Rowan Maddox


PhD Candidate


Research groups


Rowan Maddox is writing a PhD entitled 'Unknowing Disability: Tracing the Contingencies and Potentiality of Autistic Transness as a Site of Emergence and Emergency.'

Rowan's thesis is concerned with tracing how historically contingent productions of disability are made visible in the present. In particular, Rowan is interested in how autism is being (mis)used in the push-back against trans lives. Autism is frequently mobilized in anti-trans rhetoric to invalidate and refuse autism and transness co-existing. Rowan explores these mobilizations as having their roots in Western humanistic logics, but as being inextricable from contemporary neoliberal understandings of disability and identity. In addition, the thesis further elaborates how (trans)gender, autism and disability are co-constituted through racial categorizations. The thesis consequently maps the ways that foundational social categories and normalized bodily comportments are contested and/or stabilized through disability. The thesis contributes to the theoretical fields of critical disability studies, critical race studes, trans studies, critical autism studies and cultural and literary disability studies.

Rowan's educational background is from the United Kingdom. They hold a degree of Master of Philosophy (M.Phil) from the School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Leeds. Their thesis was entitled 'Becoming Autistic: How do Late Diagnosed Autistic People Assigned Female at Birth Understand, Discuss and Create their Gender Identities through the Discourses of Autism.'

They also hold a degree of Master of Arts (MA) in Cultural and Critical Theory, University of Leeds, and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Cultural studies, University of Leeds.

At SKOK, Rowan is part of the research group Foundational Questions in Gender Research. This is an interdisciplinary group with members from across faculties and centres. Rowan is a member of international networks and seminars. They are a founding member of Works in Progress, a peer led seminar series which seeks to bridge the gap between the Social Sciences and the Humanities by providing a platform for post graduates and early career researchers to push the boundaries of our respective fields and brings new perspectives and encourages multidimensional understandings and analyses of society and culture. Rowan is a member of Feminist Readings Network, a transnational and translingual network founded to encourage and explore what it means to read with feminist and queer thought, art and pedagogy. Seminars have been held in Helsinki, Finland; Paris, France; Leeds, U.K. Upcoming seminars to be held in Pretoria, South Africa and Bergen, Norway.


In 2018, Rowan wrote an article for the website Discover Society about her project.





Rowan is writing a PhD at the Centre for Women's and Gender Research (SKOK)