Rebecca-Eli Mica Long

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Purdue U.

Grant number

Gr. 10430

Approve Date

October 11, 2022

Project Title

Long, Rebecca-Eli (Purdue U.) "Crafting Autistic Futures"

Autism routinely calls into question ideas that are at the core of who is or is not human. Not only are autistic people sometimes excluded from humanity, they are too often excluded from collective futures and life itself. Dominant models of autism advocacy in the contemporary US present autism needing early detection, intervention, and eventual cure, thus working toward a future where autism, and by extension, autistic people, no longer exist. Given this pervasive ableist violence, what might a good life look like for autistic people? Taking anthropology as a project of making more possible futures, this project examines autistic adults’ interests and passions to explore how autistic people create meaning around things that matter to them. By using the autistic ethnographer’s interest of knitting as a multimodal technique for a disability anthropology of neurodivergence, this project challenges what is taken as meaningful knowledge and who can create it. Knitting provides a conceptual and methodological approach that extends anthropological understandings of neurodiversity, ableism, the life course, and possible futures for humanity.