Crip Technoscience
Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience

Edited by Kelly Fritsch, Aimi Hamraie, Mara Mills, and David Serlin

We invite submissions to a peer-reviewed themed section of Catalyst on the topic of “Crip Technoscience” in order to bring critical feminist perspectives to the study of disability, science, and technology, as well as meaningfully intervene in political debates related to emerging technologies, treatments, and practices of access, design, health, and enhancement.

Feminist technoscience studies charts the active production of scientific knowledge and technological worlds through the entanglement of material, social, political, economic, and historical forces, investigating everything from reproduction to race to refrigerators. While not always engaging with the concept of “technoscience,” scholars of critical, feminist, and crip disability studies often build on the foundational claim of disability studies that natural and built environments are constructed rather than given, offering a critical perspective on the ways science and technology shape the expression, enactment, or elimination of disability, impairment, and illness. Although a growing number of scholars take part in the emergent field of crip and feminist technoscience studies, these engagements are rarely recognized as constituting their own field of study. This special themed section of a forthcoming issue of Catalyst maps some of the central nodes of the field of crip technoscience.

We foreground crip theory as that which marks disability as a desirable and generative social, political, and material phenomenon, countering normative expectations for embodiments, behaviors, and onto-epistemologies. We also mark crip theory as a critical study of norms – including the norms produced by disability studies itself – investigating how such norms get produced, circulate, and are resisted. Through crip theory, we emphasize the mobilization of difference and embodiment, and we seek to engage rather than eschew technoscience, politicizing the relationships, activisms, and products of technoscientific practices. We ask: how can crip technoscience highlight the ways that disability, impairment, chronic conditions, illness, madness, Deafness, neurodiversity (among other crip ways of being) shape our practices, ontologies, and epistemologies? This themed section seeks to feature the ways in which a multiplicity of bodily forms and modes of mobility shape knowing, making, practicing, resisting, and embracing technoscience.

As both disability and science and technology are deeply embedded within the neoliberalization of the life sciences and biotechnology sectors and entangled within the development and proliferation of war, violence, imperialism, and colonialism, we seek work that investigates technoscientific practices emerging out of military-sponsored research and embedded within economies of neoliberal risk, violence, and population governance that impacts our shared social and cultural understandings of disability, ability, health, and illness. We are also interested in critical theoretical and practical frameworks that effectively challenge normative categories of able-bodiedness, health, whiteness, and privilege, by engaging actively with the technoscientific productions of difference as informed by intersectional histories of ability, race and ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality. Possible themes of accepted papers might include:

  • Disability, illness, impairment, madness, Deafness, neurodiversity, chronic conditions
  • Crip onto-epistemologies
  • Ecologies, environments, intra-species relations, resource extraction, and disability
  • Toxicity, waste disposal, chemical exposure/relations, environmental racism
  • Drugs, pharmaceuticals
  • Neuropolitics
  • Immunity, Virality, Epidemics
  • Trans-ability
  • Debility in the context of colonialism, imperialism, enslavement
  • Health, hygiene, healthism
  • Accessibility and critical engagements with the concept of “access”
  • Critical and Interrogative Design
  • Cyborgs, Posthumanism, Transhumanism, Hybridity, Enhancement
  • Crip Digital Media and Humanities Affect
  • Metrics, standardization
  • Norms, normalization, medicalization
  • Bioethics
  • War, militarism, violence
  • Disability Studies and Science and Technology Studies

We invite both scholarly articles and shorter, experimental contributions that creatively and critically investigate crip technoscience. Interdisciplinary research and co-authored papers are particularly welcome. See the Catalyst website for suggestions and policies for possible formats.

To be considered for inclusion in this themed section, please send an extended abstract (500-1000 words) plus a short bio (max. 200 words) to Kelly Fritsch (kelly.fritsch@utoronto.ca) by September 15, 2017. Selected scholars will be invited to submit fully developed papers to Catalyst via the Journal’s online submissions portal by January 15, 2018. Selected submissions will be published pending peer review.