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Jessica R. Waggoner
University of Houston System (Houston, TX 77204-0001)
Race, Gender and the Roots of Disability Consciousness, 1900-1950

Research and writing of an introduction and one chapter of a book on disability consciousness in American culture before 1950.

An interdisciplinary archival project, Crip Activisms will be the first monograph to establish the relationship between U.S. cultural production and early disability social movements. Using a historicist lens, I propose that current scholarship overlooks early disability activism, especially by disabled women, queer people, and people of color, due in part to the assumption that collective disabled self-advocacy did not begin until the 1960s. Crip Activisms, however, uncovers criticism of eugenics and rehabilitation discourses within artistic and activist production by and about marginalized, non-veteran people with disabilities. I argue that many of these critiques were manifested through cultural production in the first half of the twentieth century—therefore providing alternative representations of disability that display multivalent responses to ableism.

Project fields:
American Literature; Gender Studies

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/30/2020 – 8/30/2020