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Louise Hickman

Post-doctoral Fellow and Lecturer

Louise Hickman is an activist and scholar of communication, and uses ethnographic, archival, and theoretical approaches to consider how access is produced for disabled people. Her current project focuses particularly on access produced by real-time stenographers and transcriptive technologies in educational settings. She uses an interdisciplinary lens drawing on feminist theory, critical disability studies, and science and technology studies to consider the historical conditions of access work, and the ways access is co-produced through human (and primarily female) labor, technological systems, and economic models and conditions. Hickman has previously served as an access consultant for ‘Catalyst: Feminism, Theory and Technoscience,’ a peer-reviewed, open-source journal advocating for a platform where access remains a reflexive, collaborative, and distributed effort in digital and disability design. She is currently a member of UC San Diego’s Design Lab and the Critical Design Lab. She holds a PhD in Communication from the University of California, San Diego, and is currently working on her first manuscript: “The Automation of Access.”

Since 2016, Louise has also worked as an access consultant and speaker for Parkeology, a U.S. based public art program. 

FALL 2019: COMM 190 Automation of Access 
WINTER 2020: Introduction to the Politics of Bodies
SPRING 2020: Social Justice
  • University of California, San Diego | San Diego, CA | 2018
    • PhD, Communication
    • Dissertation title: Access Workers, Transcription Machines, and Other Intimate
    • Colleagues: Disability, technology and labor practices in the production of knowledge (1956-present)
    • Committee: David Serlin (chair; Communication, UC San Diego) · Lisa Cartwright (Visual Arts and Science Studies Program, UC San Diego) · Michael Davidson (Literature, UC San Diego) · Lilly Irani (Communication, UC San Diego)
    • Concentrations: critical methodology, critical disability studies, science and technology studies, feminist labor, critical access studies
  • University of California, San Diego | San Diego, CA | 2015
    • MA, Communication
  • King’s College London, University of London | UK | 2011
    • BA, American Studies with first class honors.
  • University of California, Berkeley | Berkeley, CA | 2010
    • Year-long placement with the exchange student’s program