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Interdisciplinary/Multidisciplinary Woolf$
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Ann Martin and Kathryn Holland

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780989082624

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780989082624.001.0001

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“The law is on the side of the normal”

“The law is on the side of the normal”

Virginia Woolf as Crip Theorist1

(p.102) “The law is on the side of the normal”
Interdisciplinary/Multidisciplinary Woolf

Madelyn Detloff

Liverpool University Press

This chapter explores principles of deviance and normality as depicted in Mrs. Dalloway and The Years by focusing on the connections between crip and queer theory. More specifically, it thinks about Virginia Woolf from the perspective of critical disability studies, or what Robert McRuer has called “Crip Theory.” It also addresses the late-nineteenth-century advent of the eugenicist norm to elucidate the genesis of radical counterdiscourses that question the primacy of the norm—that is, to see the shared genealogy of crip theory and queer theory, not as analogous epistemological movements (or knowledge projects), but rather as interwoven concerns that have, until recently, been conceived of as separate movements. It argues that the characterization of deviation as abnormality, and the assumption that abnormality is a sign of physical and moral degeneration in need of correction or elimination, is common to both groups' stigmatization and subsequent dehumanization.

Keywords:   deviance, normality, Mrs. Dalloway, The Years, queer theory, crip theory, abnormality, stigmatization, dehumanization

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