Do we respond more sympathetically to mothers who kill children with disabilities? Queer theory has helped us to see how futurity is bound up with the figure of the child. But how does the killing of children with disabilities challenge our ideas about futurity? What visions of the future inform our beliefs about who is entitled to care, the raced and gendered profiles of those who are required to provide it, and how they should be compensated? This paper examines apparent conflicts between the rights of caregivers and those of people with disabilities, showing how conceptions of temporality from queer, feminist, and disability studies might point toward more just and sustainable systems of care.
Rachel Adams is a writer and Professor of English at Columbia University, where she also directs the Center for the Study of Social Difference. She is the author of numerous academic articles and book reviews, as well as three books. Her most recent is Raising Henry: A Memoir of Motherhood, Disability, and Discovery, published by Yale University Press. She is also the author of Sideshow U.S.A.: Freaks and the American Cultural Imagination and Continental Divides: Remapping the Cultures of North America (both published by the University of Chicago Press). Her writing has appeared in such publications as The New York Times, Washington Post, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Salon, and the Times of London. She also blogs for Huffington Post.