front cover of Accessible Citizenships
Accessible Citizenships
Disability, Nation, and the Cultural Politics of Greater Mexico
Julie Avril Minich
Temple University Press, 2013
Accessible Citizenships examines Chicana/o cultural representations that conceptualize political community through images of disability. Working against the assumption that disability is a metaphor for social decay or political crisis, Julie Avril Minich analyzes literature, film, and visual art post-1980 in which representations of non-normative bodies work to expand our understanding of what it means to belong to a political community.
 
Minich shows how queer writers like Arturo Islas and Cherríe Moraga have reconceptualized Chicano nationalism through disability images. She further addresses how the U.S.-Mexico border and disabled bodies restrict freedom and movement. Finally, she confronts the changing role of the nation-state in the face of neoliberalism as depicted in novels by Ana Castillo and Cecile Pineda. 
 
Accessible Citizenships illustrates how these works gesture towards less exclusionary forms of citizenship and nationalism. Minich boldly argues that the corporeal images used to depict national belonging have important consequences for how the rights and benefits of citizenship are understood and distributed.

A volume in the American Literatures Initiative
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Acts of Conspicuous Compassion
Performance Culture and American Charity Practices
Sheila C. Moeschen
University of Michigan Press, 2016
Charity has been a pervasive and influential concept in American culture, and has also served an important ideological purpose, helping people articulate their sense of individual and national identity. But what, exactly, compels our benevolence? In a social moment when countless worthy causes and deserving groups clamor for attention, it is worth examining how our culture generates the exchange of sympathy commonly experienced as “charity.”  Acts of Conspicuous Compassion investigates the historical and continuing relationship between performance culture and the cultivation of charitable sentiment, exploring the distinctive practices that have evolved to make the plea for charity legible and compelling. From the work of 19th-century melodramas to the televised drama of transformation and redemption in reality TV’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, the book charts the sophisticated strategies that various charity movements have employed to make organized benevolence seem attractive, exciting, and seemingly uncomplicated.

Sheila C. Moeschen sheds new light on the legacy and involvement of disabled people within charity—specifically, the articulation of performance culture as a vital theoretical framework for discussing issues of embodiment and identity, a framework that dislodges previously held notions of the disabled existing as passive “objects” of pity. This work gives rise to a more complicated and nuanced discussion of the participation of the disabled community in the charity industry, of the opportunities afforded by performance culture for disabled people to act as critical agents of charity, and of the new ethical and political issues that arise from employing performance methodology in a culture with increased appetites for voyeurism, display, and complex spectacle.
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Basic K'ichee' Grammar
38 Lessons, Revised Edition
James L. Mondloch
University Press of Colorado, 2016
The K’ichee’an languages—K’ichee’, Kaqchikel, Tz¢utujil, Sakapulteko, Achi, and Sipakapense—occupy a prominent place among the indigenous languages of the Americas because of both their historical significance and the number of speakers (more than one million total). Basic K'ichee' Grammar is an extensive and accurate survey of the principal grammatical structures of K’ichee’. Written in a clear, nontechnical style to facilitate the learning of the language, it is the only K’ichee’ grammar available in English.
 
A pedagogical rather than a reference grammar, the book is a thorough presentation of the basics of the K’ichee’ Maya language organized around graded grammatical lessons accompanied by drills and exercises. Author James L. Mondloch spent ten years in K’ichee’-speaking communities and provides a complete analysis of the K’ichee’ verb system based on the everyday speech of the people and using a wealth of examples and detailed commentaries on actual usage.
 
A guide for learning the K’ichee’ language, Basic K'ichee' Grammar is a valuable resource for anyone seeking a speaking and reading knowledge of modern K’ichee’, including linguists, anthropologists, and art historians, as well as nonacademics working in K’ichee’ communities, such as physicians, dentists, community development workers, and educators.
 
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Beholding Disability in Renaissance England
Allison P. Hobgood
University of Michigan Press, 2021
Human variation has always existed, though it has been conceived of and responded to variably. Beholding Disability in Renaissance England interprets sixteenth- and seventeenth-century literature to explore the fraught distinctiveness of human bodyminds and the deliberate ways they were constructed in early modernity as able, and not. Hobgood examines early modern disability, ableism, and disability gain, purposefully employing these contemporary concepts to make clear how disability has historically been disavowed—and avowed too. Thus, this book models how modern ideas and terms make the weight of the past more visible as it marks the present, and cultivates dialogue in which early modern and contemporary theoretical models are mutually informative.

Beholding Disability also uncovers crucial counterdiscourses circulating in the English Renaissance that opposed cultural fantasies of ability and had a keen sensibility toward non-normative embodiments. Hobgood reads impairments as varied as epilepsy, stuttering, disfigurement, deafness, chronic pain, blindness, and castration in order to understand not just powerful fictions of ability present during the Renaissance but also the somewhat paradoxical, surprising ways these ableist ideals provided creative fodder for many Renaissance writers and thinkers. Ultimately, Beholding Disability asks us to reconsider what we think we know about being human both in early modernity, and today.
 
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Black Madness
: Mad Blackness
Therí Alyce Pickens
Duke University Press, 2019
In Black Madness :: Mad Blackness Therí Alyce Pickens rethinks the relationship between Blackness and disability, unsettling the common theorization that they are mutually constitutive. Pickens shows how Black speculative and science fiction authors such as Octavia Butler, Nalo Hopkinson, and Tananarive Due craft new worlds that reimagine the intersection of Blackness and madness. These creative writer-theorists formulate new parameters for thinking through Blackness and madness. Pickens considers Butler's Fledgling as an archive of Black madness that demonstrates how race and ability shape subjectivity while constructing the building blocks for antiracist and anti-ableist futures. She examines how Hopkinson's Midnight Robber theorizes mad Blackness and how Due's African Immortals series contests dominant definitions of the human. The theorizations of race and disability that emerge from these works, Pickens demonstrates, challenge the paradigms of subjectivity that white supremacy and ableism enforce, thereby pointing to the potential for new forms of radical politics.
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Bodies of Modernism
Physical Disability in Transatlantic Modernist Literature
Maren Tova Linett
University of Michigan Press, 2017
Bodies of Modernism brings a new and exciting analytical lens to modernist literature, that of critical disability studies. The book offers new readings of canonical and noncanonical writers from both sides of the Atlantic including Flannery O’Connor, Eudora Welty, H. G. Wells, D. H. Lawrence, Elizabeth Bowen, Henry Green, Olive Moore, Carson McCullers, Tennessee Williams, J. M. Synge, Florence Barclay, Virginia Woolf, and James Joyce. Through readings of this wide range of texts and with chapters focusing on mobility impairments, deafness, blindness, and deformity, the study reveals both modernism’s skepticism about and dependence on fantasies of whole, “normal” bodies.

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Bodyminds Reimagined
(Dis)ability, Race, and Gender in Black Women's Speculative Fiction
Sami Schalk
Duke University Press, 2018
In Bodyminds Reimagined Sami Schalk traces how black women's speculative fiction complicates the understanding of bodyminds—the intertwinement of the mental and the physical—in the context of race, gender, and (dis)ability. Bridging black feminist theory with disability studies, Schalk demonstrates that this genre's political potential lies in the authors' creation of bodyminds that transcend reality's limitations. She reads (dis)ability in neo-slave narratives by Octavia Butler (Kindred) and Phyllis Alesia Perry (Stigmata) not only as representing the literal injuries suffered under slavery, but also as a metaphor for the legacy of racial violence. The fantasy worlds in works by N. K. Jemisin, Shawntelle Madison, and Nalo Hopkinson—where werewolves have obsessive-compulsive-disorder and blind demons can see magic—destabilize social categories and definitions of the human, calling into question the very nature of identity. In these texts, as well as in Butler’s Parable series, able-mindedness and able-bodiedness are socially constructed and upheld through racial and gendered norms. Outlining (dis)ability's centrality to speculative fiction, Schalk shows how these works open new social possibilities while changing conceptualizations of identity and oppression through nonrealist contexts.
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Crip Genealogies
Mel Y. Chen, Alison Kafer, Eunjung Kim, and Julie A. Minich, editors
Duke University Press, 2023
The contributors to Crip Genealogies reorient the field of disability studies by centering the work of transnational feminism, queer of color critique, and trans scholarship and activism. They challenge the white, Western, and Northern rights-based genealogy of disability studies, showing how a single coherent narrative of the field is a mode of exclusion that relies on logics of whiteness and imperialism. The contributors examine how disability justice activists work in concert with other social justice projects, explore crip environments, create alternate disciplinary genealogies, and reject notions of the model minority. Throughout, they demonstrate how the mandate for a single genealogy of the discipline whitewashes disability and continues forms of violence. By cripping disability studies, the contributors allow for divergent histories, the coexistence of anti-ableist and antiracist theorizing, and a radically just and capacious understanding of disability.

Contributors. Suzanne Bost, Mel Y. Chen, Sony Coráñez Bolton, Natalia Duong, Lezlie Frye, Magda García, Alison Kafer, Eunjung Kim, Yoo-suk Kim, Kateřina Kolářová, James Kyung-Jin Lee, Stacey Park Milbern, Julie Avril Minich, Tari Young-Jung Na, Therí A. Pickens, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Jasbir K. Puar, Sami Schalk, Faith Njahîra Wangarî
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Diaphanous Bodies
Ability, Disability, and Modernist Irish Literature
Jeremy Colangelo
University of Michigan Press, 2021

Diaphanous Bodies: Ability, Disability, and Modernist Irish Literature examines ability, as a category of embodiment and embodied experience, and in the process opens up a new area of inquiry in the growing field of literary disability studies. It argues that the construction of ability arises through a process of exclusion and forgetting, in which the depiction of sensory information and epistemological judgment subtly (or sometimes un-subtly) elide the fact of embodied subjectivity. The result is what Colangelo calls “the myth of the diaphanous abled body,” a fiction that holds that an abled body is one which does not participate in or situate experience.  The diaphanous abled body underwrites the myth that abled and disabled constitute two distinct categories of being rather than points on a constantly shifting continuum.

In any system of marginalization, the dominant identity always sets itself up as epistemologically and experientially superior to whichever group it separates itself from. Indeed, the norm is always most powerful when it is understood as an empty category or a view from nowhere. Diaphanous Bodies explores the phantom body that underwrites the artificial dichotomy between abled and disabled upon which the representation of embodied experience depends.

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Elusive Kinship
Disability and Human Rights in Postcolonial Literature
Christopher Krentz
Temple University Press, 2022

Characters with disabilities are often overlooked in fiction, but many occupy central places in literature by celebrated authors like Chinua Achebe, Salman Rushdie, J. M. Coetzee, Anita Desai, Jhumpa Lahiri, Edwidge Danticat, and others. These authors deploy disability to do important cultural work, writes Christopher Krentz in his innovative study, Elusive Kinship.  Such representations not only relate to the millions of disabled people in the global South, but also make more vivid such issues as the effects of colonialism, global capitalism, racism and sexism, war, and environmental disaster. 

Krentz is the first to put the fields of postcolonial studies, studies of human rights and literature, and literary disability in conversation with each other in a book-length study. He enhances our appreciation of key texts of Anglophone postcolonial literature of the global South, including Things Fall Apart and Midnight’s Children. In addition, he uncovers the myriad ways fiction gains energy, vitality, and metaphoric force from characters with extraordinary bodies or minds. 

Depicting injustices faced by characters with disabilities is vital to raising awareness and achieving human rights.  Elusive Kinship nudges us toward a fuller understanding of disability worldwide.

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Embodied Rhetorics
Disability in Language and Culture
Edited by James C. Wilson and Cynthia Lewiecki-Wilson
Southern Illinois University Press, 2001

Presenting thirteen essays, editors James C. Wilson and Cynthia Lewiecki-Wilson unite the fields of disability studies and rhetoric to examine connections between disability, education, language, and cultural practices. Bringing together theoretical and analytical perspectives from rhetorical studies and disability studies, these essays extend both the field of rhetoric and the newer field of disability studies.

           

The contributors span a range of academic fields including English, education, history, and sociology. Several contributors are themselves disabled or have disabled family members. While some essays included in this volume analyze the ways that representations of disability construct identity and attitudes toward the disabled, other essays use disability as a critical modality to rethink economic theory, educational practices, and everyday interactions. Among the disabilities discussed within these contexts are various physical disabilities, mental illness, learning disabilities, deafness, blindness, and diseases such as multiple sclerosis and AIDS.

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Fictions of Affliction
Physical Disability in Victorian Culture
Martha Stoddard Holmes
University of Michigan Press, 2010
Tiny Tim, Clym Yeobright, Long John Silver---what underlies nineteenth-century British literature's fixation with disability? Melodramatic representations of disability pervaded not only novels by Dickens, but also doctors' treatises on blindness, educators' arguments for "special" education, and even the writing of disabled people themselves. Drawing on extensive primary research, Martha Stoddard Holmes introduces readers to popular literary and dramatic works that explored culturally risky questions like "can disabled men work?" and "should disabled women have babies?" and makes connections between literary plots and medical, social, and educational debates of the day. The first book of its kind, Fictions of Affliction contributes a new emphasis to Victorian literary and cultural studies and offers new readings of works by canonic and becoming-canonic writers like Dickens, Wilkie Collins, and others.
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The Madwoman and the Blindman
Jane Eyre, Discourse, Disability
David Bolt, Julia Miele Rodas, and Elizabeth J. Donaldson
The Ohio State University Press, 2012
This breakthrough volume of critical essays on Jane Eyre from a disability perspective provides fresh insight into Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel from a vantage point that is of growing academic and cultural importance. Contributors include many of the preeminent disability scholars publishing today, including a foreword by Lennard J. Davis.
 
Though an indisputable classic and a landmark text for critical voices from feminism to Marxism to postcolonialism, until now, Jane Eyre has never yet been fully explored from a disability perspective. Customarily, impairment in the novel has been read unproblematically as loss, an undesired deviance from a condition of regularity vital to stable closure of the marriage plot. In fact, the most visible aspects of disability in the novel have traditionally been understood in rather rudimentary symbolic terms—the blindness of Rochester and the “madness” of Bertha apparently standing in for other aspects of identity. The Madwoman and the Blindman: Jane Eyre, Discourse, Disability, resists this traditional reading of disability in the novel. Informed by a variety of perspectives—cultural studies, linguistics, and gender and film studies—the essays in this collection suggest surprising new interpretations, parsing the trope of the Blindman, investigating the embodiment of mental illness, and proposing an autistic identity for Jane Eyre. As the first volume of criticism dedicated to analyzing and theorizing the role of disability in a single literary text, The Madwoman and the Blindman is a model for how disability studies can open new conversation and critical thought within the literary canon.
 
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The Measure of Manliness
Disability and Masculinity in the Mid-Victorian Novel
Karen Bourrier
University of Michigan Press, 2015
The Measure of Manliness is among the first books to focus on representations of disability in Victorian literature, showing that far from being marginalized or pathologized, disability was central to the narrative form of the mid-century novel. Mid-Victorian novels evidenced a proliferation of male characters with disabilities, a phenomenon that author Karen Bourrier sees as a response to the rise of a new Victorian culture of industry and vitality, and its corollary emphasis on a hardy, active manhood. The figure of the voluble, weak man was a necessary narrative complement to the silent, strong man. The disabled male embodied traditionally feminine virtues, softening the taciturn strong man, and eliciting emotional depths from his seemingly coarse muscular frame. Yet, the weak man was able to follow the strong man where female characters could not, to all-male arenas such as the warehouse and the public school.

The analysis yokes together historical and narrative concerns, showing how developments in nineteenth-century masculinity led to a formal innovation in literature:  the focalization or narration of the novel through the perspective of a weak or disabled man. The Measure of Manliness charts new territory in showing how feeling and loquacious bodies were increasingly seen as sick bodies throughout the nineteenth century. The book will appeal to those interested in disability studies, gender and masculinity studies, the theorization of sympathy and affect, the recovery of women’s writing and popular fiction, the history of medicine and technology, and queer theory.
 

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The Metanarrative of Blindness
A Re-reading of Twentieth-Century Anglophone Writing
David Bolt
University of Michigan Press, 2013

Although the theme of blindness occurs frequently in literature, literary criticism has rarely engaged the experiential knowledge of people with visual impairments. The Metanarrative of Blindness counters this trend by bringing to readings of twentieth-century works in English a perspective appreciative of impairment and disability. Author David Bolt examines representations of blindness in more than forty literary works, including writing by Kipling, Joyce, Synge, Orwell, H. G. Wells, Susan Sontag, and Stephen King, shedding light on the deficiencies of these representations and sometimes revealing an uncomfortable resonance with the Anglo-American science of eugenics.

What connects these seemingly disparate works is what Bolt calls “the metanarrative of blindness,” a narrative steeped in mythology and with deep roots in Western culture. Bolt examines literary representations of blindness using the analytical tools of disability studies in both the humanities and social sciences. His readings are also broadly appreciative of personal, social, and cultural aspects of disability, with the aim of bringing literary scholars to the growing discipline of disability studies, and vice versa. This interdisciplinary monograph is relevant to people working in literary studies, disability studies, psychology, sociology, applied linguistics, life writing, and cultural studies, as well as those with a general interest in education and representations of blindness.

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Narrative Prosthesis
Disability and the Dependencies of Discourse
David T. Mitchell and Sharon L. Snyder
University of Michigan Press, 2001
Narrative Prosthesis: Disability and the Dependencies of Discourse develops a narrative theory of the pervasive use of disability as a device of characterization in literature and film. It argues that, while other marginalized identities have suffered cultural exclusion due to a dearth of images reflecting their experience, the marginality of disabled people has occurred in the midst of the perpetual circulation of images of disability in print and visual media. The manuscript's six chapters offer comparative readings of key texts in the history of disability representation, including the tin soldier and lame Oedipus, Montaigne's "infinities of forms" and Nietzsche's "higher men," the performance history of Shakespeare's Richard III, Melville's Captain Ahab, the small town grotesques of Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio and Katherine Dunn's self-induced freaks in Geek Love.
David T. Mitchell is Associate Professor of Literature and Cultural Studies, Northern Michigan University. Sharon L. Snyder is Assistant Professor of Film and Literature, Northern Michigan University.
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Novel Bodies
Disability and Sexuality in Eighteenth-Century British Literature
Jason S. Farr
Bucknell University Press, 2019
Novel Bodies examines how disability shapes the British literary history of sexuality. Jason Farr shows that various eighteenth-century novelists represent disability and sexuality in flexible ways to reconfigure the political and social landscapes of eighteenth-century Britain. In imagining the lived experience of disability as analogous to—and as informed by—queer genders and sexualities, the authors featured in Novel Bodies expose emerging ideas of able-bodiedness and heterosexuality as interconnected systems that sustain dominant models of courtship, reproduction, and degeneracy. Further, Farr argues that they use intersections of disability and queerness to stage an array of contemporaneous debates covering topics as wide-ranging as education, feminism, domesticity, medicine, and plantation life. In his close attention to the fiction of Eliza Haywood, Samuel Richardson, Sarah Scott, Maria Edgeworth, and Frances Burney, Farr demonstrates that disabled and queer characters inhabit strict social orders in unconventional ways, and thus opened up new avenues of expression for readers from the eighteenth century forward.


Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.
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Outcasts and Angels
The New Anthology of Deaf Characters in Literature
Edna Edith Sayers
Gallaudet University Press, 2012

In 1976, Trent Batson and Eugene Bergman released their classic Angels and Outcasts: An Anthology of Deaf Characters in Literature. In it, they featured works from the 19th and 20th centuries by well-known authors such as Charles Dickens and Eudora Welty. They also presented less-well-known deaf authors, and they prefaced each excerpt with remarks on context, societal perceptions, and the dignity due to deaf people. Since then, much has transpired, turning around the literary criticism regarding portrayals of deaf people in print. Edna Edith Sayers reflects these changes in her new collection Outcasts and Angels: The New Anthology of Deaf Characters in Literature.

       Sayers mines the same literary vein as the first volume with rich new results. Her anthology also introduces rare works by early masters such as Daniel Defoe. She includes three new deaf authors, Charlotte Elizabeth, Howard T. Hofsteater, and Douglas Bullard, who offer compelling evidence of the attitudes toward deaf people current in their eras. In search of commonalities and comparisons, Sayers reveals that the defining elements of deaf literary characters are fluid and subtly different beyond the predominant dueling stereotypes of preternaturally spiritual beings and thuggish troglodytes.

       Outcasts and Angels demonstrates these subtle variations in writings by Ambrose Bierce, Isak Dinesen, Nadine Gordimer, and Flannery O’Connor. Stories by Juozas Grušas, Julian Barnes, and many other international authors broaden the scope of this updated inquiry into the deaf literary character. Sayer’s preface and closing essay bring any disparate parts together, completing Outcasts and Angels as a fitting, contemporary companion to the original classic collection.

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Reading Embodied Citizenship
Disability, Narrative, and the Body Politic
Russell, Emily
Rutgers University Press, 2011

Liberal individualism, a foundational concept of American politics, assumes an essentially homogeneous population of independent citizens. When confronted with physical disability and the contradiction of seemingly unruly bodies, however, the public searches for a story that can make sense of the difference. The narrative that ensues makes "abnormality" an important part of the dialogue about what a genuine citizen is, though its role is concealed as an exception to the rule of individuality rather than a defining difference. Reading Embodied Citizenship brings disability to the forefront, illuminating its role in constituting what counts as U.S. citizenship.

Drawing from major figures in American literature, including Mark Twain, Flannery O'Connor, Carson McCullers, and David Foster Wallace, as well as introducing texts from the emerging canon of disability studies, Emily Russell demonstrates the place of disability at the core of American ideals. The narratives prompted by the encounter between physical difference and the body politic require a new understanding of embodiment as a necessary conjunction of physical, textual, and social bodies. Russell examines literature to explore and unsettle long-held assumptions about American citizenship.

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Recovering Disability in Early Modern England
Allison P. Hobgood and David Houston Wood
The Ohio State University Press, 2013
While early modern selfhood has been explored during the last two decades via a series of historical identity studies involving class, race and ethnicity, and gender and sexuality, until very recently there has been little engagement with disability and disabled selves in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England. This omission is especially problematic insofar as representations of disabled bodies and minds serve as some of the signature features in English Renaissance texts. Recovering Disability in Early Modern England explores how recent conversations about difference in the period have either overlooked or misidentified disability representations. It also presents early modern disability studies as a new theoretical lens that can reanimate scholarly dialogue about human variation and early modern subjectivities even as it motivates more politically invested classroom pedagogies. The ten essays in this collection range across genre, scope, and time, including examinations of real-life court dwarfs and dwarf narrators in Edmund Spenser’s poetry; disability in Aphra Behn’s assessment of gender and femininity; disability humor, Renaissance jest books, and cultural ideas about difference; madness in revenge tragedies; Spenserian allegory and impairment; the materiality of literary blindness; feigned disability in Jonsonian drama; political appropriation of Richard III in the postcommunist Czech Republic; the Book of Common Prayeras textual accommodation for cognitive disability; and Thomas Hobbes’s and John Locke’s inherently ableist conceptions of freedom and political citizenship.
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Signifying Bodies
Disability in Contemporary Life Writing
G. Thomas Couser
University of Michigan Press, 2010

"Thomas Couser's Signifying Bodies comes at a crucial moment when debates about physician assisted suicide, genetic engineering, and neo-natal screening are raising the question of what constitutes a 'life worth living' for persons with disabilities. Couser's work engages these debates by exploring the extensive number of personal narratives by or about persons with disabilities. As Couser brilliantly demonstrates through synoptic readings, these works challenge the 'preferred rhetorics' by which such narratives are usually written (triumphalist, gothic, nostalgic) while making visible the variegated nature of embodied life."
---Michael Davidson, University of California, San Diego

"Signifying Bodies shows us that life writing about disability is . . . everywhere. . . . From obituary to documentary film to ethnography to literary memoir to the law, the book casts a wide net, detailing how various written and filmed responses to disability both enact and resist conventional narrative patterns. [This] not only broadens our idea about where to look for life writing, but also demonstrates how thoroughly stereotypes about disability mediate our social and artistic languages---even when an author has (so-called) the best intentions."
---Susannah B. Mintz, Skidmore College

Memoirs have enjoyed great popularity in recent years, experiencing significant sales, prominent reviews, and diverse readerships. Signifying Bodies shows that at the heart of the memoir phenomenon is our fascination with writing that focuses on what it means to live in, or be, an anomalous body---in other words, what it means to be disabled. Previous literary accounts of the disabled body have often portrayed it as a stable entity possibly signifying moral deviance or divine disfavor, but contemporary writers with disabilities are defining themselves and depicting their bodies in new ways. Using the insights of disability studies and source material ranging from the Old and New Testaments to the works of authors like Lucy Grealy and Simi Linton and including contemporary films such as Million Dollar Baby, G. Thomas Couser sheds light on a broader cultural phenomenon, exploring topics such as the ethical issues involved in disability memoirs, the rhetorical patterns they frequently employ, and the complex relationship between disability narrative and disability law.

G. Thomas Couser is Professor of English at Hofstra University.

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Viewing Disability in Medieval Spanish Texts
Disgraced or Graced
Connie L. Scarborough
Amsterdam University Press, 2017
This book is one of the first to examine medieval Spanish canonical works for their portrayals of disability in relationship to theological teachings, legal precepts, and medical knowledge. Connie L. Scarborough shows that physical impairments were seen differently through each lens. Theology at times taught that the disabled were "marked by God," their sins rendered on their bodies; at other times, they were viewed as important objects of Christian charity. The disabled often suffered legal restrictions, allowing them to be viewed with other distinctive groups, such as the ill or the poor. And from a medical point of view, a miraculous cure could be seen as evidence of divine intervention. This book explores all these perspectives through medieval Spain's miracle narratives, hagiographies, didactic tales, and epic poetry.
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