When we released our call for proposals, we invited scholarship that would offer new origins and objects of disability analysis and thus re-orient the field of disability studies. Conventionally, the political and cultural history of disability studies constellates around the U.S. American disability rights movement in the 1970s and 1980s. In doing so, the field's own self-periodization frames what counts as disability, who qualifies as disabled, and how thinkers within disability studies have defined the parameters of our field. The disability/ability binary was originally calibrated around a white disabled subject seeking legal redress and recognition from a normatively Euroamerican state. As a result, presumptions of a singular "who," "where" and "when" around which disability studies coheres has circumscribed which forms of thought and fomentations of resistance capture the field's attention, often by assuming in advance which sites, scholars, and social actors can generate disability theory to begin with.

In this special issue, we were looking for scholarship that could provide new subjects and locations of disability analysis. We wanted to encounter new archives and new methodologies that would present new practices of care and survivance. We welcomed contributions that would shift away from Western-centered and linear genealogies of disability epistemologies and histories of activism to multi-sited, polyvocal genealogies rooted in historical processes of racial slavery, settler colonialism, imperial expansion, and racial capitalism.

By locating new objects, origins, and orientations, we hoped for theoretical shifts that would reflect the racialized histories of disability and debilitation that underpin ableism as presently manifested. We hoped for submissions that would situate their disability genealogies in epochal moments in histories of race and racialization, including debilitating geographies of the transatlantic slave trade and US transpacific empire building, the conquest of the Americas, the Opium Wars, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the antiblack surveillance regimes of the Jim Crow South. We wished for crip returns to these historical junctures that moved beyond disability studies's orientation toward historical subjects and movements that have already confessed to disability as a category of identity.

As we stated in our CFP, our desire for a plurality of origins and lineages in disability studies is inseparable from a longing for new methods; destabilizing the place, time, and proper subjects/objects of the field necessitates novel approaches to the "how" of disability studies as well. We, like Julie Avril Minich, Jina B. Kim, and Sami Schalk, are eager to explore the methodological shift that emerges when we reframe disability as a "verb: the state-sanctioned disablement of racialized and impoverished communities via resource deprivation," not simply a "noun - a minority identity to be claimed." 1 This methodological pivot interdigitates with formulations of "subjectless critique" in Asian American Studies and queer theory, or non-identitarian approaches to antiblackness as a structural force that operates beyond the bodyminds of black folks. 2 Rather than calcify a stable subject around which we organize critique and identity claims, a subjectless, non-identitarian critique continually revisits, reframes, rejects, reimagines the proper subject/object of its analysis as part and parcel of the analytical operations of any field on the move.

Taking Cristina Visperas's contention seriously that there are "limits of seeing and naming disability in subjects who have been at the margins of its theorizations and field-building," we hoped for contributions that would resonate globally by centering and privileging renditions of embodiment whose contexts and parameters are radically different than those in the West. 3 We want this issue to recanonize the field by exploring disability theories that are already intrinsic to the black radical tradition, postcolonial studies, and women-of-color feminisms, lying in wait in the prose of Frantz Fanon, Sylvia Wynter, Audre Lorde, or Gloria Anzuldúa. We encouraged not just scholars but also activists, artists, caregivers, and teachers to contribute in hopes that we can honor and continue the field's commitment to pedagogy and praxis. We aimed to honor the disability coalition-building and worldmaking of knowledge-producers whose interventions have transformed the lived experiences of disabled people and directed academic discourse, but whose voices are not frequently solicited or included. What we received has met and exceeded the hopes and desires we had for this special issue.


In what follows we have taken care to organize the submissions into thematic clusters that reflect on the impulses of "reorientations," "revisitations" and "revisions," and, finally, "survivance." The first section on "reorientation" convenes contributions that speak to the powerful moves that Asian-descended and Asian Americanist scholars of disability are advancing. They vitally read against the grain of the strategic and ultimately colonial capacitation of Asian subjects in the multicultural landscapes of white settler colonies (in most cases) which have historically generated their wealth off the hyper-extraction of surplus value from Asian laboring bodies. The work of reorientation for these authors also reorients our gaze to the powerful possibilities of art and performance as fresh sites of critique and theoretical production for mining the intersection of race and disability. For instance, one essay brings our attention to the Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland, California, which makes art-making, pedagogy, and practice accessible to some of the most marginalized and neglected in its local environs. Another centers Kia LaBeija, queer Black Filipina icon, ballroom performer, and artistic tour de force, as a powerful disability theorist and crip cultural producer in her own right.

While reorientations can mean centering apparently novel formations and objects for new kinds of thought, the second section on "revisitations and revisions" features disability scholars that return our focus to canonical sites, archives, and figures in disability history—histories that are foundational to many of the field's narratives about itself. The analytical re-treatment of established canons include encounters with sites like the Keller plantation, whose revisitation reveals landscapes of racial violence often obscured in the making of Helen Keller's white disabled subjectivity and white disability history. Another contributor foregrounds the Virginia State School for deaf and blind African Americans, whose analysis allows for a historiographic intervention in Deaf cultural history that wouldn't be possible when only white residential schools are the main objects of study. New sites, like the Keller plantation and the Virginia State School, reinvigorate the field by asking us to think "old" objects anew.

Finally, the section on "survivance" centers work that thinks of new possibilities for thriving and human flourishing at the intersection of the analysis of race and disability. Refusing to summarize the history of race and disability as one that begins and ends at racialized debilitation, these contributions locate crip refusal in letters penned by incarcerated Black women in the early 20th century, the works of Harlem Renaissance writers like Zora Neale Hurston, and the poems of Black queer poet Essex Hemphill. The elaboration and rearticulation of new sites, objects, and texts for disability studies demonstrates the need for innovative analytical frameworks to understand them. Thus, before we get into more robust descriptions of the thematic clusters of "reorientation," "revisitation and revision," and "survivance," we wanted to take care to elaborate the citational legacies and lineages that inform this work brought forward by this issue's brilliant authors.

Citational Lineages:

This special issue takes care to cite alternative genealogies of thought, theory, and practice which prompt a reorientation of the objects, sites, and thinkings of crip politics broadly. One of this special issue's goals was not to prescriptively articulate whom we ought to be citing and how. Rather, it was to invite mostly new and some established thinkers in this field to usher in a community of interlocutors who were thinking disability in spaces neglected due to the international division of intellectual labor that informs the North American and European academies and, thus, to center new arenas of encounter for advancing disability justice. One of the facets of disability studies and crip critique that we love (a word we use in all its sentimental and affective modes) is the commitment to ethical and inclusive citational practice that is as wide-reaching as our aspirations for the field. This is particularly crucial for this issue's objective of meaningfully prioritizing the intersections of race, disability, and coloniality. And rather than an additive declaration of race and disability encounters scoped within the scene of the colonial, the following thinkers convened in this issue and the thinkers that they in turn engage, powerfully elaborate the mutually constitutive imbrication of race and disability. In some cases, this constitutive articulation of race and disability is the very engine that propulses colonialism and its annihilation of sovereignty, bodily integrity, and freedom from those colonized in the name of civilization and liberal development.

The family genealogies and recurrent citations surfaced by the writers in this issue include Gloria Anzaldúa, Chris Bell, Nirmala Erevelles, Jina B. Kim, Helen Meekosha, Julie Avril Minich, Aurora Levins Morales, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Jasbir Puar, Sami Schalk, and Siobhan Senier. Black disability histories find indefatigable advocates in the work of Jenifer Barclay, Dea H. Boster, and Stefanie Hunt-Kennedy. In the vein of Black disability thought, Sami Schalk's Black Disability Politics was a productive nodal point around which the imbrications of racial Blackness and crip politics coalesced. 4 A seamless pairing with this work was the innovative thinking of Jina B. Kim's articulation of a "crip-of-color critique" in which she defines disability as a verb (as in disablement) rather than a static condition or mode of being. This draws tactically on Ruth Gilmore's definition of racism. 5 It is also important to note that Jina B. Kim defined this concept as a collaborative reaction to Julie Avril Minich's "Enabling Whom?" Additionally, Kim, despite originating and coining the concept, partly as a reorientation of Roderick Ferguson's "queer of color critique," has not been proprietary about the framework and developed it further in conversation with Sami Schalk. 6 The product of this collaboration can be found in a co-authored essay in which they solidify this framework as a central analytic for race and disability criticism. 7 These collaborations amongst women of color feminist disability scholars demonstrate the vital cooperative and non-proprietary knowledge of the field—a redistributive ethic that is founded in crip and disability politics' crucial invitation to think interdependence rather than staid, individualist, and ultimately fictive siloed autonomy. Ideas are to be shared, coauthored, experimented with, built upon, rather than delineated to normative property relations or extensions of academic ego.

Crip-of-color-critique has also been productive ground for thinking through the ways that Asian American criticism inflects crip activism and analysis. Again, rather than additive directions that include disability as an addendum to an established list of intersectional difference, scholars like Jina B. Kim, Eunjung Kim, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Mel Chen, Mimi Khúc, Chad Shomura, and Sony Coráñez Bolton (one of this issue's co-editors) are establishing the ways that Asian American critique represents a deconstructive framework that already integrates disability as a foundational premise. However, due to the vicissitudes of colonial violence, the term "disability" as an index of either a radical identitarian position or a framework for thinking about justice has not been as historically or philosophically available for those that navigate the disabling realities of racial violence, which do not obtain in self-evident ways as disability. These authors demonstrate that true and equitable inclusion of Asian American politics, work, and subjectivity into the fabric of social life requires a trenchant critique of ableism. This is true for the Black and Indigenous thinking that is foundational in this special issue as well. It must be stated that the appearance of Asian embodiment in the western hemisphere is definitively as a result of the aftermaths of the transatlantic slave trade and the advent of abolition—both historical shifts that were precipitated by and built upon Indigenous genocide and replacement. 8 Asian later-to-be-Americanized subjects found themselves on American (in a hemispheric sense) shores because of a need for their laboring bodies as a substitutive stop gap for the new economic regimes emerging in the mid to late-nineteenth centuries. 9

These multi and comparative relationalities surface productively in the trove of Black thought that serves as an indispensable genealogical foundation that undergirds this special issue's various reorientations and revisitations. The works and words of Hortense Spillers, Roderick Ferguson, Saidiya Hartman, Zakiyyah Iman Jackson, Tiffany Lethabo King, Katherine McKittrick, and Sylvia Wynter, are integral for thinking about the submerged genealogies of Black debility/disablement in disability theory broadly construed and the failure of rights and recognition frameworks for understanding, advocating for, and liberating Black disabled subjects. 10 These thinkers have illuminated the antiblackness that underwrites historical and contemporary logics of ableism and sanism and exposed the non-incidental production of disability in Black communities as a formidable challenge to depoliticized definitions of dis/ability. These *now* canonical texts in disability theorizing furnish a reliable critical "center" of crip critique that is open to revision, revisitation, and rearticulation.

Section I: Reorientations

The aim of this section on "reorientations" is to demonstrate how Asian-descended, Asian Americanist, and other scholars of disability who center objects and archives related to these communities are part of a vanguard of thinkers. These scholar-activists demonstrate the mutually inextricable connections between Asian racialization and the disabling cultures of coloniality. Additionally, in recognising these contributions that center frameworks of disability and crip critique, this section attempts to evidence the ways that crip frameworks have not always been available to Asian/American thought in the same ways ideated in canonical renditions of disability justice histories thus necessitating the philosophical impulse of "reorienting" and "reorientation" in the first place.

Because of the auspicious convergence of Asian/Americanist and postcolonial thought that this special issue has garnered, a few words should be spared for thinking through the ways that Asian comparative racialization and disablement intertwine. Asian American studies has often embraced an understanding of Asian racialization through a triangulation model of analysis that is foundationally concretized in Claire Jean Kim's "The Racial Triangulation of Asian Americans." 11 Contemporary race relations in the United States that cast Asian Americans as the "model minority" that productively contributes to US society in ways that "problem minorities" like Black and Latinx/e peoples supposedly do not, have deep historical roots. Scholars like Lisa Lowe and Iyko Day have demonstrated the ways that the Asian racial form has always been partially conditioned by the realities of Atlantic slavery and Indigenous dispossession and genocide. 12 We wanted to mark this thread as a thematic orientation that is constellated in this special issue which, on the one hand, has powerful and entrenched interlocutors that have been developing the field of Asian American crip critique for quite some time and, on the other hand, feels emergent in the sense of signposting a vital importance for the field of disability studies and crip of color critique broadly speaking. This special issue was edited and constructed during a time of heightened racial violence against Asian-descended peoples which still shapes the "post" ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The activists, scholars, and teachers in this thematic cluster center Asian American archives and objects; sites and colonial networks; persons and theorists; lived and embodied experience; art and expression.

What does it mean that Asian assimilation into white settler colonies has often connoted the tactical ascription of capacity via the trope of the Model Minority? What happens to the efficacy of this trope, as it evokes motifs of robust cognitive capacity, when contextualized within histories of mass disablement through militarism and settler colonialism?

The Asian/American and Americanist authors in this issue powerfully advance the "triangular" arguments of Asian American critique to discussions of ableism and extend it. Jina B. Kim, Mel Chen, and Mimi Khúc, for instance, in their essay "Work Will Not Save Us: An Asian American Crip Manifesto," discuss the perils and pitfalls of the structures of racial capitalism's techniques of self-responsibilization and disciplinization. Centering feminist crip of color labor analysis, the authors call to question the Asian American myth of respectable integration into ableist capitalism through model minority achievement. The racialized exploitation of Asian American bodyminds symptomatically manifests as and through an affect of achievement.

Minority achievement exacts a toll on the Asian American body and mind. Kim, Chen, and Khúc's excoriation of the debilitating effects of racial ableist capitalism feature a stunning centering of autoethographic experiences as crip and disabled Asian American femme and gender non-conforming subjects in the academic industrial complex. Other such granular and experiential representations appear in many of the contributions by artists in the special issue. For instance, this double bind of Asian American estrangement from and yet intimacy with racial capitalist forms is aesthetically and movingly represented in the stark self-portraiture of artist Chanika Svetvilas's "what i have learned (fill in the blank)," in which she represents her navigation of a clinical diagnosis of bipolar and the racist dynamics of American life. Drawing on a multimodal archive of prescription receipts and medical texts, Svetvilas reflects on her Thai American crip identity through the stark, scraping, textural effects achieved through the medium of charcoal.

In a similar domain as that of Svetvilas, José Miguel Esteban demonstrates the ways that Asian American art and performance constitute a vital site of crip politics for the Asian North American experience. Esteban leads us through a meditative choreo-essay on his depression in "My Panalangin of (Un)belonging: Encountering Still Gestures of Prayer, Improvising Still Movements Through Depression." Through movement and dance, he reflects on how his depression, his interactions with psychiatric normalization, and his reflective engagement with the Catholic rosary as a Filipinx Canadian allows for a rapprochement with a potentially colonial object of desire that unsettles his relationship with the ableist settler multiculturalism of the Canadian state. Fascinatingly, it is the colonial fetish object of the Catholic rosary that orients Esteban's Filipinx embodiment vis-a-vis the settler multiculturalism of Canadian life. Through it, Esteban leads his readers through a crip prayer that opens up a space in which madness challenges the presumptive normativity of Asian American respectability thus gesturing towards different ethical orientations to the settler construction of rationality that undergirds the ongoing settler conquest of Turtle Island.

Furthering the crucial conversation on the intersection of artistic endeavor and crip critique, scholar-artist Min Gu anchors the brick and mortar Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland, California as another unexpected site to which crip politics may be reoriented. In similar ways in which Esteban explored the seemingly contradictory values of stillness in the context of dance, in her essay "The Pedagogy of Waiting: A Reorientation to Time with Artists with Disabilities and the Creative Growth Art Center," Gu explores a "pedagogy of waiting" that rests with, alongside, and in solidarity with those that arts educators are meant to teach. Rather than a linear pedagogical model that instills and insists on normative mastery, Gu lingers with immigrant Latefa Noorzai as an unexpected artist from whom we can learn so much. Gu argues that her identity as a Chinese-American arts researcher drawing on the philosophical tradition of wu wei, which means inaction or inexertion, allows for a different kind of relationship between her and her interlocutors grounded in a crip politics of interdependence and mutuality.

heidi rhodes' "Bed/Life: Chronic Illness, Postcolonial Entanglements, and Queer Intimacy in the Stay" resonates with the stillness and contemplative relationality that both Gu's and Esteban's work invite us to ponder. Rhodes offers a feminist reading of chronic illness as a "condition of global entanglement within the colonial and postcolonial milieu of racial capitalism, its afterlives, its historical traumas." Focusing specifically on the bed, perhaps one of the single most taken for granted technologies, Rhodes reorients our thinking against the grain of capitalist directives that command wellness and narrow notions of productive being. Using Eunjung Kim's framing of the punitive imposition of cure, Rhodes questions the logics of what it means to be "well" and to get out of bed. 13 The stakes of such work are what kinds of capacities and uprightness are required in order to be a fully fledged political subject.

Jiya S. Pandya "rezones" disability studies by analyzing the ways that the disabling aftermaths of the Bhopal chemical disaster constitutes a critical site of crip politics not often centered in the field. In Pandya's essay, "Crip Life Amidst Debilitation: Medicalization, Survival, and the Bhopal Gas Leak," she crucially centers the knowledge of those affected by government, corporate, and medical malfeasance against normative accounts of environmental disaster. However, Pandya does so to center the savvy navigation of their imposed vulnerabilities rather than through tropes of victimhood that can accompany accounts of a debilitated global South. The embodiments of Global South subjects are similarly scoped within the transpacific militarism and empire-building that Athia Choudhury critiques in her analysis in "Milky Appetites: The Foods that Make Us Human." Choudhury invites us to linger with the tainted taste, texture, and tactility of colonial food cultures. By following the curious history of US American milk powder and its transnational circulation via networks of militarized conquest, Choudhury interrogates a staple commodity that has come to emblematize racialized constructs of American wellness and corporal health—all imposed and inextricably linked to histories that have occasioned mass disablement throughout Asia and its diaspora.

Lzz Johnk draws on the collective wisdom of women of color disability theorists like Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha and Nirmala Erevelles in order to recast, perhaps, the most canonical example of Asian American literature as a foundational disability studies text. Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior (1976) constitutes a vital object and archive for a "Mad Asian American" subjectivity that solidifies the origins for an Asian American feminist disability studies in a much earlier era of multiethnic fiction. In a stunning and admirable way, Johnk positions Asian American madness in wide and collaborative conversation with foundational thinkers in Black and Latinx crip critiques that positions, much like other Asian American authors and creatives in this special issue, Asian American crip politics in necessary conversation with other racialized experiences of disablement and their creative and philosophical expression.

Recuperating or reinvigorating critical attention to political subjects not often or even considered foundational crip thinkers is a powerful critical intervention that is descriptive of Hilary Rasch's essay "Holding On and Letting Go in Kia LaBeija's Self-Portraiture." In a similar attention to portraiture surfaced in Svetvilas's portfolio, Rasch offers a moving analysis of the choreographed photography of Kia LaBeija's self-portraiture in her series 24, which curates her life, its banalities and triumphs, as a Black and Filipina person living with HIV. As a former house mother in New York City's ballroom scene, LaBeija cleverly plays with the performance origin of voguing. Voguing begins with the editorial posing of classic model poses found in the magazine Vogue that are corporally stylized into a series of steps, movements, and gestures that have long centered Black and Latinx queer survivance. LaBeija plays with these origins in her portrait series returning to "still" photography rather than choreography in order to performatively render and shed light on the banality of debility associated with the treatment, persistence, and polemics of living with HIV. Rasch in her writing elaborates and honors the dignity of Black and Brown life.

Section II: Revisitations, Revisions

This section features contributions that harbor a shared impulse to revisit familiar sites and sources in disability's historiography, while asking new questions that surface submerged racial histories and unravel historiographic consensus. One essay returns to a well-known scene in disability studies, Helen Keller's "miracle" at the water pump with Anne Sullivan, but lingers on the unnamed black laborer who drew the water. What disability histories, of black labor and Indigenous removal, remain untold on the Keller plantation in Tuscumbia, Alabama? Another lingers at a familiar site in Deaf cultural history, the residential school, but centers combined schools for blind and Deaf African American youths. Another reveals nested histories of race and rehabilitation in autism's archives that have been concealed by autism's contemporary attachments to white, middle-class boyhood. How might these obscured and untold histories unsettle the representational politics and narrative proclivities of what Chris Bell once aptly termed "white disability studies"? 14

In their staged revisitations and theoretical revisions, the essays in this section refuse additive models of racial inclusion, in which the meaning of disability remains unchanged despite its racial and spatial contexts. In their analyses of the racial coordinates of disability, these essays answer Cristina Visperas' urging, referenced earlier in this introduction, to "take seriously the limits of seeing and naming disability in subjects who have been at the margins of its theorizations and field building." 15 Instead, the contributions in this section revel in the myriad ways that blackness and Indigeneity scramble (white) disability studies' common referents and narrative tropes. For example, another contribution locates a "Black mad politics" that emerged from Black-authored mental health films in the 1970s, a politics that remained distinct from the ambitions and aesthetics of the white-led anti-psychiatry movement. The remaining essays each apply pressure to existing theories of disability and disablement to better account for the rhetorical strategies and political-ontologies of racialized debilitation. In doing so, these contributions revise conceptual frameworks in Christian theology and biopolitical theory, using histories of disability and enslavement and Indigenous theories of trauma as invaluable resources for advancing critical thought. The contributions in this section revisit and revise in pursuit of a disability studies that is irrevocably disrupted and rerouted by histories of race and racialization, toward more expansive reading practices and ethical horizons.

In "The Keller Plantation and the Racial Plot of Disability History in the U.S.," Camille S. Owens attends to the "racial occlusions" that underwrite Keller's storied iconicity by refocusing our attention on the untold black labor and Indigenous removal that subtends "the most hegemonic origin story of American disability history." Turning to narrative theories and critical geographies emerging from black and Indigenous studies, including those of Sylvia Wynter, Katherine McKittrick, and Tiffany Lethabo King, Owens centers the landscapes of racial violence that constituted Keller's childhood surrounds and cohered her disabled subjectivity. In doing so, she accentuates the violent irony of white disabled representation as it obfuscates the black and Indigenous life it materially and metaphorically depends on. Owens reads cultural production about Keller's life alongside Keller's own memoir, The Story of My Life, to stake larger claims about the "marginal plots," both narrative and topographic, that have unfolded alongside and underneath the canonical whiteness of disability history. Census reports, land records, newspaper clippings, and interviews with local historians and descendants of the Keller plantation's black laborers, alongside material culture artifacts from the plantation's museum Ivy Green, offer "black and Indigenous counter-archives" that challenge who qualifies as a viable subject in disability history.

G. Jasper Conner's essay similarly challenges the archival and representational limits of disability histories oriented around white subjects. Conner punctures the unmarked whiteness of Deaf cultural history by reorienting readers toward the Black Deaf communities that emerged out of residential schools for deaf and blind African American children in the twentieth century. In "Blind and Deaf Together: Cross-Disability Community at Virginia's Residential School for Black Disabled Youth," Conner argues that a nearly exclusive focus on white residential schools in Deaf history, schools that were largely segregated based on specific impairments, misrepresents the prevalence of cross-disability community among Black deaf and blind youths. Combined schools, a relic of the Jim Crow era intended to reduce state spending on Black life, meant deaf and blind African Americans shared dorms, classrooms, sports teams, and robust social lives. Working with previously unstudied archival records from the Virginia State School alongside oral histories with former residents, Conner highlights the centrality of blind African American children to Black Deaf histories. Advancing scholarship in Black disability history, Conner argues that blind and deaf African American students accessed identity and community that often exceeded specific impairments, gathering around their shared status as Black and disabled.

Like Owens and Conner, Olivia Banner's work directs disability historians toward new lineages that are obscured by an exclusive focus on white disability icons and archives in her essay, "Mental Health vs Mutual Aid: Competing Visions of Care in Black-authored Films in the 1970s." Banner positions two little-known films, Hitch: Portrait of a Black Leader as a Young Man (1970) and Sam, Sam in Harlem (1974) as profound "countervisions" to state-sponsored mental hygiene cinema in the post-WWII era that fomented psychiatric and sociological condemnations of Black "cultures of pathology." Instead, these films illuminated a "vernacular aesthetics of mutual aid" intended to refuse state divestments in Harlem's Black community, and positioned Black cultural production, specifically "community-determined media," as a kind of care work. Mobilizing Sami Schalk's articulation of a distinctly "Black disability politics" that emerged out of 1970s Black health activism, as well as Jina B. Kim's "crip-of-color critique," Banner demonstrates that Black disability media confronted the co-constitution of racism, ableism, and sanism in ways that were distinct from the white-led psychiatric survivors movement. Intervening in disability media studies, Banner amplifies histories of "Black self-determined media," in which Black youths used mass communications to document care practices and combat the pathologization of Black life in their own communities, as a novel expression of "crip-of-color information politics."

In "Wolf Girls and Mechanical Boys: Whiteness and Assimilation in Bruno Bettelheim's Narratives of Autism," Elizabeth Cady Maher furthers this section's commitment to recovering submerged racial histories, this time recovering those obscured by autism's contemporary associations with white, middle-class masculinity. Maher foregrounds the diagnostic labors of psychologist and Jewish concentration camp survivor Bruno Bettelheim as he developed multiple narratives of autism's etiologies and symptomatic expression, all of which were distinctly racialized. Revisiting seminal texts in Bettelheim's oeuvre, Maher identifies several racial prototypes for childhood autism, including Kamala the "wolf girl" of Midnapore India and Joey the (white) American "mechanical boy," that presented a continuum of in/curability premised on their capacity for racial assimilation. Maher argues that Bettelheim instrumentalized his "feral children," representing a primitive, feminized, and animal "inhumanity," as foils that positioned "mechanical" inhumanity as comparatively salvageable given its alignment with white, masculine, technocratic modernity. "Wolf Girls and Mechanical Boys" also connects Bettelheim's therapeutic emphasis on racial assimilability to his Jewish identity and Ashkenazi Jewish efforts to avoid religious persecution by emulating Christian whiteness. Maher argues that Bettelheim universalized stereotypes of the pathological "mechanistic Jew" by mapping them on to the autistic "mechanical boy" and asserting his curability, and thus assimilability, into white humanity.

Calli Micale offers conceptual revisions of trends in contemporary Christian thought that associate the positive revaluation of intellectual disability, as a spiritual gift rather than evidence of sin, as a straightforward path to liberatory theology. Micale grounds her skepticism toward present-day recuperations of intellectual disability in Christian theology in her rhetorical analysis of nineteenth-century Protestant defenses of chattel slavery. In "Signs of Grace: Protestant Pro-Slavery Rhetoric of Disability in the 19th Century," Micale analyzes public sermons and religious tracts to show how positive assessments of black "simple-mindedness," as an expression of open-heartedness and piety, were instrumentalized to soothe Christian guilt and position the plantation as a pedagogical site for black spiritual liberation. Whether enslaved people were appraised negatively, as monstrously "depraved Africans," or positively, as childlike "faithful servants," both were premised on presumptions of imbecility that rationalized racial subordination as the only path to black salvation. Citing critiques issued by Julie Avril Minich and Roderick Ferguson about the perils of inclusion in neoliberal states and institutions, Micale argues that positive language about disability does not ensure liberation or justice for disabled people. Instead, positive evaluations of disability can foster political complacency in inclusive Christian congregations, particularly in their failure to address systemic disability injustices beyond their rehabilitative rhetoric.

Closing this section on revisitations and revisions, Faye M. Fraser evaluates the affordances and limitations of Jasbir Puar's oft-cited biopolitical theory of racial debilitation in "On the Question of Soul Wounding: Secular Debility, Biopolitics, and Canada's Right to Maim." Contending with Canada's ongoing settler colonial project and its "sanctioned maiming" of Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) communities in Northwestern Ontario, Fraser argues that the intrinsic secularity of Western biopolitical theory cannot exhaustively assess the spiritual injuries inflicted by the Canadian settler regime. Fraser adopts postcolonial and anticolonial frameworks as well as Indigenous theories of trauma, like Janice Acoose's "dis-membering" and Eduardo Duran's "soul-wounding," to elucidate the scale and scope of anti-Indigenous debilitation. 16 Fraser urges us to theorize beyond secular-biopolitics when conceptualizing the social determinants of Indigenous sickness and health, so that we might arrive at an "anti-colonial disciplinary ethics'' capacious enough to combat "transcendental violence" against Canada's First Nations people.

Section III: Survivance & New Directions

The contributions in this section look to the past to seek new pathways forward. They return to canonical works of literature or to embodied, situated knowledge(s) to speak to disability justice as practice. The contributions in this section expand foundational disability studies interventions such as David T. Mitchell and Sharon Snyder's Narrative Prosthesis. 17 They build on and are conversant with recent critical interventions such as Jasbir Puar's theorizing of debility and identity and assemblage in The Right to Maim and Terrorist Assemblages, Liat Ben-Moshe's work on disability and carcerality in Decarcerating Disability, and Sami Schalk's troubling of disability and metaphor in Bodyminds Reimagined. 18 Together, the essays in this section demand that we center the disability knowledge generated at the intersections of race and disability in transnational contexts, and use these epistemologies to suggest new directions for disability justice.

The section begins with Micah Khater's essay, which bridges the historical interventions of the previous sections with the new modes of reading for disability and new methods of disability justice organizing theorized by the remaining articles in the special issue. Micah Khater uncovers a new archive of Black writing and theorizing of disability in handwritten letters authored by incarcerated women, as well as state punishment ledgers and prison medical files. Khater situates these women's stories and rhetorical uses of disability in conversations about disability as metaphor and material by reading the discourse in these letters as both "representational and literal." Micah locates in these letters, written in early 20th century Alabama, insights into the ongoing imbrication of state, labor, bodies, and violence in the afterlives of chattel slavery. Khater is interested in how these women used illness, disability, and the act of narrativizing, telling stories, "as a strategy of refusal and escape" from undesired, exploited labor. Their writing revalues the designation of disabled as useless; "uselessness" to the state recuses one from labor exploitation and therefore mobilizes disability as a means of refusal and survivance.

Sarah Orsak's work also discusses the afterlives of chattel slavery through her analysis of Thylias Moss's prose poem Slave Moth. In Orsak's work, literate enslaved Black women complicate our understanding of able-bodiedness and disability. Orsak close-reads the main character's experience as an enslaved woman who can read, revealing that whereas literacy is an ability in a literate society, for enslaved people, literacy often served as a disability and was, quite literally, disabling if caught. Moss's work allows Orsak to trouble conversations on disability and normalcy, pointing out that racial slavery positioned what we consider normal and able as unnatural and socially, as well as potentially physically, debilitating for the enslaved. Orsak names this "abnormality-ability." Orsak's work further underscores how whiteness is conflated with able-bodiedness and so normalized and disability is rendered abnormal. In other words, the fungibility of Blackness is necessary to how able-bodiedness as white and normal are constellated.

While Orsak uses Moss's narrative to add race as a necessary analytic in critical disability studies theorizing of normalcy, Liz Bowen's contributions demonstrate how not only non-whites have been rendered abnormal despite in/capacity but also how non-human animals are subjected to the same debilitating racial logics. Bowen returns to and re-reads the works of celebrated Harlem Renaissance writers Jean Toomer and Zora Neale Hurston as unexamined locations of disability theory. Toomer and Hurston "show that a capacious, ecologically oriented disability politics is central to the history of Black cultural production." Within Toomer's and Hurston's fiction, Bowen locates critiques of racial capitalism that reorients larger conversations about the innovative aesthetic practices of both authors, but also discourse about racial violence, debility, environmentalism, and human/non-human relations.

Keish Kim challenges us to take seriously Afro-diasporic religious beliefs that inform how Black people interpret disability and violence. Kim enters conversations about debilitating colonial violence to draw our attention not only to the disabling violence of war and conflict but also to the slow violence that occurs in times of seeming peace. Kim does so by tracing syphilis among a family of poor, Black Dominican women in Nelly Rosario's Song of the Water Saints (2002). Kim demonstrates how a more nuanced approach to race and disability is needed in postcolonial theory and underscores the necessity of acknowledging culturally-specific epistemologies of the body. Similarly, Ally Day argues that we need different ways of reading for disability in Black, queer activism, especially if we are to locate the cross-coalition activism of certain Black queer figures. Day focuses specifically on Audre Lorde, Essex Hemphill, and Joseph Beam, contending that we need to read their works palimpsestically, which requires reading through overlaying identities to reveal the entanglements of race, illness, and disability. Palempsestic reading links these entanglements within the social contexts of these writers and the activist movements in which they participate. Day contends that this new method of reading reveals new genealogies of crip activism.

The last two essays in this section underscore this special issue's commitment to access-centered praxis and pedagogy. Both "Cross-Coalitional Anti-Racist and Anti-Ableist Movements?: Building on Maroon/Fugitive Knowledges and Global South Epistemologies" and "(Re)centering the Knowledge of Disabled Activists, Poverty Scholars, and Community Scholars of Color to Transform Education" demand that disability studies reorient itself to the epistemologies of disabled people outside of academia. Alexis Padilla demonstrates how counterstory reveals narratives of disabled Latinx people in the Global North and Global South that have been absent in formal academic discourse. Padilla proposes LatDisCrit studies as a possible way to fill that want. Moreover, Padilla theorizes quilombo–maroon communities formed by the enslaved–as a mechanism of cross-cultural-ethnic-racial coalition building. "(Re)centering the Knowledge of Disabled Activists, Poverty Scholars, and Community Scholars of Color to Transform Education" is an exercise of coalitional knowledge building, through a duoethnography, a method of collaborative, situated knowledge-making that eschews the hierarchy created in traditional academic-led autoethnography. Using this method, Emily Nusbaum, Lydia X. Z. Brown, Brianna Dickens, Tiny (Lisa) Gray-Garcia, Saili S. Kulkarni, Lateef McLeod, Amanda L. Miller, and Holly Pearson stage a discussion about who should and how to better incorporate disability, poverty, and race into teacher training and conversations around pedagogy.

May the interventions seeded in this special issue embolden more disciplinary disruption that unequivocally aligns disability studies with historical and contemporary struggles for racial and decolonial liberation. We welcome all the objects, origins, and (re)orientations to come.

Editor's Note: Palestinian Liberation and the Ethical Horizon of Disability Studies

At the time of this writing, over 11,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel's war on Gaza. Approximately 27,500 Palestinians have sustained injuries amidst infrastructural collapse and Israel's targeted attacks on Gaza's healthcare system, while 1.6 million Palestinians have been forcibly expelled from their homes without the promise of return. 19 As scholars of race, colonialism, empire, and disability, we are primed to see Israel's colonization, occupation, present ethnic cleansing of and expression of genocidal intent toward the Palestinian people as an ongoing process of mass debilitation. These processes render disabled Palestinians disproportionately vulnerable while confounding obvious distinctions between disability and able-bodiedness.20 Israel, like most colonizing powers before it, has attributed intrinsic inferiority, animality, and subhumanity to the Palestinian people, adopting the reinforcing grammars of racism and ableism to justify their occupation. 21 Jasbir Puar, Laura Jordan Jaffee, and Yasmine Snounu remind us that under siege and occupation, all Palestinian life is vulnerable to injury, whether as a result of bombings, military snipers, denied medical permits, indefinite incarcerations in solitary confinement, or food insecurity. 22 Accessibility is routed through the geopolitical signatures of occupation, land carved by checkpoints and border walls, and healthcare rationed according to the calculated asymmetries of an apartheid state that intrinsically privileges Israeli over Palestinian life. The compounding violence of militarism and capitalism also makes the mass-disablement of Palestinians profitable. Occupied Palestine is a testing ground for the advanced weapons systems and surveillance technology that arms the global weapons industry, of which the U.S. is a primary buyer and supplier, and a training outpost for the same law enforcement officers who police Black Americans and patrol the U.S./Mexico border. 23

For disabled Palestinians in Gaza today, Israel's escalating violence since October 7th is especially debilitating. Israel's sixteen-year blockade on Gaza has already restricted imports of assistive devices, like walkers, hearing aids, and wheelchairs, as well as prostheses and medications. 24 Existing privations of the apartheid state are amplified under the current siege, heightening disabled precarity in Gaza. 25 Palestinians with physical and sensory disabilities are especially disadvantaged in Israeli airstrikes that demand quick evacuations on already damaged roads. Power outages make it impossible to refrigerate essential medications, power mobility devices and elevators, and communicate using sign language after dark. 26 Medical rationing in overburdened hospitals means cancer patients are discharged and dialysis is discontinued, while Palestinian doctors are forced to ration resources according to a calculus of "best chances" that deprioritizes the lives of those who are already disabled or sick. 27

We believe that disability justice is only possible in a decolonized Palestine. We know that the production of disability in Palestine is the direct outcome of colonial violence and Palestinians' necessary resistance to their own subjugation. We affirm and are deeply indebted to scholarship in postcolonial disability studies, represented brilliantly by several authors in this special issue, that fiercely model new disability analytics for grasping the non-incidental re/production of disability in the global South. 28 These are analytics that editors of a 2007 special section on "The State of Disability in Israel/Palestine" did not have, while explicitly naming this gap and articulating a desire for the disciplinary reorientations that postcolonial disability studies affords us today. 29 This scholarship offers a methodological guide for confronting the non-innocent practices of racial debilitation in Palestine and situating this confrontation within the purview of disability studies. In doing so, we are able to cultivate models of theorizing and historicizing disability that are less habituated to intellectual formations and political movements in the global North, refusing disability studies' instrumentalization as "a handmaiden to US empire." 30 In keeping with the intellectual aims and political commitments of this special issue, which deeply resonate with those that animate our scholarship otherwise, our editorial team affirms that decolonization everywhere is a matter of concern for disability studies and inseparable from disability justice.

We write in solidarity with Dr. Samah Jabr, consultant psychiatrist and head of the Mental Health Unit in the Palestinian Ministry of Health, who condemns the eagerness of international medical NGOs to fund the mental health system in the West Bank while shying away from taking a political stance on Israel's apartheid regime in Palestine. 31 We write in solidarity with the Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children, an organization that has served Deaf Palestinians in Gaza since 1992. 32 We write in solidarity with the "Disability Under Siege" project, which facilitates trauma-informed educational and creative opportunities for children with disabilities in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, and Jordan. 33 We write in solidarity with disabled organizers, artists, and content creators who are amplifying the voices of Palestinians, materially supporting disabled Palestinians, and publicly aligning their disability activism with the pursuit of a free Palestine. 34 We write in solidarity with students and faculty everywhere who have assumed great personal risk, facing doxing, censure, and professional retribution, to address the complicity of their institutions and their governments in conspiring with Israel's genocidal actions. 35 And we write solidarity with Jewish academics, culture workers, and organizers who refuse their conscription in Palestinian genocide, reject the false equation of anti-semitism with anti-Zionism, and affirm the struggle for Palestinian liberation as a movement toward collective liberation, in which no one's "freedom" is premised on the unfreedom of another. 36

As we deliver this special issue to the far-flung corners of the disability studies universe, we invite our readers to think about the ethical inheritances that we adopt when we reread disability studies through intellectual genealogies that center Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian/American and Pacific Islander, and Arab and Middle Eastern life. If we can readily accept that histories of racial subjugation and liberation have invoked and remade the meaning of "dis/ability," that these histories matter to disability studies, how might we cultivate the same intellectual and moral clarity when assessing our field's obligation to critique and condemn settler-colonial debilitation today? How can we listen for the present-day ethical imperatives that emerge when we disassemble disability studies' attachment to white life? While the words shared in this editor's note are those of the editorial team alone, we take great pride in publishing 22 articles that help us address these urgent questions with unrelenting rigor and sensitivity.

If you read this special issue and you feel compelled to assign these articles in your classes or cite them in your research, we urge you to do more than that. There is a tendency in academia to rely on the safe distance of analytical retrospection - condemning racial violence only after it happens. We encourage our readers to consider the complicity of this distance, the harm that comes from refusing to speak and write in the present tense. Do not let the diversification of your syllabi or the decolonization of your scholarship become an intellectual exercise devoid of political commitment. As scholars of color writing from Black studies, Latinx studies, Asian American studies, and disability studies, we honor the revolutionary ancestry of our fields and the communities that birthed them when we recognize that our fight is bound up in Palestinian freedom. In the spirit of agitation and refusal inherited from our interdisciplines, we encourage you to extend the ethical horizons of disability studies toward decolonial struggle today and every tomorrow. 37


  1. This quotation is from Jina B. Kim, "Toward a Crip-of-Color Critique: Thinking with Minich's "Enabling Whom?" Lateral 6, no.1 (15 May 2017), https://doi.org/10.25158/L6.1.14. Kim, in this essay, references Julie Avril Minich, "Enabling Whom? Critical Disability Studies Now," Lateral: Journal of The Cultural Studies Association 5, no. 1 (Spring 2016), https://doi.org/10.25158/L5.1.9. For further reading on the concept of "crip-of-color-critique" see Jina B. Kim and Sami Schalk, "Reclaiming the Radical Politics of Self-Care: A Crip-of-Color Critique," South Atlantic Quarterly 120, no.2 (4 April 2021): 325-42. https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-8916074
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  2. For further reading, from an Asian Americanist perspective, on "subjectless critique" see the foundational text: Kandice Chuh, Imagine Otherwise : On Asian Americanist Critique (Durham, NC : Duke University Press, 2003). For more on "subjectlessness" from a queer theory perspective see David L. Eng and Jasbir K. Puar. "Introduction: Left of Queer," Social Text 38, no.4 (145) (1 December 2020): 1-24. https://doi.org/10.1215/01642472-8680414; For additional texts on antiblackness as a structural antagonism that circumscribes and exceeds black embodiment, see Frank Wilderson III, Red, White & Black: Cinema and the Structure of U.S. Antagonisms (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010), https://doi.org/10.1215/9780822391715; Jared Sexton, "The social life of social death: On afropessimism and black optimism," in Time, Temporality and Violence in International Relations: (De)Fatalizing the Present, Forging Radical Alternatives, edited by Anna M. Agathangelou and Kyle D. Killian (London and New York: Routledge, 2016), https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315883700-4
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  3. Cristina Visperas, "The Able-Bodied Slave," Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies 13, no.1: 100. https://doi.org/10.3828/jlcds.2019.6
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  4. Sami Schalk, Black Disability Politics (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2022). https://doi.org/10.1515/9781478027003
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  5. Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Golden Gulag : Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2007). In this text, Gilmore defines racism as "the state-sanctioned or extralegal production and exploitation of group-differentiated vulnerability to premature death" (28).
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  6. Roderick A Ferguson, Aberrations in Black : Toward a Queer of Color Critique, Critical American Studies Series (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2004).
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  7. Jina B. Kim and Sami Schalk, "Reclaiming the Radical Politics of Self-Care: A Crip-of-Color Critique," South Atlantic Quarterly 120, no.2 (4 April 2021): 325-42. https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-8916074
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  8. See Iyko Day, "Being or Nothingness: Indigeneity, Antiblackness, and Settler Colonial Critique," Critical Ethnic Studies 1 no.2 (2015): 102–21. https://doi.org/10.5749/jcritethnstud.1.2.0102; Tiffany Lethabo King, The Black Shoals : Offshore Formations of Black and Native Studies (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2019); Juliana Pegues, Space-Time Colonialism : Alaska's Indigenous and Asian Entanglements. Critical Indigeneities (Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 2021), https://doi.org/10.5149/northcarolina/9781469656182.001.0001
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  9. See Lisa Lowe, The Intimacies of Four Continents (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015), https://doi.org/10.1515/9780822375647 for an explication of how economic liberalism turned on the predatory capitalist exploitation of Asian labor and how Asian racialization is inseparable from the realities of Black enslavement and their subsequent presumptive though not actual freedom.
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  10. Some of the works engaged by our authors include: Hortense J. Spillers, "Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: An American Grammar Book," Diacritics 17 no.2 (1987): 65. https://doi.org/10.2307/464747; Roderick A. Ferguson, Aberrations in Black : Toward a Queer of Color Critique. Critical American Studies (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2004); Saidiya V. Hartman, Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-making in Nineteenth-Century America (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press: 1997); Zakiyyah Iman Jackson, Becoming Human : Matter and Meaning in an Antiblack World. Sexual cultures. (New York, NY: New York University Press, 2020); Tiffany Lethabo King, The Black Shoals : Offshore Formations of Black and Native Studies. Duke University Press, 2019); Sylvia Wynter, "Novel and History, Plot and Plantation," Savacou, no.5 (June 1971): 95-102. https://trueleappress.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/wynter-novel-and-history-plot-and-plantation-first-version-1971.pdf; Katherine McKittrick, Demonic Grounds: Black Women and Cartographies of Struggle (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2007).
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  11. Claire Jean Kim, 1999. "The Racial Triangulation of Asian Americans," Politics and Society 27 (1): 105–38. https://doi.org/10.1177/0032329299027001005
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  12. See: Lisa Lowe, The Intimacies of Four Continents (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015) and Iyko Day, Alien Capital : Asian Racialization and the Logic of Settler Colonial Capitalism (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2016).
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  13. Eunjung Kim, Curative violence: rehabilitating disability, gender, and sexuality in modern Korea (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2017).
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  14. Chris Bell, "Introducing White Disability Studies: A Modest Proposal," In The Disability Studies Reader, edited by Lennard J. Davis, 2nd ed. (New York, NY: Routledge, 2006): 275-82.
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  15. Cristina Visperas, "The Able-Bodied Slave," Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies 13, no.1: 100. https://doi.org/10.3828/jlcds.2019.6
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  16. Janice Acoose, Iskwewak Kah' Ki Yaw Ni Wahkomakanak: Neither Indian Princesses nor Easy Squaws, 2nd ed. (Toronto, CA: Women's Press, 2016).; Eduardo Duran, Healing the Soul Wound: Counseling with American Indians and Other Native Peoples (New York, NY: Teachers College Press, 2006).
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  17. David T. Mitchell and Sharon L. Snyder, Narrative Prosthesis: Disability and the Dependencies of Discourse (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2001). https://doi.org/10.3998/mpub.11523
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  18. Jasbir K. Puar, The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2017).; Jasbir K. Puar, Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2007),; Liat Ben-Moshe, Decarcerating Disability: Deinstitutionalization and Prison Abolition (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2020), https://doi.org/10.5749/j.ctv10vm2vw; Sami Schalk, Bodyminds Reimagined: (Dis)ability, Race, and Gender in Black Women's Speculative Fiction (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2018), https://doi.org/10.1215/9780822371830
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  19. "Delivering Aid to Gaza," Refugees International (17 November 2023), https://www.refugeesinternational.org/reports-briefs/delivering-aid-to-gaza/#:~:text=Hamas%20has%20meanwhile%20continued%20to,with%20nowhere%20else%20to%20go.; "As Israel's war on Gaza rages, humanitarian crisis worsens," Al Jazeera (15 November 2023), https://www.aljazeera.com/gallery/2023/11/15/as-israels-war-on-gaza-rages-humanitarian-crisis-worsens;
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  20. Israeli American historian of genocide Omer Bartov has shown restraint in calling the bombardment and attacks on Gaza by the Israeli military "genocide." However, as one of the world's most prominent historians of the Holocaust, he cautions that "there is an indication of war crimes happening in Gaza, potentially also crimes against humanity" and that should military operations continue this "may become ethnic cleansing" and that this "may become genocide." While we may put pressure on the retrospective register through which determinations of genocide can be made, what is clear is that intent has been established from Israeli military officials in the use of animalizing language and plans to move the population of Gaza out of Gaza, which according to Bartov at least partially shows "a genocidal intent" ("'Clear Intention of Ethnic Cleansing': Israeli Holocaust Scholar Omer Bartov Warns of Genocide in Gaza." n.d. Democracy Now! Accessed November 28, 2023. https://www.democracynow.org/2023/11/10/bartov_genocide_apartheid.) Additional prominent scholars have been more blunt in their analysis of the situation. For instance, Raz Segal, the program director of genocide studies at Stockton University, describes the situation as a "textbook case of genocide" ("Is What's Happening in Gaza a Genocide? Experts Weigh In | TIME." n.d. Accessed November 28, 2023. https://time.com/6334409/is-whats-happening-gaza-genocide-experts/.) As authors of this special issue we understand the hesitation to label an ongoing event with deterministic labels like "genocide." For instance, in the same issue of TIME, Brad Kiernan, the director of the Cambodian Genocide Program at Yale University, writes: "Israel's retaliatory bombing of Gaza, however indiscriminate, and its current ground attacks, despite the numerous civilian casualties they are causing among Gaza's Palestinian population, do not meet the very high threshold that is required to meet the legal definition of genocide." It should be noted that all these scholars are working from the definition of genocide from The U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide which defines it as "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such." The acts enumerated include "killing members of the group, causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group, deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part, imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group, and/or forcibly transferring children of the group to another group." Despite working from a similar definitional frame, these scholars come to different conclusions. Nevertheless, we observe a clear intent to inflict mass injury and death and to displace and cleanse Gazans from their homes and territories.
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  21. See: Laura Jordan Jaffee, "Disrupting Global Disability Frameworks: Settler-Colonialism and the Geopolitics of Disability in Palestine/Israel," Disability & Society 31, no.1 (7 January 2016): 116-130 https://doi.org/10.1080/09687599.2015.1119038.; Sanjana Karanth, "Israeli Defense Minister Announces Siege On Gaza to Fight 'Human Animals," Huffington Post (9 October 2023), https://www.huffpost.com/entry/israel-defense-minister-human-animals-gaza-palestine_n_6524220ae4b09f4b8d412e0a.
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  22. See: Jasbir K. Puar, The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2017); Jasbir K. Puar, "Critical Disability Studies and the Question of Palestine: Toward Decolonizing Disability," in Crip Genealogies, edited by Mel Y. Chen, Alison Kafer, Eunjung Kim, and Julie Avril Minich (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2023): 117-134. https://doi.org/10.1215/9781478023852-005; Laura Jordan Jaffee, "Disrupting Global Disability Frameworks," (2016); Yasmine Snounu, "Apartheid, Disability, and the Triple Matrix of Maiming Palestine," Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice 31, no.4 (9 November 2020): 459-470 https://doi.org/10.1080/10402659.2019.1800930; Yasmine Snounu, Phil Smith, Joe Bishop, "Disability, the Politics of Maiming, and Higher Education in Palestine" Disability Studies Quarterly 39, no.2 (Spring 2019) https://doi.org/10.18061/dsq.v39i2.6381.; Also see: Danya M. Quato, "Introduction: Public Health and the Promise of Palestine," Journal of Palestine Studies 49, no.4 (11 December 2020): 8-26, https://doi.org/10.1525/jps.2020.49.4.8
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  23. See: Antony Lowenstein, "Israel's arms and spyware: Used on Palestinians, sold to the world," Middle East Eye (6 June 2023), https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/israel-arms-industry-palestinians-guinea-pigs; Antony Lowenstein, The Palestine Laboratory: How Israel Exports the Technology of Occupation Around the World (New York, NY: Verso Books, 2023).; Edith Garwood, "With Whom are Many U.S. Police Departments Training? With a Chronic Human Rights Violator - Israel," Amnesty International (25 August 2016), https://www.amnestyusa.org/updates/with-whom-are-many-u-s-police-departments-training-with-a-chronic-human-rights-violator-israel/. ; "From Palestine to Mexico, All the Walls Have Got to Go," U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, https://uscpr.org/activist-resource/from-palestine-to-mexico-all-the-walls-have-got-to-go/.
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  24. Linah Alsaafin and Ruwaida Amer, "People with disabilities not spared by Israel's war machine on Gaza Strip," Al Jazeera (27 October 2023), https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/10/27/people-with-disabilities-not-spared-from-israels-war-machine-on-gaza-strip.
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  25. "Gaza: Israeli Restrictions Harm People with Disabilities: Neglect by Hamas Authorities, Armed Conflict Cause Further Hardship," Human Rights Watch (3 December 2020), https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/12/03/gaza-israeli-restrictions-harm-people-disabilities.
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  26. Linah Alsaafin and Ruwaida Amer, "People with disabilities not spared by Israel's war machine on Gaza Strip," Al Jazeera (27 October 2023), https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/10/27/people-with-disabilities-not-spared-from-israels-war-machine-on-gaza-strip.
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  27. "Gaza Doctor Says Hospitals Have to Choose Who Lives and Who Dies Amid Worsening Humanitarian Crisis," Democracy Now (31 October 2023), https://www.democracynow.org/2023/10/31/israel_gaza_ground_invasion. ; Lina Alsaafin and Ruwaida Amer, "Out of medicines, care: Gaza's cancer patients face death amid Israel war," Al Jazeera (14 November 2023), https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/11/14/out-of-medicines-care-gazas-cancer-patients-face-death-amid-israel-war.
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  28. For further reading on postcolonial disability studies, this is one citational lineage to follow: Helen Meekosha, "Decolonising disability: thinking and acting globally," Disability & Society 26, no.6 (9 September 2011) https://doi.org/10.1080/09687599.2011.602860; Shaun Grech and Karen Soldatic (eds.), Disability in the Global South: The Critical Handbook. International Perspectives on Social Policy, Administration, and Practice. (Springer: 2016), https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-42488-0; Clare Barker and Stuart Murray, "Disabling Postcolonialism: Global Disability Cultures and Democratic Criticism," Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies 4, no.3 (24 October 2010): 219 - 236, https://doi.org/10.3828/jlcds.2010.20; Jina B. Kim, " "People of the Apokalis": Spatial Disability and the Bhopal Disaster," Disability Studies Quarterly 34, no.3 (4 June 2014) https://doi.org/10.18061/dsq.v34i3.3795; Julian Anesi, "Enduring the Storm: Dealing with Mental Disabilities in Oceania," Disability Studies Quarterly, 41, no.4 (21 January 2022) https://doi.org/10.18061/dsq.v41i4.8457
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  29. See: Liat Ben Moshe and Sumi Culligan, "The State of Disability in Israel/Palestine: An Introduction," Disability Studies Quarterly 27, no.4 (30 September 2007), https://doi.org/10.18061/dsq.v27i4.41
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  30. Puar, "Critical Disability Studies and the Question of Palestine," Crip Genealogies, edited by Mel Y. Chen, Alison Kafer, Eunjung Kim, and Julie Avril Minich (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2023): 119. https://doi.org/10.1215/9781478023852-005
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  31. Samah Jabr, "Professional Solidarity with Palestine: a mental health imperative," openDemocracy (4 December 2018), https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/north-africa-west-asia/professional-solidarity-with-palestine-mental-health-imperative/; For more on the limits of Western biomedical trauma and psychiatric frameworks to understand the psyches of occupied and colonized peoples, see: Didier Fassin and Richard Rechtman, The Empire of Trauma: An Inquiry into the Condition of Victimhood (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009) and Lara Sheehi and Stephen Sheehi, Psychoanalysis Under Occupation: Practicing Resistance in Palestine (London, UK: Routledge, 2023).
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  32. Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children, https://www.atfaluna.org/en
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  33. Disability Under Siege Project, https://disabilityundersiege.org/our-project/.
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  34. This list is not comprehensive. It reflects our geopolitical positioning in the U.S. and the particularities of our communities and social media algorithms. BUT we want to uplift the work of Project LETS, https://projectlets.org; People's Hub, https://www.peopleshub.org; the Black Emotional & Mental Health Collective, https://beam.community; Kevin Gotkin at Crip News, https://cripnews.substack.com/p/crip-news-v104; Ezra Benus and Noah Benus of Brothers Sick, "Alchemy of the Ill," featured on Instagram @ezrabenus on Nov. 6th 2023. https://www.ezrabenus.com and @ezrabenus (Instagram); the Abolition and Disability Justice Collective, "Statement of Solidarity with Palestine from the ADJC," (20 May 2021), https://abolitionanddisabilityjustice.com/2021/05/20/statement-of-solidarity-with-palestine-from-the-adjc/; and Sins Invalid, "Disability Justice for Palestine, ASL Version," (6 August 2014), https://www.sinsinvalid.org/news-1/dj-for-palestine-asl.; Imani Barbarin @crutches_and_spice (Instagram), Clean Air Club @clean.air.club (Instagram), Jezz Chung @jezzchung (Instagram), Ali, Disability Advocate and Storyteller @seated.perspectives (Instagram), Fat Rose @fatlibink (Instagram).
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  35. Eren Orbey, "The Anguished Fallout from a Pro-Palestinian Letter at Harvard," The New Yorker (20 October 2023), https://www.newyorker.com/news/dispatch/the-anguished-fallout-from-a-pro-palestinian-letter-at-harvard; Liset Cruz and Claire Fahy, "Columbia Faces Protests After Suspending 2 Pro-Palestinian Groups," The New York Times (15 November 2023), https://www.nytimes.com/2023/11/15/nyregion/columbia-university-ban-student-groups-israel-hamas-war.html; MEE Staff, "Palestine at the centre of free-speech battle on US campuses, academics say," Middle East Eye (25 August 2023), https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/palestine-centre-free-speech-battle-us-campuses-academics-say; "The Palestine Exception to Free Speech: Censorship, Harassment Intensifies on Campus Amid Gaza War," Democracy Now (27 October 2023), https://www.democracynow.org/2023/10/27/palestine_legal_campus_censorship_ryna_workman; Alex Kane, "A "McCarthyite Backlash" Against Pro-Palestine Speech," JewishCurrents (20 October 2023), https://jewishcurrents.org/a-mccarthyite-backlash-against-pro-palestine-speech.
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  36. We hold great admiration and gratitude for the cross-coalitional organizing of Jewish Voice for Peace, https://www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org, If Not Now, https://www.ifnotnowmovement.org/why-we-organize, in support of a free Palestine. For more on the harmful conflation between anti-Zionism and anti-semitism, see: "A Dangerous Conflation: an open letter from Jewish writers," n+1 (2 November 2023), https://www.nplusonemag.com/online-only/online-only/a-dangerous-conflation/;
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  37. We would like to thank special issue contributor Jiya Pandya for sending us a shareable resource list on Palestine that she co-assembled with Sarah Orsak (also in our special issue!), Jess Cowing, and Lou Tam for their 2023 NWSA panel on "Feminist Disability Futures." Several of these resources are cited here. We are so grateful for their community support in furthering our knowledge base, so that we can share more resources with you.
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12/5/2023: Corrected Mimi Khúc's name.

12/5/2023: Correction made to sentence, "Another centers Kia LaBeija, queer Black Filipina icon, ballroom performer, and artistic tour de force, as a powerful disability theorist and crip cultural producer in her own right."

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