The Sound that You Do Not See. Notes on Queer and Disabled Invisibility

  • Mara PieriEmail author
Original Paper


This paper aims to explore how (in)visibility is constructed and deployed in the construction of normalcy by using an intersectional approach to queer and disabled experiences. In the first part, the focus is on able-bodiedness and heteronormativity as similar systems of compulsion in the production and the definition of normalcy. In the second part, the challenges posed to the presumptions of systems of compulsion are discussed: inhabiting a grey zone of indefinite readability, these cases subvert common assumptions on visibility and embody the possibility of framing invisibility as a political choice. In the third part, the figure of the acousmatic subject is presented: a subject that produces voices from a position of invisibility, challenging the idea of passivity often connected to oppression and marginalisation. The final aim is to critically discuss some of the issues connected to (in)visibility and to overcome its limits through expansion towards a more encompassing metaphorical figuration.


Visibility Queer Disability Invisibility Illness 



This study was funded by FCT—Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia with Ph.D Grant No. PD/BD/114078/2015.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares she has no conflict of interest.

Research Involving Human Participants and/or Animals

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Social StudiesUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal

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