Dr Desire Chiwandire
Postdoctoral Fellow

Desire Chiwandire (Des) is a South African-based ‘early career’ Critical Disability Studies researcher currently working as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Chair for Critical Studies in Higher Education Transformation (CriSHET) at Nelson Mandela University (NMU). He holds a PhD in Political and International Studies from Rhodes University where he also taught undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Critical Disability Studies and Political Studies for four years. His doctoral thesis focused on the social inclusion of students with disabilities at South African universities. He has published his academic work in refereed journals, and as book chapters in various edited volume books and has also acted as a peer reviewer for different journals. His most recent co-edited book which is titled Making the Circle Bigger: South African Higher Education, Social Justice and Students with Disabilities (UNISA Press, forthcoming 2021). He has acted as an external examiner for an MA thesis in Political Studies and a moderator for a postgraduate module in Political Studies. His main research interests broadly focus on Disability Politics, specifically the intersectionality of race, class, gender, and disability in South African educational and workplace environments. His other research interests include South African Politics and Reproductive Justice.
He has experience in co-organising Conferences and Colloquiums on disability inclusion in South African higher education and has also showcased his work in more than 20 international and national Conferences on this topic. He was commissioned by Rhodes University and Nelson Mandela University to conduct studies into the experiences of staff and students with disabilities on their campuses. As the member of Rhodes University Disability Committee from 2016-2020, he contributed to the drafting of feedback on the Draft Policy Framework for Disability in the Post-School Education and Training System that was submitted by the South Africa’s Transformation Managers Forum to the Department of Higher Education and Training. He has been involved in interdisciplinary research through working as a research assistant in numerous university research projects. One of his long-term career goals is to collaborate with other Critical Disability Studies globally in working towards decolonising Global North-dominated Critical Disability Studies methodologies to reflect the genuine lived experiences of persons with disabilities living in the Global South.