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Dr. Arseli Dokumaci, PhD

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

Dr. Arseli Dokumaci, PhD
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
Office: L-CJ 4427  
Communication Studies and Journalism Building,
7141 Sherbrooke W.
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 4883
Website(s): Access in the Making Lab
Access in the Making Lab
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 come up with micro and impromptu solutions, and radical affordances. I am particularly interested in exploring how disability can be a critical a method to rethink and practice media in new ways.  

BA, Translation and Interpreting, Boğaziçi University

Certificate in Film Studies, Boğaziçi University

MA, Film and Communication, Bahçeşehir University

PhD, Performance Studies, University of Wales, Aberystwyth

Postdoctoral research, Communication Studies, Concordia University

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

ERC postdoctoral fellowship, University of Copenhagen, Department of Anthropology



Dokumaci, A. (In press) ““People as affordances”: Building disability worlds through care intimacy,” Cultural Anthropology.

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

Dokumaci, A. (2019) “The ‘disabilitization’ of medicine: The emergence of Quality of Life as a space to interrogate the concept of the medical model”, The History of the Human Sciences

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. (2014) “Performanceas Evidence in Chronic Disease:Measuring Health status and Treatment Outcomes through the Quantification of Performance,” Performance Research: A Journalof the Performing Arts 19(4): 14-23.   

Dokumaci, A. (2014) “Disability and Affordances of the Everyday,” WI: Journal of Mobile Media 8(1).

MontrealIn/accessible Collective (2013) “Virtual Poster Series (ViP) #1: Traffic Lights,” Canadian Journal of Disability Studies 2(4).

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

Book Chapters

(2016) "Mikro-aktivistische Affordanzen: Critical Disability als Methode zur Untersuchung medialer Praktiken," in B. Ochsner and R. Stock (Eds) senseAbility: Mediale Praktiken des Sehens und Hörens. Bielefeld: Transcript, pp. 257-80.  

(2016) “Micro-activist Affordances of Disability: Transformative Potential of Participation,” in M. Denecke et al. (Eds) Reclaiming Participation: Technology - Mediation - Collectivity, Bielefeld: Transcript, pp. 67-83.  

(2014) “Misfires that Matter: Habitus of the Disabled Body,” in M. Blažević and L. Feldman (Eds) Misperformance: Essays in Shifting Perspectives, Ljubljana: Maska Publishing, pp. 91-108. 

(2011) “Performance of Muslim Daily Prayer by Physically Disabled Practitioners,” in D. Schumm and M. Stoltzfus (Eds) Disability in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: Sacred Texts, Historical Traditions, and Social Analysis, New York: Palgrave MacMillan, pp. 127-140.

Interviews / Online Publications

(2019) “Micro-activist Affordances”, in Somatosphere, “Disability from the South: Toward a Lexicon Series, edited by Dr. Michele Freidner and Tyler Zoanni.

(2017) "Disability as Method," Medical Anthropology at UCL, 

(2015) "In Conversation with Arseli Dokumaci, FQRSC Postdoctoral Researcher",McGill Reporter

Artistic performances


Media-Creation Projects 

“Disability as Method: Audio-description as Crip Time”

Creative video, 22 min. HD.

Misfire, ‘Mis’perform, Manifest: Disability and Everyday Life (2014) 

Ethnographic documentary on the way two differently disabled individuals live their lives in Montreal. 26 min. HD.

Blindness, Techno-affordances and Participation in Everyday Life (2014)

Ethnographic documentary on a blind person’s navigational affordances through the use of mobile media. 24 min. HD. 

 Misfires that Matter: Invisible Disabilities and Performances of the Everyday (2012) 

Ethnographic documentary on everyday practices people with rheumatoid arthritis-related invisible disabilities. 25 min. HD. 

“Taskscape” in its Making: Disabled ways of living OTHERWISE (2015) 

Video installation. 10 min. HD. 


“Disability as Method: Audio-description as Crip Time” [video installation] 

Vibrations Exhibition, Concordia University, 4th Space, December 2018

Performing Pain and invisible disabilities [drawings]

Exhibtion: MANIFESTO: A Modest Proposal, curated by: Ciara Ennis and Jennifer Vanderpool. 

Pitzer College Art Galleries, Claremont, California, USA, January 20 – March 29, 2017. 

Taskscape in its Making: Disabled ways of living OTHERWISE [video installation] 

Exhibition: “The Flesh of the World”, curated by: Amanda Cachia.

The Doris McCarthy Gallery, University of Toronto, Canada, June-October 2015. 

Misfire, ‘Mis’perform, Manifest: Disability and Everyday Life [video installation] 

Exhibition: “Mobile Interventions”, curated by Kim Sawchuk. 


Blue Metropolis Festival, Italian Institute of Culture, Concordia University Gallery, Quebec, April-May 2015. 

Invisible Disabilities and Emerging Taskscapes [video installation]

Exhibition: “Performing Crip Time”, curated by: Amanda Cachia.

Space4Art in San Diego, USA, June 2014. 

Invisible Disabilities and Emerging Taskscapes [video installation]

Exhibition: “Differential Mobilities”, curated by Giuliana Cucinelli.

Concordia University Gallery, Quebec, May 2013. 

Working Groups


 Performing Disability / Enabling Performance Work Group

The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics

Encuentro Festival/Conference

eX-céntrico: dissidence, sovereignties, performance”, Santiago, Chile, July 2016.  


Performing Disability / Enabling Performance Work Group

The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics

“Bodies-in-Transit” Conference, New York, USA, October 2014. 


Performing Disability / Enabling Performance Work Group

The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics

Encuentro Festival/Conference 

MANIFEST! Choreographing Social Movements in the Americas”, Montreal, Canada, June 2014.

Teaching activities

Fall 2021 

COMS 325 Approaches to Communication Research 

COMS 632/885 Disability Cultures


Fall 2019 

COMS 325 Approaches to Communication Research 

COMS 367 Media and Cultural Context: Disability Cultures

Summer 2019 

Coms 632: Media and Contemporary Culture: Urban Design Ethnography

Winter 2019

Coms 642/893 Disability and Media Technologies

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