Bio & CV

Medium shot of Dr. Sami Schalk, a light skinned black women with glasses. She smiles in front of a brick wall with ivy on the right. She wears a long sleeved dark purple dress and a long gold necklace.
Dr. Sami Schalk (photo by Sam Waldron)

Dr. Sami Schalk (she/her) is an Associate Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies at University of Wisconsin-Madison. She earned her BA in English (Creative Writing) and Women’s Studies from Miami University, her MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) from University of Notre Dame, and her PhD in Gender Studies from Indiana University.

Dr. Schalk’s interdisciplinary research focuses broadly on disability, race, and gender in contemporary American literature and culture. She has published on literature, film, and material culture in a variety of peer-reviewed humanities journals. For a detailed list of publications and awards, see Dr. Schalk’s CV (last updated May 2021). Find links to her articles and other writing here.

Dr. Schalk’s first book Bodyminds Reimagined: (Dis)ability, Race, and Gender in Black Women’s Speculative Fiction  (Duke University Press 2018) argues that Black women writers of speculative fiction reimagine the possibilities and limits of bodyminds, changing the way we read and interpret categories like (dis)ability, race, gender and sexuality within the context of these non-realist texts.

Her second book Black Disability Politics (Duke UP 2022) explores how Black cultural workers have engaged disability as a social and political issue differently than the mainstream, white-dominated disability rights movement. In doing so, Dr. Schalk argues that because Black disability politics take on different qualities, the work has been overlooked or misrecognized within disability studies and Black studies alike. Using archival work on the Black Panther Party and the National Black Women’s Health Project, as well as interviews with contemporary Black disabled cultural works, the book offers a framework for both identifying and enacting Black disability politics for scholars and activists.

Dr. Schalk wears a silver dress with open shoulders and smiles holding a plaque with her name on it. Behind her is a curtain and there is a microphone on a stand to the left of her.
Dr. Schalk with her OutReach 2019 LBGTQ Advocate of the Year award (photo by Sam Waldron)

Dr. Schalk also writes for mainstream outlets, serves as a board member for Freedom Inc., and once twerked with Lizzo. She identifies as a fat, Black, queer, cisgender,  disabled femme. She is also polyamorous and a pleasure activist. You can follow Dr. Schalk  on Twitter.

Dr. Schalk is represented by CCMNT Speakers Agency. If you’d like to invite her for a talk, lecture, panel, or other event, please e-mail CCMNT at