Jay Dolmage

Professor | Chair of English

Photo of Jay Dolmage.
PhD, Miami University of Ohio
MA, Windsor
BA, British Columbia

Extension: 41035
Office: HH 224

For administrative inquiries: englishchair@uwaterloo.ca


I have a lovely partner named Heather, a dog named Bingo, and three hilarious children named Vern, Francine, and Murphy. I am committed to disability rights in my scholarship, service, and teaching. My work brings together rhetoric, writing, disability studies, and critical pedagogy. My first book, entitled Disability Rhetoric, was published with Syracuse University Press in 2014. Academic Ableism: Disability and Higher Education was published with Michigan University Press in 2017 and is available in an open-access version online. Disabled Upon Arrival: Eugenics, Immigration, and the Construction of Race and Disability was published in 2018 with Ohio State University Press. I am the Founding Editor of the Canadian Journal of Disability Studies

Selected Publications

Dolmage, Jay. “Disability Rhetorics.” The Cambridge Companion to Literature and Disability. Clare Barker and Stuart Murray, Eds. London: Cambridge University Press, 2017.

Dolmage, Jay. “Framing Disability, Fixing Race.” Disability Studies: An Introductory Reader. Lennard Davis, Ed. London: Routledge,  2017.

Dolmage, Jay and Dale Jacobs.  “Mutable Articulations: Disability Rhetorics and the Comics Medium.” Feats of Clay: Disability and Graphic Narrative. Ed. Chris Foss. Liverpool University Press, 2016.

"Essential Functionaries" in "Faculty Members, Accommodation, and Access in Higher Education." Profession.  December, 2013.

Dolmage, Jay and Dale Jacobs. “Difficult Articulations: Comics Autobiography, Trauma and Disability.” The Future of Text and Image. Ofra Omahay and Lauren Walsh, eds. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Scholar’s Press, 2012. 69-92.

Reynolds, Nedra and Jay Dolmage. The Bedford Bibliography for Teachers of Writing, 7th Edition. Boston: Bedford St, Martin’s Press, 2011.

Fellowships & awards

  • Strategic Program Investment Grant for “Authors for Justice,” 2017-ongoing
  • SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) Insight Grant 4A Funding 2014-2017, “Academic Eugenics"
  • University of Waterloo Faculty Outstanding Performance Award, 2013.
  • Disability History Association Best Article Award, 2013: "Disabled Upon Arrival: The Rhetorical Construction of Race and Disability at Ellis Island.” Cultural Critique 77 (Winter 2011). 24-69.
  • Theresa J. Enos Award, best essay in the journal Rhetoric Review, 2011: “Octalog 3: The Circulation of Discourse Through the Body.”
  • SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) Insight Development Grant 2011-2013: "A White Man's Country."
  • Theresa J. Enos Award, best essay in the journal Rhetoric Review, 2006: “Breathe Upon us an Even Flame: Hephaestus, History and the Body of Rhetoric.” Rhetoric Review 25.2 (Spring 2006): 119-140.

Current research

I am currently beginning a large-scale collaborative project that seeks to empower survivors of institutionalization in Ontario to become authors of two print books, to narrate their experiences and perspectives for posterity, and to contribute to our ongoing collective memory. The project has been awarded funding as part of a class action lawsuit settlement against the Huronia, Rideau and Southwestern Regional Centers, run by the Ontario government for more than one hundred years, from the late 1800s until the early 2000s. The settlement acknowledged that many if not all of those who were institutionalized were abused or mistreated in some way, directly and indirectly. The project seeks to offer these authors a highly accessible means of expressing themselves, culminating in the creation of two books, to be published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press, the publication and wide distribution of these books, and the promise that their stories will be carried forward to future audiences through the archived digital media processes used to bring the books to fruition.

I am also working on an ongoing basis to develop teaching materials, resources, and ideas that would make classrooms more accessible for all students. 

Areas of graduate supervision

  • Rhetorical theory & History
  • Composition theory & Pedagogy
  • Disability studies
  • Higher education policy and practice
  • Rhetorics of immigration