Ryan Lee Cartwright’s research focuses on disability, gender, and sexuality on the social and spatial margins. Cartwright’s first book, Peculiar Places: A Queer Crip History of White Rural Nonconformity
(University of Chicago Press, August 2021), maps racialized queer and disability histories of white social nonconformity across the rural US and the twentieth century. His second book examines how, in the early-to-mid twentieth century US, chronic illness came to be understood as a gendered and racialized “social burden.” Cartwright teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on a wide range of topics, including disability studies, queer and trans history, the 1990s, research methodologies, social welfare, and landscapes and places.
Cartwright is an associate professor of American Studies at UC Davis and is affiliated with the Cultural Studies graduate group and the graduate designated emphasis in Feminist Theory and Research. He also coordinates the Disability and Social In/Justice research cluster at the Davis Humanities Institute. Cartwright holds a PhD in American Studies from the University of Minnesota, and their work has been funded by the ACLS, NEH, Smithsonian Institution, American Philosophical Society, and Hellman Family Foundation, among others. Prior to his appointment at UC Davis, Cartwright was associate editor of MNopedia, a digital encyclopedia of Minnesota created by the Minnesota Historical Society.