Welcome! I am an Assistant Professor in Political Science at the University of Michigan. My work is situated at the intersection of contemporary political theory, feminist theory, and disability studies. My current book project, tentatively titled “Disability: A Democratic Dilemma,” brings into view the significance of disability in mediating the relationship between citizens and the American state. Drawing upon historical and contemporary examples—among them the rise of waged labor, the industrial accident crisis of the early 20th century, and the Flint, Michigan water crisis—I show how the boundaries and defining features of political membership are stabilized and recast in and through disability. Where existing research emphasizes the exclusionary ground of liberal citizenship and its consequences for people with disabilities, I argue that disability as a concept, legal category, and medical condition has become a crucial mechanism through which to negotiate transformations in the obligations and entitlements of citizenship.

I teach courses in contemporary political theory, feminist theory, disability studies, and theories of work, and am affiliated with the Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program at the Ford School. Between 2020 and 2022 I was an LSA Collegiate Fellow in the Department of Political Science, also at the University of Michigan. I received my PhD from the University of Chicago in 2020. My work at Chicago was supported by the Department of Political Science, The Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, and the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights. My CV is available here.

I am reachable by email at: akheff@umich.edu