Welcome! I am an LSA Collegiate Fellow 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 dissertation, “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 received my PhD from the University of Chicago in 2020. Between 2014 and 2020 I served as the co-coordinator of the Gender and Sexuality Studies Workshop at the University of Chicago. 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