Rebecca Louise Porter

Rebecca Louise Porter


Having completed my undergraduate degree in History and Sociology at the University of Manchester, I completed my MA in disability studies at the University of Leeds, in 2018.

I am currently a provisonal PhD student, exploring the idea that Personal Independence Payment is a form of necropolitics (Mbembé, 2003). Necropoltics is a postcolonial theory where states have power over death, as well as life, making those who are marginlised belong to 'living dead' groups.His idea is grounded in Focault’s concepts of ‘biopower’, and Bauman’s concept of ‘social death’.

I regularly tweet about disability (@RebeccaPorter_) and have written a couple of blogs for the Centre for Disability Studies.

I am quite active in disability politics, as a founding memeber of Leeds Disabled People's organisation. I was previously one of two acting deputy chairs. I am currently the organisation's secratary (since June 2018). I have also co-authored a blog for Access charity Euan's guide, as part of the Leeds Access Advisor project.

On completion of my PhD, I hope to become a teaching fellow/researcher within Disability Studies.

Research interests

My research interests include:

  • Interdisplinary/cross-displinary explorations of disability
  • Welfare, and regulation of disabiltiy and disablement
  • The impact of state laws and regulation on disabled people
  • The relationship between disability, inequality, and poverty
  • Disabled people's access to lesuire facilties, and lesuire time
  • Disability and music (disabled auidence members)

My interest in disability research came from navigating my disabled identity when diagnosed with Dyspraxia/Developmental Coordination Disorder aged 19. I was then later diagnosed with a chronic pain condition that causes physical impairment, at the start of university. In finding my disabled identity, I discovered disability studies when completing my third year undergraduate dissertation The Undateables? Disability Stereotyping in today's media. I dropped my plans to pursue a PGCE and looked towards undertaking my MA in disability studies.

I conducted, as part of my Master's dissertation, a successful study into disabled people's access to live music events, titled #CripTheMusic: Disabled People's Access to Live Music (supervised by Dr Rosemary Lucy Hill). I was lucky enough to be one of the video presentations accepted at Cripping the Muse: the first interdisplinary conference for music and disability studies, held at the University of Leeds, and dissemniated a report of the study via twitter (@CripTheMusic). 


  • BA History and Sociology
  • MA Disability Studies

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Disability Studies
  • The Bauman Institute