Debilitating Queerness Lecture Series: Robert McRuer, "Queer Austerity and Excess: Cripping the Crisis; or, the Rise of Disability Capitalism"

February 7, 2013
5:00 - 6:30 PM
Ulrich Recital Hall, 1121 Tawes

Cover: Crip TheoryMcRuer's lecture will kick off "Debilitating Queerness," the eleventh annual lecture series in LGBT Studies at Maryland. A reception will follow.

Queer theory in the twenty-first century has focused on a wide range of bodies and minds in a variety of states: failing, wounded, scarred, damaged, infected or infectious, diseased, mad, depressed, or traumatized. Only recently, however, has this focus engaged thickly with disability theory, making a crip turn to what Jasbir Puar describes as “questions of bodily capacity, debility, disability, precarity, and populations.” Debilitating Queerness both highlights and extends this turn. If debility signifies infirmity, feebleness, or frailty, what happens to queerness when it is openly theorized through debility and disability? What might it mean to debilitate queerness? How might such a debilitation be opposed to the compulsory able-bodiedness of mainstream LGBT politics? What other critical projects might it be linked to? Please join us for this illuminating series of conversations.

Robert McRuer is professor and chair of English at the George Washington University. He is author of Crip Theory: Cultural Signs of Queerness and Disability and The Queer Renaissance: Contemporary American Literature and the Reinvention of Lesbian and Gay Identities. He co-edited Desiring Disability: Queer Theory Meets Disability Studies, a special double issue of GLQ, which won the 2003 Best Special Issue Award from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals.

"Debilitatiing Queerness" is organized by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies, a unit in the Office of Undergraduate Studies. For further information, visit

We are grateful to the Office of Undergraduate Studies for its support of the series. Additional sponsors include the Center for Literary and Comparative Studies, the Department of English, the Graduate School, the LGBT Equity Center, and the Office of University Diversity.

For more information contact: Marilee Lindemann (