Writing Letters to the Dead: Cripping Networked Temporalities on Social Media

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This article departs from the idea of writing letters to the dead as a way of cripping time in which ableist pasts and presents are uncovered and disrupted with the aim of changing the future for people living with disability. This is explored through the social media initiative Dear Julianna, which is analysed as a case of online disability activism and media representation seeking to confront conventional media narratives of disabled life courses by shifting the focus from a future of ‘imminent death’ to one of ‘living’ with disability. Building upon crip and queer discussions of embodied notions of time and temporality, the article proposes a critical framework for challenging dominant understandings of disability in relation to time. In conclusion, it is discussed how social media have accelerated our perceptions of time in ways that complicate what we consider to be the opportunities and challenges of online disability activism. It is argued that while social media platforms may primarily be serving the interests of accelerating capitalist productivity, they might also facilitate new forms of temporal communities and ways of cripping time.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Disability Research
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)88-96
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2020


  • cripping time
  • online disability activism
  • social media
  • Dear Julianna
  • writing letters
  • networked temporalities

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