Robert McRuer

Crip / Queer Theorist

Crip Theory

Cultural Signs of Queerness and Disability

A bold and contemporary discourse of the intersection of disability studies and queer studies

Crip Theory
 attends to the contemporary cultures of disability and queerness that are coming out all over. Both disability studies and queer theory are centrally concerned with how bodies, pleasures, and identities are represented as “normal” or as abject, but Crip Theory is the first book to analyze thoroughly the ways in which these interdisciplinary fields inform each other.

Drawing on feminist theory, African American and Latino/a cultural theories, composition studies, film and television studies, and theories of globalization and counter-globalization, Robert McRuer articulates the central concerns of crip theory and considers how such a critical perspective might impact cultural and historical inquiry in the humanities. Crip Theory puts forward readings of the Sharon Kowalski story, the performance art of Bob Flanagan, and the journals of Gary Fisher, as well as critiques of the domesticated queerness and disability marketed by the Millennium March, or Bravo TV’s Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. McRuer examines how dominant and marginal bodily and sexual identities are composed, and considers the vibrant ways that disability and queerness unsettle and re-write those identities in order to insist that another world is possible.

ISBN: 9780814757123


"Engaging, expansive, and generous."
Sex Roles
"McRuer charts new intersections for disability studies, queer studies, and American studies. His work is [at its] most vertiginous and rich . . . as he moves swiftly from cinema to street gangs to coming out Crip."
American Quarterly
"The members of the Committee were especially impressed by McRuers original intervention in the area of queer studies, one that not only sheds light on the important new area of disability studies, but brings it into conversation with a variety of disciplinary perspectives, from composition studies to performance art. McRuers book combines the public and the private work of queer studies in surprisingly new ways."
Ed Madden, Gay and Lesbian Caucus for the MLA
Important and significant for its attempt to find the common ground between disability studies and queer studies. This deftly written and very readable book will appeal to a wide range of readers who are increasingly fascinated by the biocultural interplay between the body, sexuality, gender, and social identity."
Lennard Davis, author of Bending Over Backwards
"A compelling case that queer and disabled identities, politics, and cultural logics are inexorably intertwined, and that queer and disability theory need one another…. Makes clear that no cultural analysis is complete without attention to the politics of bodily ability and alternative corporealities."
Elizabeth Freeman, author of The Wedding Complex
"A wonderful combination of humor, theory, intellectual, and personal insights . . . A valuable and well-written study."
Disability Studies Quarterly


Crip Theory Italian Translation
Reprinted as Teoria Crip: Segni culturali di queerness e disabilità. Translated into Italian by Vale Baldioli, Beatrice Gusmano, and Matu d’Epifanio. Bologna: Odoya, 2023.
Crip Theory Spanish Translation
Reprinted as Teoría Crip: Signos culturales de lo queer y de la discapacidad. Translated into Spanish by Javier Sáez del Álamo. Madrid: Kaótica Libros, 2021
Finalist for a 2007 Lambda Literary Award in LGBT Studies
Winner of the 2007 Alan Bray Memorial Book Award
By the GL/Q Caucus of the Modern Language Association
December 9
Crip Theory Publication
Crip Theory the greatest and most renknown book is published.

Other Books


Sex & Disabilty

The title of this collection of essays, Sex and Disability, unites two terms that the popular imagination often regards as incongruous. The major texts in sexuality studies, including queer theory, rarely mention disability, and foundational texts in disability studies do not discuss sex in much detail.

A Cultural History of Disability

How has our understanding and treatment of disability evolved in Western culture? How has it been represented and perceived in different social and cultural conditions?

Crip Times

Disability, Globalization, and Resistance

Queer Renaissance

Contemporary American Literature and the Reinvention of Lesbian and Gay Identities