Lisa Beckmann, M.A.


Lisa Beckmann is a PhD student and research assistant to Prof. Greta Olson. Situated at the intersection between Disability History, Feminism, and American Cultural Studies, her PhD project focuses on the cultural, sexual, and legal politics of disability representation in the US eugenics movement.

Besides her academic endeavors, Lisa aims to integrate her research into a form of activism that explores disability as a lived experience both in- and outside of academia. Her key interest is to bring greater visibility to chronically ill and disabled PhD students.

Lisa is a recipient of the graduate scholarship offered by Justus-Liebig-University Gießen (Graduiertenstipendium der JLU).


  • (2020). “Zwischen Normalisierung und Pathologisierung – Filmische Repräsentationen von Epilepsie im kulturellen Vergleich.” Paper accepted for the XIV. IVG Kongress: Wege der Germanistik in transkulturellen Perspektiven. Sektion Behinderungen und Herausforderungen – Disability Studies in der Germanistik,” Palermo, Italy, 26 July – 2 August 2020.
  • (2019). “The Politics of Staring: Negotiating Disability and Visibility from the Freak Show to the Ugly Laws in the US.” Paper accepted at Renegotiating Minoritarian In_Visibilities, International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC), Justus-Liebig-University Gießen, Germany, 12-14 November 2019.
  • (2019). “Ableism in and beyond the Law: The Frankfort Judgment between Disability and Legal Studies.” Paper accepted for the “Histories, Practices and Policies of Disability: International, Comparative and Transdisciplinary Perspectives. The 8th Annual conference of ALTER – European Society for Disability Research,” Univesity of Cologne, Germany, 5-6 September 2019.
  • (2019). “Any person who is diseased, maimed, mutilated: The Production of Ableism at the Intersection of Disability, History and the Law.” Paper presented at the conference “Disability and Disciplines,” Liverpool Hope University, UK, 3-4 July, 2019.
  • (2019). “Borders of Belonging – The Narrativization of Disability and Citizenship in Refugee Memoirs.” Paper presented at the symposium “Citizenship, Law and Literature,“ Villa Vigoni, Menaggio, Italy, 25-28 March 2019.
  • (2018). “The Sexual Politics of Disability in Eugenic Forced Sterilization Laws.” Presentation at the workshop “Histories of Disability: Local, Global, and Colonial Stories,” The University of Sheffield, UK, 7-8 June 2018.
  • (2017). “‘Language without Speech’: The Politics and Poetics of American Sign Language Poetry and Translation Theory.” Presentation at the international conference “Found in Translation: Translation as Cultural Dissemination from the Middle Ages to the New Millenium,” University of Bergamo, Italy, 28-30 September 2017.


  • (2018). „Thelma – Epilepsie im Kino?“ einfälle: Die Zeitschrift der Deutschen Epilepsievereinigung e.V. 36.147
  • (2017). “Undoing Ableism: Disability as a Category of Historical and Legal Analysis.” Special issue of On_Culture on “Law Undone: De-humanizing, Queering, and Dis-abling the Law. Further Arguments for Law’s Pluralities.” Ed. Greta Olson and Sonja Schillings. Vol. 3, Summer 2017.
  • (2013). Rezension: “«Mein liebes Ilsekind» Mit dem Kindertransport nach Schweden — Briefe an eine gerettete Tochter.“ WLA: Wissenschaftlicher Literaturanzeiger. <

Teaching (Justus-Liebig-University Gießen, WS 2018/19):

  • BA Seminar: Introduction to Feminist Disability Studies

Following the credo of the disability rights movement “Nothing About Us Without Us,“ this course is based on the assumption that disability is everywhere – once you begin to look for it. However, disability remains overlooked and unseen in the feminist triad gender, race, and class. This course seeks to fill this gap by asking is there a feminist side to being disabled? What does it mean to inject disability into feminist thought? To answer these questions we will discuss key concepts of disability and feminist theory such as the nature and meaning of embodiment, heteronormative and ableist forms of normativity, and the overlap between sexism and ableism. We will explore not only how Disability Studies become feminist, but also how Feminism becomes disabling.