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Feminist, Queer, Crip

Alison Kafer

Publication Year: 2013

In Feminist, Queer, Crip Alison Kafer imagines a different future for disability and disabled bodies. Challenging the ways in which ideas about the future and time have been deployed in the service of compulsory able-bodiedness and able-mindedness, Kafer rejects the idea of disability as a pre-determined limit. She juxtaposes theories, movements, and identities such as environmental justice, reproductive justice, cyborg theory, transgender politics, and disability that are typically discussed in isolation and envisions new possibilities for crip futures and feminist/queer/crip alliances. This bold book goes against the grain of normalization and promotes a political framework for a more just world.

Published by: Indiana University Press


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pp. 1-3

Title Page

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p. 4-4

Copyright Page

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p. 5-5

Dedication Page

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pp. 6-7

Table of Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xii

I cannot begin to thank Katherine Sherwood enough for letting me use her magnificent painting, Vesalius’s Pump, for the cover of this book. (A description of the painting immediately follows these acknowledgments.) I first saw this painting during a 2007 show of Sherwood’s work at the University of California, Berkeley, and I began at that moment to hope that it might one day grace the cover of this book. ...

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Textual Description of the Cover Art

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pp. xiii-xiv

The image on the front cover is of a mixed-media painting by Katherine Sherwood titled Vesalius’s Pump (2006, 36 x 36 inches). The painting takes up the bottom two-thirds of the book’s cover and consists mostly of large, looping swirls of paint over an ivory-colored background. ...

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Introduction: Imagined Futures

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pp. 1-24

I have never consulted a seer or psychic; I have never asked a fortune-teller for her crystal ball. No one has searched my tea leaves for answers or my stars for omens, and my palms remain unread. But people have been telling my future for years. Of fortune cookies and tarot cards they have no need: my wheelchair, burn scars, and gnarled hands apparently tell them all they need to know. ...

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1: Time for Disability Studies and a Future for Crips

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pp. 25-46

What would it mean to explore disability in time or to articulate “crip time”? Temporal categories are already commonly used in formulations of disability; one aspect of cripping time might simply be to map the extent to which we conceptualize disability in temporal terms. The medical field in particular has a long tradition of describing disability in reference to time. ...

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2: At the Same Time, Out of Time: Ashley X

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pp. 47-68

In thinking about crip futurity, I find myself haunted by Ashley X. Born in 1997, the girl known as Ashley X was diagnosed with “static encephalopathy” a few months after her birth. “In the ensuing years,” doctors note, “her development never progressed beyond that of an infant,” and her doctors held no hope that her cognitive or neurological baseline would improve.1 ...

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3: Debating Feminist Futures: Slippery Slopes, Cultural Anxiety, and the Case of the Deaf Lesbians

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pp. 69-85

The pervasiveness of prenatal testing, and especially its acceptance as part of the standard of care for pregnant women, casts women as responsible for their future children’s able-bodiedness/able-mindedness; prospective parents are urged to take advantage of these services so as to avoid burdening their future children with any disabilities.1 ...

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4: A Future for Whom? Passing on Billboard Liberation

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pp. 86-102

Super man,” the billboard exclaims, the unfamiliar gap between the two words emphasizing both the noun and its adjective. Below this phrase is the word “STRENGTH,” followed by the imperative “Pass It On.” At the bottom, in small print, runs the name and web address of the organization behind this public relations campaign: ...

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5: The Cyborg and the Crip: Critical Encounters

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pp. 103-128

Controversy came quickly to the cyborg. In 1983, Socialist Review invited several feminist theorists, among them Donna Haraway, “to write about the future of socialist feminism in the context of the early Reagan era.”1 Haraway responded with “A Manifesto for Cyborgs,” framing the cyborg as a figure of feminist critique.2 ...

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6: Bodies of Nature: The Environmental Politics of Disability

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pp. 129-148

Although concern with the environment has long been an animating force in disability studies and activism, “environment” in this context typically refers to the built environment of buildings, sidewalks, and transportation technologies. Indeed, the social model of disability is premised on concern for the built environment, stressing that people are disabled ...

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7: Accessible Futures, Future Coalitions

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pp. 149-170

When describing disability studies to my students, I often draw on Douglas Baynton’s insight that “disability is everywhere in history once you begin looking for it.”1 For Baynton, “looking for it” entails not only recovering the stories of disabled people or tracing histories of disability discrimination but also exploring how notions of disability ...


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pp. 171-178


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pp. 179-224


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pp. 225-252


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pp. 253-258

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About the Author

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p. 276-276

Alison Kafer is Associate Professor and Chair of the Feminist Studies program at Southwestern University. Her work on gender, sexuality, and disability has appeared in anthologies including Sex and Disability, Feminist Disability Studies (IUP, 2011), ...

E-ISBN-13: 9780253009418
Print-ISBN-13: 9780253009227

Page Count: 276
Illustrations: 2 b&w illus.
Publication Year: 2013