Krystal Cleary

Krystal Cleary

Senior Professor of Practice of Communication
Newcomb Hall, Office B03A


Ph.D., Gender Studies, Indiana University


Research Interests

Professor Krystal Cleary conducts her interdisciplinary research at the nexus of critical disability studies, media studies, and gender and sexuality studies. Her work considers representations and discourses of disability in popular culture with a particular focus on reality television. She is presently at work on a book that extends a critical disability methodology beyond an analysis of representation to demonstrate how a logic of dis/ability informs the genre of reality television as a whole.

Selected Publications

  • “Disability Studies.” Feminist Media Histories4.2 (Spring 2018): 61-66.
  • “One of Us?: Disability Drag and the Gaga Enfreakment of Fandom.” Disability Media Studies: Media, Popular Culture, and the Meanings of Disability. Ellcessor, Elizabeth and Bill Kirkpatrick, eds. New York: New York University Press (2017), 177-196.
  • “Misfitting and Hater Blocking: A Feminist Disability Analysis of the Extraordinary Body on Reality Television,” Disability Studies Quarterly36.4 (2016):
  • “Feminist Theories of the Body.” The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies. Naples, Nancy, ed. Malden, MA: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., 2016.


  • Critical and feminist disability studies
  • Reality television
  • Popular culture studies
  • Gender and sexuality studies