The Crip, The Fat and The Ugly in an Age of Austerity: Resistance, Reclamation and Affirmation

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Jen Slater
Kirsty Liddiard


Disability, crip, queer, fat, ugly, reclamation


Welcome to this special forum, The Crip, The Fat and The Ugly in an Age of Austerity: Resistance, Reclamation and Affirmation. Our original desire in putting out this call was to critically explore the processes and politics of austerity upon diverse and marginalized embodiments in neoliberal and advanced capitalist times. Global austerity has a far reach, often into, around, behind, beyond and alongside the body. Global austerity routinely categorizes body-minds[i] in terms of productivity, value, cost, ability and aesthetics. Body-minds are positioned vis-a-vis global austerity as a site for social order, economic possibility, progression, and big business. Whereas “[a]n able body is the body of a citizen; deformed deafened, amputated, obese, female, perverse, crippled, maimed and blinded bodies do not make up the body politic” (Davis, 1995, pp. 71–72). In devising this forum, we yearned for space to contemplate the aesthetics, experiences and the reification of body-minds - how capitalism makes sense of and shapes body-minds; the ways in which austerity both marks and produces bodies and selves, and the means through which these are further shaped by disability, race, class, gender, age, size, sexuality, and nation. Although we explore aspects of these in our own work (Liddiard, 2018; Slater, 2015), we wanted to create a space to connect with others and think about diverse and marginalized embodiments in austere times. In this introduction, we story the process through which we put the issue together, from our original decision making and putting out the call, to supporting authors to revise their contributions. We do so because we feel it’s a fitting way to speak to the inclusions and exclusions made in this forum. At the same time, we feel it offers a broader commentary as to the “state” of global disability studies today.

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