Crip Theory and Mad Studies: Intersections and Points of Departure
The experiences of crip and mad people—as well as the disciplinary homes of crip theory and mad studies—have rarely been brought together in any synthesised manner. In this article, I bring crip theory and mad studies together to explore the similarities, intersections, and points of departure. The article starts by exploring the similar life experiences between crip and mad bodies, including: familial isolation; shame, guilt, and essentialism; stereotypes and discrimination; experiences and rates of violence; the power of diagnostic labels; and, passing and ‘coming out’. The discussion then moves to explore the theoretical overlaps between crip theory and mad studies, including: (strategic) essentialism vs constructionism; opposition to norms; subversion and transgression as political tools; and, the problematisation of binaries. The article then meditates on the question of combining these two schools of thought to help forge a collective politics, and speculates about the political methodologies of cripping and maddening dialogues.