Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies

Crip Feelings/Feeling Crip

Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies (2020), 14, (1), 75–90.


If there is no crying in disability studies, then what becomes of those whose emotions are disabling or those whose disability is invalidated because it is considered just a feeling? The article explores the imbrication between emotions and disability in queer and affect theory. Building on Robert McRuer’s work connecting queerness and disability and José Muñoz’s theorization of brown feelings, the slipperiness between disability identity and emotions is named crip feelings/feeling crip. The term uses “crip” to signify how the confluence of disability and emotions further troubles the able-disabled identity divide and expands McRuer’s “ability trouble” not only to allow understandings of emotions to be put into crisis but also to proliferate opportunities for political alliances. The article begins with a reading of a keynote lecture that focuses on disability, feeling, and suicide to lay out the key terms and theoretical interventions; moves to a recruitment and extended reading of José Muñoz’s work on Fred Herko’s life and eventual suicide; and then offers a reading of a fictional representation of the overlap of queerness, disability, and emotions as an example of what may be possible when the slipperiness between disability identity and emotions occurs.

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Author details

Forrest, Brady James