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Crip Theory: Cultural Signs of Queerness and Disability

(Cultural Front)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  265 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Crip Theory attends to the contemporary cultures of disability and queerness that are coming out all over. Both disability studies and queer theory are centrally concerned with how bodies, pleasures, and identities are represented as "normal" or as abject, but Crip Theory is the first book to analyze thoroughly the ways in which these interdisciplinary fields inform each o ...more
Paperback, 281 pages
Published June 1st 2006 by New York University Press
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Jan 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: queer theorists, disabled people, cultural studies scholars
I really appreciated the insights and analysis, if at times it feels a bit stuck on particular sources.

McRuer weaves Derrida with Walmart ads, Bob Flanagan with Queer Eye, and Judy Heuman with As Good As it Gets within the project of highlighting the paradox of increased visibility and the allure of normativity. Drawing on queer theories and traditions, McRuer raises questions and complexities in postmodern identities and experiences. The voice of crip culture has largely been missing from this
Apr 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely pivotal in Disability Studies as a discipline. His concept of compulsory able-bodiedness has changed the trajectory of studies on the body. Remarkable.
Aug 12, 2007 rated it really liked it
McRuer's an insightful and creative critic. In this second book (the first was The Queer Renaissance he's also a very engaging presence on the page. I wish I didn't have to stop reading so as to leave some time today for writing. On the other hand, after only a couple of hours with Crip Theory1> I have some new ideas to bring back to my writing project. ...more
Morgan Dhu
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
As a disabled person, a queer person, and a freelance cultural studies scholar, Crip Theory: Cultural Signs of Queerness and Disability, by Robert McRuer is exactly the sort of book you’d expect to find me reading sooner or later. There are many reasons to consider the relationship between crip theory and queer theory, and how they relate to other bodies of theory - feminist studies, race theory among them. Disability and alternative sexualities are situated in the body, they share a history of ...more
Apr 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Every once and awhile a book comes along that affects the way you see the world. McTuer's Crip Theory is one of those books. Looking at the intersection between queer theory and disability studies McRuer maps a way for crip theory to develop. The range of resources he incorporates and the cultural instances he uses as a forum for analysis make this an important book for anyone interested in disability studies. I cannot remember the last time I was so excited by a work of theory.

"Compulsory hete
May 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: disability
This book had been on my to-read list for at least two years, so I was excited to finally get to read it, but it...didn't quite live up to my expectations. The book attempts to discuss a way of conceptualizing disability theory and disability studies by discussing its similarities with queer theory, often comparing the two and using one as a lens to look at the other. As a queer disabled person, this appealed to me; however, McRuer doesn't really discuss whether he himself is disabled, which kin ...more
Jul 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
In Crip Theory (2006), Robert McRuer develops a crip theory, understanding ability to be similar to sexuality, in that both able-bodiedness and heterosexuality are compulsory, both can never fully be achieved. His critique is placed within a neoliberal ideology that sees identity as flexible, in which identity is not fully stigmatized, difference is celebrated (to a degree), and even "normal" folks are allowed flexibility. He explains that this flexibility is often controlled by allowing the que ...more
McRuer makes one point: the compulsory nature of able bodiedness which was crucial for crip theory but in the mean time he reduces his arguments into nothingness and is an excellent case of a man with privilege putting words into the mouths of others who are not speaking for themselves. In several cases, he actually takes on the identities of others by virtue of proximity and in other cases, he gives people identities they seem like they would never have chosen. Coupling a condescending tone wit ...more
Dwight Davis
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating work at the intersection of queer theory and disability studies that makes use of a wide range of cultural texts to argue for a more accessible world. McRuer argues that just as compulsory heterosexuality functions as a norm in American society to the exclusion of queer folks, compulsory able-bodiedness also functions as an extension of capital to subjugate the disabled. McRuer both crips queer theory and queers disability studies, offering a view of embodiment that challenges noti ...more
Brenden O'Donnell
Apr 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
McRuer queers the popular disability studies notion that "disabled" is the one identity category that, sooner or later, we'll all own: he adds the idea that, sooner or later, any body can become normate (or, the figure by which we define normative). As a consequence, he introduces a method for looking for crips, or cripping a text, so that we do not only, per disability studies, see disability more clearly, in context, but also, disability becomes desirable and politically potent.
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: author-xy, nonfiction
POPSUGAR 2017 Reading Challenge prompt 'A book with multiple authors'
Jul 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
i just lost interest...
Chris Nagel
Nov 04, 2016 rated it liked it
The butler did it.
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
I have some conflicting feelings about this. I remember a month or so ago there was an instagram influender who released a gildan tee with a word or phrase on it and seemed to be surprised that it didn't sell well - despite the effort she put into the photography and model selection. I think the efforts of the styling, photography, and fair payment of models is good. However the lack of sales sparked the conversation.. 'Are you surprised? Did this really need to be made? Are you adding anything ...more
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Welcome elucidation on Crip/Queer theory.
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ابواحمد توسلی
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Robert McRuer is a Professor of English at George Washington University. His work focuses on queer and crip cultural studies and critical theory.

--from the author's website

Other books in the series

Cultural Front (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • Bad Subjects: Political Education for Everyday Life
  • Employment of English: Theory, Jobs, and the Future of Literary Studies
  • Manifesto of a Tenured Radical
  • Claiming Disability: Knowledge and Identity
  • Feeling Global: Internationalism in Distress
  • Doing Time
  • Modernism, Inc.: Body, Memory, Capital
  • Bending Over Backwards: Disability, Dismodernism & Other Difficult Positions
  • After Whiteness: Unmaking an American Majority
  • Critics at Work: Interviews 1993-2003

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