Annie Heffernan is a PhD student in the department specializing in political theory and American politics. Her research is situated at the intersection of feminist theory, contemporary and modern political thought, and disability studies. Annie's dissertation, The Worth of Disability and the Question of Disabled Citizenship, brings disability studies into conversation with political theory by drawing upon the resources of feminist political theory, science and technology studies, and economic history. More specifically, she is interested in the ways in which disability studies scholars and activists articulate claims to membership, and why these claims so often serve to reinforce the very structures and assumptions they are meant to oppose. A greater understanding of these dynamics as they play out within disability studies and activism will, she argues, have broader implications for the ways we think about citizenship and equality while also illuminating alternative avenues by which marginalized and excluded groups might achieve full membership. This project is supervised by Linda Zerilli, Patchen Markell, and Demetra Kasimis. Additional research interests include: ordinary language philosophy (particularly the thought of Wittgenstein and Cavell), contemporary critical theory, and reproductive justice. She is currently a Residential Fellow at the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality and has served as the graduate student coordinator for the Gender and Sexuality Studies Workshop since 2014.

University of Chicago
MA Social Sciences

Harvard College
AB Social Studies