Simi Linton

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Simi Linton
Alma materNYU
Columbia University
Scientific career
FieldsDisability Studies

Simi Linton is an arts consultant, author, filmmaker, and activist. Her work focuses on disability in the arts, disability studies, and ways that disability rights and disability justice perspectives can be brought to bear on the arts.


Simi Linton was born in New York City in 1947 to Edward Chaiken and Augusta Longwill Chaiken. She is a New Yorker and lives in the neighborhood where she grew up and went to school.

Linton holds an undergraduate degree from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in psychology from New York University. Linton is married to David Linton, author and professor emeritus at Marymount Manhattan College.


Linton was on the faculty at the City University of New York from 1985 to 1998, was co-director of the University Seminar in Disability Studies at Columbia University from 2003 to 2007, and was the Hofstra University Presidential Visiting Scholar in 2006.[1] She received the Barnard College Medal of Distinction in 2015,[2][3] and an honorary Doctor of Arts from Middlebury College in 2016.[4]

Following her academic career, Linton published two books, Claiming Disability: Knowledge and Identity (1998) and the memoir My Body Politic (2006). In 2015, Dance/NYC published her extended essay Cultural Territories of Disability.[5][self-published source] Linton has written for numerous other publications including The New York Times,[6][self-published source] The Chronicle of Higher Education,[7][self-published source] The Australian Financial Review,[8][self-published source] PMLA,[9][self-published source] and Griffith Review.[10][self-published source]

In 1998, she founded Disability/Arts Consultancy.[11][12][self-published source] Since then, Linton has worked with organizations such as United States Artists, Whitney Museum of American Art,[13] Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts,[14] Gibney Dance,[15] The Public Theatre, Dance/NYC,[16][17] the Margaret Mead Film Festival, and other cultural, activist and academic institutions.

In 2014, Linton and Christian von Tippelskirch produced and directed the documentary film Invitation to Dance.[18] The film was based, in part, on Linton's memoir My Body Politic and her long history of activism. The film premiered at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in 2014,[19] where it was nominated for a Social Justice Award[20][better source needed] by the Fund for Santa Barbara.

In 2016, Linton and Kevin Gotkin founded Disability/Arts/NYC (DANT), an activist and policy-shaping organization committed to advancing disability artistry across all genres in New York City. DANT went on to produce several educational events and public programs. Their flagship project, Disability Equity Boot Camp (in-depth programs to train NYC cultural workers in fundamentals of disability arts advocacy) ran in both 2017 and 2019. DANT published Disability Equity in NYC's Arts & Culture Landscape in 2019 to report on the emerging disability arts movement in New York City. One of DANT'S most significant achievements was the development and shaping of a disability arts platform for CreateNYC,[21][non-primary source needed] the Cultural Plan for the City of New York.

Linton was appointed to the New York City Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission (2015)[22] and the She Built NYC Committee (2018)[23] by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.


  • Linton, Simi (2006). My Body Politic, University of Michigan Press ISBN 978-0-472-11539-6
  • Linton, Simi (1988). Claiming Disability, New York University Press ISBN 978-0-8147-5134-3


  1. ^ "The Year in Review 2006". News | Hofstra University, New York. September 14, 2006. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  2. ^ "Citation for Simi Linton | Barnard". Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  3. ^ Boatman, Mark (June 4, 2015). "Simi Linton Awarded Medal of Distinction from Barnard". New Mobility. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  4. ^ "Middlebury Celebrates Commencement 2016". Middlebury. May 29, 2016. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  5. ^ "Disability. Dance. Artistry. Cultural Territories of Disability" (PDF).{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ Linton, Simi (November 28, 2004). "Transported". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  7. ^ Linton, Simi (May 14, 1999). "Museums Have a Lot to Learn From the Field of Disability Studies". The Chronicle of Higher Education. ISSN 0009-5982. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  8. ^ "A long road". Australian Financial Review. September 7, 2007. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  9. ^ Linton, Simi (2005). "What Is Disability Studies?". PMLA. 120 (2): 518–522. doi:10.1632/S0030812900167823. ISSN 0030-8129. JSTOR 25486177. S2CID 233318368.
  10. ^ "Conscripts to the cavalry". Griffith Review. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  11. ^ "Disability/Arts Founder Simi Linton to Deliver 2016 Rudin Lecture". Retrieved March 1, 2022.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 21, 2019. Retrieved January 12, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "An Etiology of Omission: Disability In and Out of Protest Art". Whitney Museum. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  14. ^ "Executive Staff". Inclusion in the Arts. Archived from the original on December 21, 2019.
  15. ^ "DANT: The Disability/Arts/NYC Task Force — Gibney". Gibney Dance. Archived from the original on December 21, 2019. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  16. ^ "Disability. Dance. Artistry". Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  17. ^ "Disability Arts NYC Convening". Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  18. ^ Manning, Shaun (April 10, 2013). "Simi Linton announces 'Invitation to Dance' documentary". University of Michigan Press Blog. Retrieved March 1, 2022.
  19. ^ Palladino, D. J. (January 29, 2014). "Invitation to Dance". Santa Barbara Independent. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  20. ^ Invitation to Dance - IMDb, retrieved December 21, 2019
  21. ^ "Disability/Arts/NYC Recommendations for CreateNYC" (PDF).{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  22. ^ "Mayor Bill de Blasio Appoints New Members to the Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission". The official website of the City of New York. October 27, 2015. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  23. ^ "De Blasio Administration Announces Panel To Commission Artwork Honoring Women And Women's History". The official website of the City of New York. June 20, 2018. Retrieved December 21, 2019.

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