Designed to amplify and archive narratives frequently erased in official accounts of faculty life, this article centers a Latina feminist testimonio approach in its personal examination of mentally disabled faculty members and crip time, or the unique temporalities experienced by disabled individuals and the temporal strategies that they purposefully deploy. The analysis specifically focuses on mentally disabled faculty who are multiply marginalized, or those who often go “thrice unseen” within neoliberal US academia. It is framed throughout by a series of personal observations regarding the singular characteristics of crip time as it is lived by the author, herself a mentally disabled faculty member. Building on the scholarship of disability, queer, and ethnic studies scholars, it explores fraught concepts such as the pressure to pass for neurotypical, societal expectations regarding marriage and reproduction, academic collegiality, and the politics of workplace disclosure. The article closes with a consideration of crip time as pandemic time, as it ponders the distinct parallels between temporal existence during a pandemic and a life always lived through crip time, as well as the potential for reimaging time in a post-COVID world.
Thrice Unseen, Forever on Borrowed Time: Latina Feminist Reflections on Mental Disability and the Neoliberal Academy
María Elena Cepeda is a professor and cochair of Latina/o studies at Williams College, where she specializes in Latina/o/x popular culture and media. She is the author of Musical ImagiNation: US-Colombian Identity and the “Latin Music Boom” (2010) and coeditor of The Routledge Companion to Latina/o Media (2017).
María Elena Cepeda; Thrice Unseen, Forever on Borrowed Time: Latina Feminist Reflections on Mental Disability and the Neoliberal Academy. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 April 2021; 120 (2): 301–320. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-8916046
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