New Book – Crip Authorship, Disability as Method, Edited by: Mara Mills and Rebecca Sanchez by New York University Press, 2024

About this book

An expansive volume presenting crip approaches to writing, research, and publishing.

Crip Authorship: Disability as Method is an expansive volume presenting the multidisciplinary methods brought into being by disability studies and activism. Mara Mills and Rebecca Sanchez have convened leading scholars, artists, and activists to explore the ways disability shapes authorship, transforming cultural production, aesthetics, and media.

Starting from the premise that disability is plural and authorship spans composition, affect, and publishing, this collection of thirty-five compact essays asks how knowledge about disability is produced and shared in disability studies. Disability alters, generates, and dismantles method. Crip authorship takes place within and beyond the commodity version of authorship, in books, on social media, and in creative works that will never be published.

The chapters draw on the expertise of international researchers and activists in the humanities, social sciences, education, arts, and design. Across five sections—Writing, Research, Genre/Form, Publishing, Media—contributors consider disability as method for creative work: practices of writing and other forms of composition; research methods and collaboration; crip aesthetics; media formats and hacks; and the capital, access, legal standing, and care networks required to publish. Designed to be accessible and engaging for students, Crip Authorship also provides theoretically sophisticated arguments in a condensed form that will make the text a key resource for disability studies scholars.

Essays include Mel Y Chen on the temporality of writing with chronic illness; Remi Yergeau on perseveration; La Marr Jurelle Bruce on mad Black writing; Alison Kafer on the reliance of the manifesto genre on disability; Jaipreet Virdi on public scholarship for disability justice; Ellen Samuels on the importance of disability and illness to autotheory; Xuan Thuy Nguyen on decolonial research methods for disability studies; Emily Lim Rogers on virtual ethnography; Cameron Awkward-Rich on depression and trans reading methods; Robert McRuer on crip theory in translation; Kelsie Acton on plain language writing; and Georgina Kleege on description as an access and aesthetic technique.


Introduction: On Crip Authorship and Disability as Method. Mara Mills and Rebecca Sanchez

Section I: Writing

1.Writing While Adjunct. Mimi Khúc.

2. Chronic Illness, Slowness, and the Time of Writing. Mel Y. Chen.

3. Composing Perseveration / Perseverative Composing. M. Remi Yergeau.

4. Mad Black Rants. La Marr Jurelle Bruce.

5. Plain Language for Disability Culture. Kelsie Acton.

6. Peter Pan World: In-System Authorship. Isolation Nation.

7. LatDisCrit and Counterstories. Alexis Padilla.

Section II: Research

8. Virtual Ethnography. Emily Lim Rogers.

9. Learning Disability Justice Through Critical Participatory Action Research. Laura J. Wernick.

10. Decolonial Disability Studies. Xuan Thuy Nguyen.

11. On Still Reading Like a Depressed Transsexual. Cameron Awkward-Rich.

12. On Trauma in Research on Illness, Disability, and Care. Laura Mauldin.

13. Injury, Recovery, and Representation in ShikaakwaLaurence Ralph.

14. Collaborative Research on the Möbius Strip. Faye Ginsburg and Rayna Rapp.

15. Lessons in Yielding: Crip Refusal and Ethical Research Praxis. Zoë H. Wool.

16. Creating a Fully Accessible Digital Helen Keller Archive. Helen Selsdon.

Section III: Genre

17. Manifesting Manifestos. Alison Kafer.

18. Public Scholarship as Disability Justice. Jaipreet Virdi.

19. Crip Autotheory. Ellen Samuels.

20. Disability Life Writing in India. Mohaiminul Islam and Ujjwal Jana.

21. The History and Politics of Krip-Hop. Leroy F. Moore, Jr. and Keith Jones.

22. Verbal and Nonverbal Metaphor. Asa Ito.

Section IV: Publishing

23. Accessible Academic Publishing. Cynthia Wu.

24. #DisabilityStudiesTooWhite. Kristen Bowen, Rachel Kuo, and Mara Mills.

25. A Philosophical Analysis of ASL/English Bilingual Publishing. Teresa Blankmeyer Burke.

26. Crip World-Making. Robert McRuer.

27. Disability in the Library and Librarianship. Stephanie S. Rosen.

28. The Rebuttal: A Protactile Poem. John Lee Clark.

Section V: Media

29. Crip Making. Aimi Hamraie.

30. Fiction Podcasts Model Description by Design. Georgina Kleege.

31. Podcasting for Disability Justice. Bri M.

32. Willful Dictionaries and Crip Authorship in CART. Louise Hickman.

33. How to Model AAC. Lateef H. McLeod.

34. Digital Spaces and the Right to Information for Deaf People During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Zimbabwe. Lovemore Chidemo, Agness Chindimba, and Onai Hara.

35. Crip Indigenous Storytelling Across the Digital Divide. Jen Deerinwater.

Find the introduction in Open Access here:

Link on the publisher’s website:

New Paper – Hólmfríður Sveinsdóttir, “A Material Culture of Medieval Disability: Contextualising Norwegian Votive Offerings” (open access)

Sveinsdóttir, H. (2024). A Material Culture of Medieval Disability: Contextualising Norwegian Votive Offerings. Norwegian Archaeological Review, 1–20.


In this paper, the potential for material culture studies within the history of disability is explored through a study of preserved anatomical votives from medieval Norway left in connection with miraculous healing practices. The Norwegian votives, which include wooden body parts of hands, arms, finger, feet and legs as well as mobility aids, are here related to the lived experience of the physically impaired. Anatomical votives have been interpreted as meaningful depictions of how an individual conceptualised the body part in question, which they sought healing for. Through a posthumanist approach, anatomical votives can, however, not only be seen as solely representational of a body part but as material extensions of the body. Preserved mobility aids, here identified as hand-trestles and a knee-brace, provide insight into the availability of aids for individuals with lower limb impairments in the medieval North. The study of the material culture of disability can elucidate cultural notions of disability in relation to physical impairment. While written miracle accounts have been identified as important sources for the study of medieval disability, their associated material culture is here presented as important data for the embodied experience of the physically impaired in medieval Norway.

Read it in Open Access here:

The 70th Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America (Chicago)

Experiences of Disability I: Aging in the Community

Friday, March 22, 2024

10:30 AM – 12:00 PM

  • Palmer House Hilton – Kimball Room – Third Floor
 10:30 AM
Silvia Carraro, Università degli studi di Padova, Dipartimento di Beni Culturali, Italy
 10:50 AM
Prof. Wendy J. Turner, Augusta University
 11:10 AM
Elizabeth Bearden, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Experiences of Disability II: Confraternities and Social Lives

Friday, March 22, 2024

1:30 PM – 3:00 PM

  • Palmer House Hilton – Kimball Room – Third Floor
 1:30 PM
Marie-Louise Leonard, Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia
 1:50 PM
Alessandro Vecchia, University of Padua, Italy
 2:10 PM
Dr. Julia A. DeLancey, University of Mary Washington

Experiences of Disability III:  Artists and Artistry

Friday, March 22, 2024

 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

  • Palmer House Hilton – Kimball Room – Third Floor
Panel Respondent
 3:30 PM
Dr. David Merlin, Università degli studi di Padova, Dipartimento di Beni Culturali, Italy
       3:50 PM
      Barbara A. Kaminska, Sam Houston State University

      The Borderlands of Disability

      Friday, March 22, 2024

       8:30 AM – 10:00 AM

      • Palmer House Hilton – Red Lacquer Room – Fourth Floor
      Since its inception in the late twentieth century, Disability Studies has encouraged scholars to reevaluate the categories and methods we use to understand human bodies and minds. The term disability is itself an elusive category, situated on an “ever-changing, ever-slippery spectrum” (Nielsen 2014). The “rich borderland” (Kudlick 2013) around disability’s blurred edges is an especially productive site of inquiry for understanding how disability is defined and experienced in different contexts. In this roundtable, four historians discuss their work at the fluid fault lines of disability, not only in terms of cross-disciplinary methods but also temporal and geographic boundaries:


      1. Working at the intersection of disability history, the history of medicine and technology, and mechanical engineering, Heidi Hausse discusses a collaborative effort to investigate an early modern mechanical hand from Germany through a 3D-printed prototype and lab-based experiments.
      2. At the borderlands between disability history and the history of emotions, Wayne Tan presents his work on early modern blindness and patient accounts of Hansen’s disease in modern Japan. He discusses how we can move between different historical and literary contexts and temporal frames. 
      3. At the border between medical history and disability history, Jacob Baum explores the conceptual and methodological tools that early modern medical history offers to scholars of disability. His research on a deaf German shoemaker’s autobiography reveals how the experience of hearing loss and deafness was shaped by a diverse and far-flung network of healers, from formally trained physicians to mysterious cunning folk, who nonetheless shared a set of common assumptions about health and the human body.
      4. Ashley Elrod discusses how disability history and cultural studies bring new insights to the history of psychiatry by showing how early modern litigants used the German court system to challenge legal and medical understandings of mental incompetence
      Roundtable Discussants

      The Biopolitics of Disability in Renaissance Europe

      Saturday, March 23, 2024

       9:00 AM – 10:30 AM

      • Palmer House Hilton – Salon 12 – Third Floor
      Sponsor Organization
       9:00 AM
      Pablo García Piñar, The University of Chicago
           9:20 AM
          Ari Friedlander, University of Mississippi
               9:40 AM
              Kathleen P. Long, Cornell University

              Milton and Disability

              Saturday, March 23, 2024

               11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

              • Palmer House Hilton – LaSalle 5 – Seventh Floor
              Sponsor Organization
               11:00 AM
              Dr. Maura Brady, Le Moyne College
                   11:20 AM
                  Amrita Dhar, The Ohio State University
                       11:40 AM
                      Dr. Jennifer Mylander, San Francisco State University
                           12:00 PM
                          Pasquale Toscano, Princeton University

                          Race and Disability in Cavendish Studies

                          Saturday, March 23, 2024

                           4:30 PM – 6:00 PM

                          • Palmer House Hilton – Sandburg 6 – Seventh Floor
                          Sponsor Organization
                           4:30 PM
                          Shanti Giovannetti Singh, Cambridge University
                               4:50 PM
                              Tyler Jean Dukes, Texas Christian University
                                   5:10 PM
                                  Ryan Campagna, University of Chicago
                                       5:30 PM
                                      Brent Dawson, University of Oregon

                                      Disability and Care in Western Europe during Medieval Times: A Bioarchaeological Perspective

                                      1. Disability and care in Western Europe during Medieval times: A bioarchaeological perspective

                                        March 2024
                                        Pages 119-125
                                        View PDF
                                      2. Helping to shine light on the Dark Ages: Applying the bioarchaeology of care approach to remains from the early Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Worthy Park

                                        June 2023
                                        Pages 88-100
                                      3. Conceptualizing disabilities from antiquity to the middle ages: A historical-medical contribution

                                        March 2023
                                        Pages 41-47
                                      4. Caring for the sick in a medieval rural community: A study based on paleopathological and archaeological data from Medieval Rus’

                                        June 2022
                                        Pages 30-40
                                      5. On some paleopathological examples of amputation and the implications for healthcare in 13th-17th century Lithuania

                                        June 2022
                                        Pages 68-76
                                      6. Considering care: A traumatic obturator fracture dislocation of the hip in a middle-aged man from Gaelic Medieval Ballyhanna, Co. Donegal, Ireland

                                        September 2022
                                        Pages 115-122
                                        View PDF
                                      7. Caring for the injured: Exploring the immediate and long-term consequences of injury in medieval Cambridge, England

                                        March 2023
                                        Pages 7-19
                                        View PDF
                                      8. Surviving (but not thriving) after cranial vault trauma: A case study from Transylvania

                                        September 2021
                                        Pages 122-129
                                      9. The unwritten history of medical treatment: Evidence for ritual-healers and their activities in the pre-literate past

                                        September 2021
                                        Pages 206-216
                                      10. The greatest health problem of the Middle Ages? Estimating the burden of disease in medieval England

                                        September 2021
                                        Pages 101-112
                                      11. 3D reappraisal of trepanations at St. Cosme priory between the 12th and the 15th centuries, France

                                        September 2021
                                        Pages 168-181
                                      12. Disability in a medieval village community: A unique case of facial dysmorphism

                                        December 2021
                                        Pages 22-28
                                      13. A possible case of paralysis in early modern Vilnius and the implications for social care

                                        March 2022
                                        Pages 14-23

                                      New CFP – SenSArt second international conference of the series ‘Experiencing the Sacred’, entitled ‘The Senses, Cognition, and the Body in Medieval Devotional Practices’

                                      The Senses, Cognition, and the Body in Medieval Devotional Practices

                                      2nd International Multidisciplinary Conference of the Series ‘Experiencing the Sacred’

                                      Starting with the 12th century, the upsurge of interest in Christ’s humanity and the more intense focus on his corporeal nature fostered more individualized and embodied approaches to spirituality, as emphasized by Caroline Walker Bynum. The human body of the believers themselves became a focal point, as a tool through which individuals could aspire to connect with the divine. Mary Carruthers and Michelle Karnes have illustrated that the incorporation of Aristotelian theories into Christian thought by theologians such as Thomas Aquinas played a crucial role in shaping these changing paradigms. They provided a new framework for understanding the moral and spiritual interpretations of the senses, the body and cognitive processes. This intellectual shift created innovative avenues for communicating complex spiritual concepts through somatic experiences, making the divine more accessible and even tangible. Over the centuries, the dissemination of these ideas among the laity through sermons, as noted by Giuseppe Ledda, and devotional literature such as the Meditationes Vitae Christi, led to the creation of a widespread culture of sensation. As a result, the integration of sensory and bodily experiences into religious practices became a shared cultural phenomenon, shaping the way people perceived and interacted with their faith. 

                                      To better grasp the relations between the senses, the body and the mind we propose to incorporate recent developments in the field of cognitive sciences. The intersection between cognitive sciences and medieval studies is a very recent and still rare occurrence (Blud & Dresvina, 2010), yet it holds promise. For the purpose of the present conference, we are interested in the fact that in cognitive sciences, the dynamics of interaction among mind, body, and material world are now deemed crucial to understand mental states and processes. Cognition is indeed understood to be embodied (it does not depend solely on the brain but is also influenced by the body) and embedded, meaning it is inextricably linked to its social and material environment. This interpretative framework proves particularly useful in analyzing medieval religious practices, where material items, environments, and individual experiences were inextricably connected. 

                                      The interdisciplinary focus of this conference, integrating sensory studies, material culture studies, cognitive studies, and historical research, provides a rich platform for understanding the profound changes in religion during the medieval period. By exploring somatised spiritual experiences, the conference aims to shed new light on the intricate ways in which the senses, cognition, and the body were engaged in devotional practices, emphasizing the multisensory nature of medieval spirituality. 

                                      We welcome abstracts for 25-minute papers, in English or Italian.

                                      Desirable themes include (but are not limited to): 

                                      • The intersection of material objects, the body, and immaterial practices in devotional contexts; 
                                      • The role of the body, emotions and cognition in the sacred spaces and its perceptions;
                                      • Living and dead bodies in religious spaces and practices;
                                      • Touching and dressing bodies in sacred spaces;
                                      • The role played by the senses in cognitive processes, for example the use of the body and the senses as metaphors to facilitate the understanding of religious concepts;
                                      • Individual, collective, and gendered forms of embodied and embedded devotion; 
                                      • The agency of objects in extended forms of cognition in religious contexts;
                                      • Theories (medical, physiological, theological, etc.) on the body and mind in medieval culture.

                                      By November 30th please submit to the conference organizers Zuleika Murat (, Pieter Boonstra (, Micol Long ( and Davide Tramarin (  

                                      • full name, current affiliation (if applicable), and email address;
                                      • paper title of maximum 15 words;
                                      • abstracts of maximum 300 words; 
                                      • a biography of maximum 500 words;
                                      • three to five key-words.

                                      Notifications of acceptance will be given by December 18th.

                                      Selected papers will be invited for publication in a collective volume in the Brepols series “The Senses and Material Culture in a Global Perspective’’.

                                      This conference is organised by the ERC research project SenSArt – The Sensous Appeal of the Holy. Sensory Agency of Sacred Art and Somatised Spiritual Experiences in Medieval Europe (12th-15th century), Grant Agreement nr. 950248, PI Zuleika Murat, Università degli Studi di Padova (

                                      Organising Committee

                                      Zuleika Murat (Associate Professor, Università degli Studi di Padova)

                                      Pieter Boonstra (Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Università degli Studi di Padova)

                                      Micol Long (Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Università degli Studi di Padova) 

                                      Davide Tramarin (Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Università degli Studi di Padova)

                                      More information on the ERC website

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