J. Voronka

Dr. Jijian Voronka (she/her)
Assistant Professor
Disability Studies Coordinator
Office: 167 Ferry Street, 232
Windsor, ON N9A 0C5
Phone: (519) 253-3000 ext. 6775

Scholarly Interests/Areas of Expertise

  • Critical Disability & Mad Studies
  • Social Movement Activism & Disability Justice Education
  • Housing Precarity & Homelessness
  • Disability Leadership, Inclusion, Participation, Resistance
  • Interdisciplinary Critical Theory
  • Disability Identity & Culture
  • Qualitative Methods & Methodologies

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. Social Justice Education, University of Toronto
  • M.A. Sociology & Equity Studies in Education, University of Toronto
  • B.A. (Hon.) University of Toronto

Recent Courses Taught

  • DISB 2010: Disability Studies: Theory & Culture
  • DISB 3020: Historical Approaches to People with Disabilities
  • DISB 4010: Community Approaches, Advocacy & Empowerment
  • DISB 4020: Service Delivery Systems & Independent Living


  • Honorary Lecturer, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Stirling, Scotland (2018-2021)
  • Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Program for Recovery and Community Health, Yale University (2017-2020)
  • Adjunct Professor, School of Disability Studies, Ryerson University (2015-2018)


Dr. JIJIAN VORONKA is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Windsor. She teaches primarily for their Disability Studies program, where she uses Critical Disability Studies perspectives to elucidate confluences of power that affect disabled people in everyday, community, and institutional life. Her current research explores disability inclusion strategies in health and social service systems; peer/survivor research methodologies in practice; sites of confinement in the age of deinstitutionalization; and teaching and learning through disability justice frameworks. Her work prioritizes consumer/survivor knowledge production through service user-led, arts-informed, community-based, and narrative inquiry. Dr. Voronka has been a SSHRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Rutgers University – Newark, taught at Ryerson University’s School of Disability Studies, and is a consulting editor for Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work.

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications

Journal Articles

Yeo, C., Rennick-Egglestone, S., Armstrong, V., Borg, M., Franklin, D., Goril Klevan, T., Llewellyn-Beardsleya, J., Newby, C., Ng, F., Thorpe, N., Voronka, J., Slade, M. (2021). Uses and misuses of recorded mental health lived experience narratives in healthcare and community settings: systematic review. Schizophrenia Bulletin https://doi.org/10.1093/schbul/sbab097

Voronka, J. & Grant, J. (2021). Service user storytelling in social work education: Goals, constraints, strategies, and risks. Social Work Education https://doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2021.1908251

MacKinnon, K.R., Guta, A., Voronka, J., Pilling, M., Williams, C.C., Strike, C., Ross, L.E. (2021). The political economy of peer research: Mapping the possibilities and precarities of paying people for lived experience. The British Journal of Social Work, 51(3), 888-906.

Snyder, S., Pitt, K., Shanouda, F., Voronka, J., Reid, J. & Landry, D. (2019). Unlearning through Mad Studies: Disruptive pedagogical praxis. Curriculum Inquiry, 49(4), 485-502.

Voronka, J. (2019). The mental health peer worker as informant: Performing authenticity and the paradoxes of passing. Disability & Society, 34(4), 564-582. 

Reid, J., Snyder, S., Voronka, J., Landry, D. & Church, K. (2019). Mobilizing mad art in the neoliberal university: Resisting regulatory efforts by inscribing art as a political practice. Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies, 13(3), 255-271.

Voronka, J. (2019). Storytelling beyond the psychiatric gaze: Resisting resilience and recovery narratives. Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, 8(4), 8-30.

Guta, A., Voronka, J. & Gagnon, M. (2018). Resisting the digital medicine panopticion: Toward a bioethics of the oppressed. The American Journal of Bioethics, 18(9) 62-64.

Frederick, T., Tarasoff, L., Voronka, J., Costa, L. & Kidd, S. (2017). The problem with 'community' in the mental health field. Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health, 36(4), 3-32.

Voronka, J. (2017). Turning Mad Knowledge into Affective Labour: The Case of the Peer Support Worker. American Quarterly, 69 (2), 333-338.

Voronka, J. (2016). The Politics of ‘People with Lived Experience’: Experiential Authority and the Risks of Strategic Essentialism. Philosophy, Psychiatry & Psychology, 23 (3/4), 189-201.

Voronka, J. (2016). Disciplines, Difference, and Representation: Making Moves through Inclusionary Practices. Philosophy, Psychiatry & Psychology, 23 (3/4), 211-214.

Church, K. & Landry, D. with (alphabetically) Frazee, C., Ignagni, E., Mitchell, C., Panitch, M., Paterson, J., Phillips, S., Poirier, T., Yoshida, K., and Voronka, J. (2016). Exhibiting Activist Disability History in Canada: Out from Under as a Case Study of Social Movement Learning. Studies in the Education of Adults, 48 (2), 194-209.

Adair, C., Kopp, B. Distasio, J., Hwang, S.W., Lavoie, J., Veldhuizen, S., Voronka, J., Kaufman, A.F., LeBlanc, S.R., Cote, S., Addorisio, S., Matte, D. & Goering, P. (2016). Housing Quality in a Randomized Controlled Trial of Housing First for Homeless People with Mental Illness: Site Differences and Associations with Outcomes. Journal of Urban Health, 93 (4), 682-697.

Nelson, G., Macnaughton, E., Curwood, S. E., Egalité, N., Voronka, J., Fleury, M.-J., Kirst, M., Flowers, L., Patterson, M., Dudley, M., Piat, M. and Goering, P. (2016). Collaboration and Involvement of Persons with Lived Experience in Planning Canada's At Home/Chez Soi project. Health & Social Care in the Community, 24 (2), 184-193.

Piat, M., Polvere, L., Kirst, M., Voronka, J., Zabkiewicz, D., Plante, M.C., Isaak, C., Nolin, D., Nelson, G., Goering, P. (2015). Pathways into Homelessness: Understanding how both Individual and Structural Factors Contribute to and Sustain Homelessness in Canada. Urban Studies, 52 (13), 2366-2382.

Voronka, J., Wise Harris, D., Grant, J., Komaroff, J., Boyle, D., Kennedy, A. (2014). Un/helpful Help and its Discontents: Peer Researchers Paying Attention to Street Life Narratives to Inform Social Work Policy and Practice. Social Work in Mental Health,12 (3), 249-279.

Silva, D., Bourque, J., Goering, P., Hahlweg, K.A., Stergiopoulous, V., Streiner, D.L. & Voronka, J. (2014). Arriving at the End of a Newly Forged Path: Challenges and Lessons from the Safety and Adverse Events Committee of the At Home/Chez Soi Project. Ethics & Human Research, 36 (5), 1-7.

Adair, C., Kopp, B., Lavoie, J., Distasio, J., Hwang, S., Watson, A., Velduizen, S., Chislett, K., Voronka, J., Ahmad, M., & Ahmed, N. (2014). Development and Initial Validation of the Observer-rated Housing Quality Scale (OHQS) in a Multi-Site Trail of Housing First. Journal of Urban Health, 91 (2), 242-255.

Costa, L., Voronka, J., Landry, D., Reid, J., McFarlane, B., Reville, D., Church, K. (2012). Recovering our Stories: A Small Act of Resistance. Studies in Social Justice, 6 (1), 85-101.

Howell, A. & Voronka, J. (2012). Introduction: The Politics of Resilience and Recovery in Mental Health Care. Studies in Social Justice Vol. 6 (1), 1-7.

Book Chapters

Voronka, J., Grant, J., Wise-Harris, D., Kennedy, A. & Komaroff, J. (2020). The possibilities and constraints of service user research collaborations: The peer qualitative research group. In H. McLaughlin, P. Beresford, C. Cameron, H. Casey & J. Duffy (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Service User Involvement in Human Services Research and Education: Routledge International Handbooks (pp.446-453). New York: Routledge.

Guta, A. & Voronka, J. (2020). Ethical issues in community-based, participatory, and action-oriented forms of research. In R. Iphron (Ed.), Handbook of Research Ethics and Scientific Integrity (pp. 561-576). New York: Springer international publishing.

Voronka, J. (2019). Slow Death through Evidence-Based Research. In A. Daley, L. Costa, & P. Beresford (Eds.), Madness, Violence, & Power: A critical anthology (pp. 80-96)Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Abbas, J. & Voronka, J. (2014). Remembering Institutional Erasures: The Meaning of Histories of Disability Incarceration in Ontario. In L. Ben-Moshe, A. Carey & C. Chapman (Eds.), Disability Incarcerated: Imprisonment and Disability in the United States and Canada (pp. 121-138). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Voronka, J. (2014). Urban Angels. In J. Devaney & D. Molenhuis (Eds.) Mess: The hospital anthology (pp. 74-83). Toronto: Tightrope Books.

Voronka, J. (2013) Rerouting the Weeds: The Move from Criminalizing to Pathologizing ‘Troubled Youth’ in The Review of the Roots of Youth Violence. In B. LeFrancois, R. Menzies, G. Reaume (Eds.), Mad Matters: A critical reader in Canadian Mad Studies (pp. 309-322). Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press.