Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Communication Studies

First Advisor

Gingrich-Philbrook, Craig


Using autoethnography, this dissertation explores the relationship between my experiences through the treatment of papillary thyroid carcinoma and crip-queer theory. This dissertation seeks to bridge queer theory, disability studies, and medical discourse through personal experience. Additionally, by employing autoethnography, this study creates nuanced narratives of living with chronic illness at the intersections of disability and queerness. In Chapter One I provide a rationale and provide a cursory explanation of crip-queer theory. In my second chapter I employ Robert McRuer’s notion of the origin story to chart the development of crip-queer theory by looking to the similar activist histories of disability and sexuality within the United States. In Chapter Three I examine my solo performance Orphan Annie Eyes: Overcoming Narratives of Cancer and Loss, arguing that the performance challenges common narrative tropes surrounding disability. In my fourth chapter I use autoethnography to explore my experiences going through cancer treatment. Finally, my fifth chapter explores the implications of this dissertation and seeks to identify future research studies using crip-queer theory.




This dissertation is only available for download to the SIUC community. Current SIUC affiliates may also access this paper off campus by searching Dissertations & Theses @ Southern Illinois University Carbondale from ProQuest. Others should contact the interlibrary loan department of your local library or contact ProQuest's Dissertation Express service.