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Dr. Sami Schalk

Associate Professor 

Writer | Educator | Pleasure Activist



Dr. Sami Schalk (she/her) is an Associate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at the 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 the 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.  Find links to her articles and other writing here.

Dr. Schalk also writes for mainstream outlets. She identifies as a fat, Black, queer, disabled femme and a pleasure activist. You can follow Dr. Schalk on Twitter.



Black Disability Politics

In Black Disability Politics Sami Schalk explores how issues of disability have been and continue to be central to Black activism from the 1970s to the present.  Schalk shows

Bodyminds Reimagined:
(Dis)ability, Race, and Gender in Black Women’s Speculative Fiction

In Bodyminds Reimagined Sami Schalk traces how black women’s speculative fiction complicates the understanding of bodyminds—the intertwinement of the mental and

Pleasure Art and Activisim

photo credit: Sam Waldron
photo credit: Sam Waldron

Dr. Schalk is a pleasure activist and artist who believes that pleasure is political and a measure of freedom. She has twerked with Lizzo, Janelle Monáe, and Jonathan Van Ness. She creates pleasure art in collaboration with Sam Waldron of Reverence Intimate Portraits



Indisposable: Structures of Support After the ADA – Chapter 2