Out of (Queer/Disabled) Time

Temporal Experiences of Disability and LGBTQ+ Identities in U.S. Higher Education


  • Ryan A. Miller University of North Carolina at Charlotte




higher education, temporality, LGBTQ, disability, identity, disability studies


A qualitative study using situational analysis (Clarke, 2005) explored the temporal experiences of 25 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer students with disabilities at a research-intensive university. Drawing upon queer and critical examinations of time, including the notions of queer and crip time, this manuscript details students’ experiences navigating and transgressing normative temporalities in higher education. Students in the study described processes of (1) calculating time to graduation; (2) resisting and accommodating temporal expectations; and (3) lacking energy, lacking time. Failure to keep up with the campus tempo was dismissed as an individual failure of motivation and of time management, thus absolving the institution. Ultimately, however, a focus on students experiencing acute temporal pressures might offer insight into broader trends embedded in dominant neoliberal discourses of higher education. This paper suggests interconnections among time, power, and identity that could inform new paradigms for higher education practitioners and researchers.