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.

My research explores the idea that Personal Independence Payment is a form of necropolitica; governance (Mbembé, 2003). Necropolitics is a postcolonial theory where states have power over death, as well as life, making those who are marginalised belong to 'living dead' groups. His idea is grounded in Foucault’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 member of Leeds Disabled People's organisation. I was previously one of two acting deputy chairs. I am currently the organisation's secretary (2018-2020). 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.

For publications, please see my ORCID ID.

Research interests

My research interests include:

  • Interdisciplinary/cross-disciplinary explorations of disability
  • Welfare, and regulation of disabilty and disablement
  • The impact of state laws and regulation on disabled people
  • The relationship between disability, inequality, and poverty
  • Disabled people's access to leisure facilities, and leisure time
  • Disability and music (disabled audience 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. My MA dissertation looked at disabled people’s access and inclusion in live music event spaces.


  • BA History and Sociology
  • MA Disability Studies

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Disability Studies
  • The Bauman Institute