Sam Brady / @SamB24 (Twitter)

Research title: A socio-political and technical history of the Sports Wheelchair

Research Summary

I am an AHRC CDP funded student researching the socio-political history of the Sports Wheelchair. This project combines disability history and activism, para-sport and the history of technology. This project includes a placement at the National Paralympic Heritage Trust, who I will work with to interview important figures of the wheelchair industry, para-athletes and wheelchair users in order to preserve their history. Overall, I have a great interest in Disabled people’s history, and how this intersects with their activism and place in society.


PhD Studentship funder – AHRC Central Doctoral Partnership programme.



  • 'Disabled working Jews; Disability, Race and Leeds Jewish Community, 1870 – 1918', University of Leeds, 14th December 2018
  • 'Disabled New Negroes? Disability and impairment in the literature of the Harlem Renaissance, 1919-1929’, CDS Postgraduate Conference 2019, University of Leeds, 12th July 2019
  • Disability in early Twentieth Century Leeds and the role of Jewish Social Welfare”, University of Glasgow Centre for Disability Research Seminar, January 2020 and “Undatable or superhuman? Perceptions of disability in Jewish community”, Limmud Australia and New Zealand Virtual conference, June 2020.


Additional Information

My research interests also include matters of race, gender, class and religion, and in particular how these intersect within the lives of disabled people. My Undergraduate thesis, submitted in 2018 at the University of Leeds, focused on the representation of impairments in African American literature during the 1920’s Harlem Renaissance. My Master’s thesis, also submitted at the University of Leeds in 2019, shifted focus to explore the experiences of Disabled people in the Jewish community of Leeds in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. As such, I have strong interests in Race studies and Jewish studies.

I have led two seminars in 2019: a week on Black Internationalism MA course at the University of Leeds on the link between Black Panther (2018), George Schuyler’s literature and Pan-African movements in the 1930s; and a week for the Harlem Renaissance BA module focusing on Disability.

During my MA I assisted BA students with their Dissertations as a project mentor, providing extra support alongside their supervisors. This was alongside my Master’s degree, and I supported 5 students.  

I am currently helping organise disabled access for 2019’s Limmud Festival, a Jewish conference held to promote Jewish religious, political and cultural learning.

I have work experience in student recruitment, as well as working as a University ambassador and helping run employability and Alumni events for students at a School level.