The Story of My Work: How I Became Disabled

Rosemarie Garland-Thomson


Perhaps the best opening line in disability studies comes from Georgina Kleege: “Writing this book made me blind.” Following this honorable tradition, I begin my explication of disability studies through my own experience with a similar starting point: “Feminism made me disabled.” Honoring as well the tradition of making theory through narrative, I also follow Helen Keller, who like Kleege situates her knowledge in the local. From these exemplary works of feminist disability studies, I develop an explication of how I grew disability studies and how it grew me. Throughout, I consider the categories of disabled and nondisabled and the ways in which they have developed in disability studies literature broadly. I conclude by asserting the importance of both access and identity and community for disabled people. 

Keywords: feminist disability studies, disability identity, misfitting, history of disability studies


feminist disability studies; disability identity; misfitting; history of disability studies

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Copyright (c) 2014 Rosemarie Garland-Thomson

Beginning with Volume 36, Issue No. 4 (2016), Disability Studies Quarterly is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license unless otherwise indicated. 

Disability Studies Quarterly is published by The Ohio State University Libraries in partnership with the Society for Disability Studies.

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ISSN: 2159-8371 (Online); 1041-5718 (Print)