

Dokumaci, A. (2015). ‘Taskscape’ in its making: Disabled ways of living OTHERWISE [Video installation]. The Flesh of the WorldThe Doris McCarthy Gallery, Canada. 

Dokumaci, A. (2014). Invisible disabilities and emerging taskscapes [Video installation]. Performing Crip Time, Space4Art, San Diego, USA.

Dokumaci, A. (2013). Invisible disabilities and emerging taskscapes [Video installation]. Differential Mobilities, Concordia University Gallery, Montreal, Canada.


National Women's Studies Association (NWSA) Alison Piepmeier Book Prize, Activist Affordances: How disabled People Improvise More Habitable Worlds (DUP 2023).  

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