Composing Disability: Crip Politics and the Crisis of Culture
In 2016, Oxford Dictionaries named “post-truth” as Word of the Year, putting forward an adjective “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” The “post-truth” era in part marked the emergence of a new and global authoritarianism evident around the world. It also marked a moment in which the neoliberal consensus, itself no stranger to evasions of the truth, was in crisis, from Brazil to the United Kingdom, from France to South Korea, from Mexico to Spain, and of course the United States. The fracturing of the neoliberal consensus has happened on the left but—especially with the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency—has consolidated even more on the right, even if the extreme racism, nationalism, and protectionism of the new authoritarianism generally masks an even deeper entrenchment of a global austerity politics that protects global finance and sustains neoliberal business as usual. What might disability politics, disability arts, and disability studies look like in this “post-truth” era or in other eras in which the term might resonate? Does the “post-” in “post-truth” invite us to interrogate the making and breaking of history, and of time itself? What is the relationship between alternative facts and speculative fictions? How have crip bodies, minds, and behaviors been caught up cultural crises across time or space? How have disability politics and theory always contended with ableist evasions of basic facts connected to disabled lives, experiences, knowledges? Conversely, in what ways does the new authoritarianism present decidedly new challenges for crip politics and theory? Composing Disability 2018 seeks to address these questions.