Academic Ableism brings together disability studies and institutional critique to recognize the ways that disability is composed in and by higher education, and rewrites the spaces, times, and economies of disability in higher education to place disability front and center. For too long, argues Jay Timothy Dolmage, disability has been constructed as the antithesis of higher education, often positioned as a distraction, a drain, a problem to be solved. The ethic of higher education encourages students and teachers alike to accentuate ability, valorize perfection, and stigmatize anything that hints at intellectual, mental, or physical weakness, even as we gesture toward the value of diversity and innovation. Examining everything from campus accommodation processes, to architecture, to popular films about college life, Dolmage argues that disability is central to higher education, and that building more inclusive schools allows better education for all.
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.
What is the direct impact that disability studies has on the lives of disabled people today? The editors and contributors to this essential anthology, Barriers and Belonging, provide thirty-seven personal narratives thatexplore what it means to be disabled and why the field of disability studies matters.
The editors frame the volume by introducing foundational themes of disability studies. They provide a context of how institutions—including the family, schools, government, and disability peer organizations—shape and transform ideas about disability. They explore how disability informs personal identity, interpersonal and community relationships, and political commitments. In addition, there are heartfelt reflections on living with mobility disabilities, blindness, deafness, pain, autism, psychological disabilities, and other issues. Other essays articulate activist and pride orientations toward disability, demonstrating the importance of reframing traditional narratives of sorrow and medicalization.
The critical, self-reflective essays in Barriers and Belonging provide unique insights into the range and complexity of disability experience.
For years the subject of human disability has engaged those in the biological, social and cognitive sciences, while at the same time, it has been curiously neglected within the humanities. The Body and Physical Difference seeks to introduce the field of disability studies into the humanities by exploring the fantasies and fictions that have crystallized around conceptions of physical and cognitive difference. Based on the premise that the significance of disabilities in culture and the arts has been culturally vexed as well as historically erased, the collection probes our society's pathological investment in human variability and "aberrancy." The contributors demonstrate how definitions of disability underpin fundamental concepts such as normalcy, health, bodily integrity, individuality, citizenship, and morality--all terms that define the very essence of what it means to be human.
The book provides a provocative range of topics and perspectives: the absence of physical "otherness" in Ancient Greece, the depiction of the female invalid in Victorian literature, the production of tragic innocence in British and American telethons, the reconstruction of Civil War amputees, and disability as the aesthetic basis for definitions of expendable life within the modern eugenics movement. With this new, secure anchoring in the humanities, disability studies now emerges as a significant strain in contemporary theories of identity and social marginality.
Moving beyond the oversimplication that disabled people are marginalized and made invisible by able-ist assumptions and practices, the contributors demonstrate that representation is founded upon the perpetual exhibition of human anomalies. In this sense, all art can be said to migrate toward the "freakish" and the "grotesque." Such a project paradoxically makes disability the exception and the rule of the desire to represent that which has been traditionally out-of-bounds in polite discourse.
The Body and Physical Difference has relevance across a wide range of academic specialties such as cultural studies, the sociology of medicine, history, literature and medicine, the allied health professions, rehabilitation, aesthetics, philosophical discourses of the body, literary and film studies, and narrative theory.
David T. Mitchell is Assistant Professor of English, Northern Michigan University. Sharon L. Snyder teaches film and literature at Northern Michigan University.
Cultural Locations of Disability
Sharon L. Snyder and David T. Mitchell University of Chicago Press, 2006 Library of Congress HV1568.S69 2006 | Dewey Decimal 305.908
In Cultural Locations of Disability, Sharon L. Snyder and David T. Mitchell trace how disabled people came to be viewed as biologically deviant. The eugenics era pioneered techniques that managed "defectives" through the application of therapies, invasive case histories, and acute surveillance techniques, turning disabled persons into subjects for a readily available research pool. In its pursuit of normalization, eugenics implemented disability regulations that included charity systems, marriage laws, sterilization, institutionalization, and even extermination. Enacted in enclosed disability locations, these practices ultimately resulted in expectations of segregation from the mainstream, leaving today's disability politics to focus on reintegration, visibility, inclusion, and the right of meaningful public participation.
Snyder and Mitchell reveal cracks in the social production of human variation as aberrancy. From our modern obsessions with tidiness and cleanliness to our desire to attain perfect bodies, notions of disabilities as examples of human insufficiency proliferate. These disability practices infuse more general modes of social obedience at work today. Consequently, this important study explains how disabled people are instrumental to charting the passage from a disciplinary society to one based upon regulation of the self.
In Curative Violence Eunjung Kim examines what the social and material investment in curing illnesses and disabilities tells us about the relationship between disability and Korean nationalism. Kim uses the concept of curative violence to question the representation of cure as a universal good and to understand how nonmedical and medical cures come with violent effects that are not only symbolic but also physical. Writing disability theory in a transnational context, Kim tracks the shifts from the 1930s to the present in the ways that disabled bodies and narratives of cure have been represented in Korean folktales, novels, visual culture, media accounts, policies, and activism. Whether analyzing eugenics, the management of Hansen's disease, discourses on disabled people's sexuality, violence against disabled women, or rethinking the use of disabled people as a metaphor for life under Japanese colonial rule or under the U.S. military occupation, Kim shows how the possibility of life with disability that is free from violence depends on the creation of a space and time where cure is seen as a negotiation rather than a necessity.
In his revolutionary new book, Jan-Kåre Breivik profiles ten Norwegian Deaf people and their life stories within a translocal/transnational framework. Breivik notes that, unlike hearing people, who form their identities from familial roots and local senses of place, deaf individuals often find themselves distanced from their own families and akin to other deaf people in far locations. His study records emerging deaf identities, which he observes are always in the making, and if settled, only temporarily so. To capture the identification processes involved, he relies upon a narrative perspective to trace identity as temporarily produced through autobiographical accounts or capsule life stories. As a result, he has produced striking, in-depth accounts of how core questions of identity are approached from different deaf points of view.
The ten stories in Deaf Identities in the Making reveal deaf people who would like a stronger link to the Deaf world. Each story sheds different light on the overriding, empowering master narrative that has become an integral feature of the deaf community. Like success stories from other minorities, the Deaf life story reinforces the collective empowerment process in a Deaf social milieu. Because of these revelations, Breivik’s findings easily reverberate globally in conjunction to the striking similarities of deaf lives around the world, particularly those connected with the experiences of being translocal signers who have struggled for identity in an overwhelmingly hearing context.
Rod Michalko launches into this book asking why disabled people are still feared, still regarded as useless or unfit to live, not yet welcome in society? Michalko challenges us to come to grips with the social meanings attached to disability and the body that is not "normal."Michalko's analysis draws from his own understanding of blindness and narratives by other disabled people. Connecting lived experience with social theory, he shows the consistent exclusion of disabled people from the common understandings of humanity and what constitutes the good life. He offers new insight into what suffering a disability means to individuals as well as to the polity as a whole. He shows how disability can teach society about itself, about its determination of what is normal and who belongs. Guiding us to a new understanding of how disability, difference, and suffering are related, this book enables us to choose disability as a social identity and a collective political issue. The difference that disability makes can be valuable and worthwhile, but only if we choose to make it so.
Passing—an act usually associated with disguising race—also relates to disability. Whether a person classified as mentally ill struggles to suppress aberrant behavior to appear "normal" or a person falsely claims a disability to gain some advantage, passing is a pervasive and much discussed phenomenon. Nevertheless, Disability and Passing is the first anthology to examine this issue.
The editors and contributors to this volume explore the intersections of disability, race, gender, and sexuality as these various aspects of identity influence each other and make identity fluid. They argue that the line between disability and normality is blurred, discussing disability as an individual identity and as a social category. And they discuss the role of stigma in decisions about whether or not to pass.
Focusing on the United States from the nineteenth century to the present, the essays in Disability and Passing speak to the complexity of individual decisions about passing and open the conversation for broader discussion.
Contributors include: Dea Boster, Allison Carey, Peta Cox, Kristen Harmon, David Linton, Michael Rembis, and the editors.
Tobin Siebers University of Michigan Press, 2008 Library of Congress HV1568.2.S54 2008 | Dewey Decimal 305.908
"Disability Theory is just the book we've been waiting for. Clear, cogent, compelling analyses of the tension between the 'social model' of disability and the material details of impairment; of identity politics and unstable identities; of capability rights and human interdependence; of disability and law, disability as masquerade, disability and sexuality, disability and democracy---they're all here, in beautifully crafted and intellectually startling essays. Disability Theory is a field-defining book: and if you're curious about what 'disability' has to do with 'theory,' it's just the book you've been waiting for, too."
---Michael Bérubé, Pennsylvania State University
"Disability Theory is magisterially written, thoroughly researched, and polemically powerful. It will be controversial in a number of areas and will probably ruffle feathers both in disability studies as well as in realms of cultural theory. And that's all to the good."
---Michael Davidson, University of California, San Diego
"Not only is Disability Theory a groundbreaking contribution to disability studies, it is also a bold, ambitious and much needed revision to a number of adjacent and overlapping fields including cultural studies, literary theory, queer theory, and critical race studies. Siebers has written a powerful manifesto that calls theory to account and forces readers to think beyond our comfort zones."
---Helen Deutsch, University of California, Los Angeles
Intelligent, provocative, and challenging, Disability Theory revolutionizes the terrain of theory by providing indisputable evidence of the value and utility that a disability studies perspective can bring to key critical and cultural questions. Tobin Siebers persuasively argues that disability studies transfigures basic assumptions about identity, ideology, language, politics, social oppression, and the body. At the same time, he advances the emerging field of disability studies by putting its core issues into contact with signal thinkers in cultural studies, literary theory, queer theory, gender studies, and critical race theory.
Tobin Siebers is V. L. Parrington Collegiate Professor, Professor of English Language and Literature, and Professor of Art and Design at the University of Michigan.
A volume in the series Corporealities: Discourses of Disability
Illustration: Pattern by Riva Lehrer, acrylic on panel, 18" X 24", 1995
Some historians contend that femininity was "disrupted, constructed and reconstructed" during World War I, but what happened to masculinity? Using the evidence of letters, diaries, and oral histories of members of the military and of civilians, as well as contemporary photographs and government propoganda, Dismembering the Male explores the impact of the First World War on the male body.
Each chapter explores a different facet of the war and masculinity in depth. Joanna Bourke discovers that those who were dismembered and disabled by the war were not viewed as passive or weak, like their civilian counterparts, but were the focus of much government and public sentiment. Those suffering from disease were viewed differently, often finding themselves accused of malingering.
Joanna Bourke argues convincingly that military experiences led to a greater sharing of gender identities between men of different classes and ages. Dismembering the Male concludes that ultimately, attempts to reconstruct a new type of masculinity failed as the threat of another war, and with it the sacrifice of a new generation of men, intensified.
In an era when human lives are increasingly measured and weighed in relation to the medical and scientific, notions of what is “normal” have changed drastically. While it is no longer useful to think of a person’s particular race, gender, sexual orientation, or choice as “normal,” the concept continues to haunt us in other ways. In The End of Normal, Lennard J. Davis explores changing perceptions of body and mind in social, cultural, and political life as the twenty-first century unfolds. The book’s provocative essays mine the worlds of advertising, film, literature, and the visual arts as they consider issues of disability, depression, physician-assisted suicide, medical diagnosis, transgender, and other identities.
Using contemporary discussions of biopower and biopolitics, Davis focuses on social and cultural production—particularly on issues around the different body and mind. The End of Normal seeks an analysis that works comfortably in the intersection between science, medicine, technology, and culture, and will appeal to those interested in cultural studies, bodily practices, disability, science and medical studies, feminist materialism, psychiatry, and psychology.
Foucault and Feminist Philosophy of Disability is a distinctive contribution to growing discussions about how power operates within the academic field of philosophy. By combining the work of Michel Foucault, the insights of philosophy of disability and feminist philosophy, and data derived from empirical research, Shelley L. Tremain compellingly argues that the conception of disability that currently predominates in the discipline of philosophy, according to which disability is a natural disadvantage or personal misfortune, is inextricably intertwined with the underrepresentation of disabled philosophers in the profession of philosophy. Against the understanding of disability that prevails in subfields of philosophy such as bioethics, cognitive science, ethics, and political philosophy, Tremain elaborates a new conception of disability as a historically specifi c and culturally relative apparatus of power. Although the book zeros in on the demographics of and biases embedded in academic philosophy, it will be invaluable to everyone who is concerned about the social, economic, institutional, and political subordination of disabled people.
Foucault and the Government of Disability considers the continued relevance of Foucault to disability studies, as well as the growing significance of disability studies to understandings of Foucault. A decade ago, this international collection provocatively responded to Foucault’s call to question what is regarded as natural, inevitable, ethical, and liberating. The book’s contributors draw on Foucault to scrutinize a range of widely endorsed practices and ideas surrounding disability, including rehabilitation, community care, impairment, normality and abnormality, inclusion, prevention, accommodation, and special education. In this revised and expanded edition, four new essays extend and elaborate the lines of inquiry by problematizing (to use Foucault’s term) the epistemological, political, and ethical character of the supercrip, the racialized war on autism, the performativity of intellectual disability, and the potent mixture of neoliberalism and biopolitics in the context of physician-assisted suicide.
“[A]n important, prescient, and necessary contribution…a kind of litmus test for the efficacy of Foucault’s concepts in the study of disability, concepts that lead to a refusal of the biological essentialism implied in the disability/impairment binary.”
“Tremain has done an exceptional job at organizing and procuring important, rigorously argued, and entertaining essays…. This book should be a mandatory read for anyone interested in contemporary philosophical debates surrounding the experience of disability."
—Essays in Philosophy
“A beautiful exploration of how Foucault’s analytics of power and genealogies of discursive knowledges can open up new avenues for thinking critically about phenomena that many of us take to be inevitable and thus new ways of resisting and possibly at times redirecting the forces that shape our lives. Every scholar, every person with an interest in Foucault or in political theory generally, needs to read this book.”
—Ladelle McWhorter, University of Richmond
Foucault and the Government of Disability is the first book-length investigation of the relevance and importance of the ideas of Michel Foucault to the field of disability studies-and vice versa. Over the last thirty years, politicized conceptions of disability have precipitated significant social change, including the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, the redesign of urban landscapes, the appearance of closed-captioning on televisions, and the growing recognition that disabled people constitute a marginalized and disenfranchised constituency.
The provocative essays in this volume respond to Foucault's call to question what is regarded as natural, inevitable, ethical, and liberating, while they challenge established understandings of Foucault's analyses and offer fresh approaches to his work. The book's roster of distinguished international contributors represents a broad range of disciplines and perspectives, making this a timely and necessary addition to the burgeoning field of disability studies.
Smith, Bonnie G Rutgers University Press, 2004 Library of Congress HV1569.3.W65G46 2004 | Dewey Decimal 305.90816
Disability and gender, terms that have previously seemed so clear-cut, are becoming increasingly complex in light of new politics and scholarship. These words now suggest complicated sets of practices and ways of being.
Contributors to this innovative collection explore the intersection of gender and disability in the arts, consumer culture, healing, the personal and private realms, and the appearance of disability in the public sphere—both in public fantasies and in public activism. Beginning as separate enterprises that followed activist and scholarly paths, gender and disability studies have reached a point where they can move beyond their boundaries for a common landscape to inspire new areas of inquiry. Whether from a perspective in the humanities, social sciences, sciences, or arts, the shared subject matter of gender and disability studies—the body, social and cultural hierarchy, identity, discrimination and inequality, representation, and political activism—insistently calls for deeper conversation. This volume provides fresh findings not only about the discrimination practiced against women and people with disabilities, but also about the productive parallelism between these two categories.
Lend Me Your Ear
Brenda Jo Brueggemann Gallaudet University Press, 1999 Library of Congress HV2380.B69 1999 | Dewey Decimal 362.42
The tradition of rhetoric established 2,500 years ago emphasizes the imperative of speech as a defining characteristic of reason. But in her new book Lend Me Your Ear, Brenda Jo Brueggemann exposes this tradition’s effect of disallowing deaf people human identity because of their natural silence.
Brueggemann’s assault upon this long-standing rhetorical conceit is both erudite and personal; she writes both as a scholar and as a hard-of-hearing woman. In this broadly based study, she presents a profound analysis and understanding of this rhetorical tradition’s descendent disciplines (e.g., audiology, speech/language pathology) that continue to limit deaf people. Next to this even-handed scholarship, she juxtaposes a volatile emotional counterpoint achieved through interviews with Deaf individuals who have faced rhetorically constructed restrictions, and interludes of her own poetry and memoirs.
The energized structure of Lend Me Your Ear galvanizes new thought on the rhetoric surrounding Deaf people by posing basic questions from a rhetorical context: How is deafness constructed as a disability, pathology, or culture through the institutions of literacy education and science/technology, and how do these constructions fit with those of deaf people themselves? The rhetoric of deafness as pathology is associated with the conventional medical and scientific establishments, and literacy education fosters deafness as disability, both dependent upon the premise that speech drives communication. This kinetic study demands consideration of deafness in terms of the rhetoric of Deaf culture, American Sign Language (ASL), and the political activism of Deaf people. Brueggemann argues strenuously and successfully for a reevaluation of the speech model of rhetoric in light of the singular qualities of ASL poetry, a genre that adds the dimension of space and is not disembodied. Ironically, without a word being spoken or printed, ASL poetry returns to the fading, prized oral tradition of poets such as Homer. The speech imperative in traditional rhetoric also fails to present rhetorical forms for listening, or a rhetoric of silence. These and other break-out concepts introduced in Lend Me Your Ear that will stimulate scholars and students of rhetoric, language, and Deaf studies to return to this intriguing work again and again.
Points of Contact brings together contributions by leading writers, artists, scholars, and critics to provide a remarkably broad and consistently engaging look at the intersection of disability and the arts. The contributions include essays and memoirs by a wide range of disabled and nondisabled writers, including Bell Gale Chevigny, Sandra Gilbert, Joseph Grigely, Georgina Kleege, Victoria Ann Lewis, Carol Poore, Tobin Siebers, and Rosemarie Garland Thomson among others; poetry by Brooke Horvath, Joan Seliger Sidney, William Stafford, and others; fiction by Stephen Dixon, Michael Downs, Georgina Kleege, Dallas Wiebe, and others.
The collection covers a broad range of subjects and concerns that lie at the intersection of disability and the arts, including fetal alcohol syndrome, education, and identity; representations of disability in the visual arts and the complicated position of the disabled spectator; the impact of cancer on the patient and the caregiver; the similarities between beauty pageants and freak shows; Alzheimer's disease; prosthetic devices; the mechanized disabled body; disability and performance; and profiles of Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan, Christopher Reeve, Franklin Roosevelt, and sado-masochistic performance artist Bob Flanagan.
Points of Contact: Disability, Art, and Culture was originally published as a special double issue of the well regarded literary magazine, the Michigan Quarterly Review. Now available in a single, convenient paperback volume, its broad range of perspectives on disability and its entertaining and engaging selections will appeal to general readers, scholars, and students alike.
Susan Crutchfield is lecturer in English, University of Michigan. Marcy Epstein teaches literature at The Roeper School and women's studies at Henry Ford Community College.
In The Problem Body, editors Sally Chivers and Nicole Markotic bring together the work of eleven of the best disability scholars from the U.S., the U.K., Canada, and South Korea to explore a new approach to the study of film by concentrating on cinematic representations of what they term “the problem body.” The book is a much-needed exploration of the projection of disability on film combined with a much-needed rethinking of hierarchies of difference. The editors turned to the existing corpus of disability theory with its impressive insights about the social and cultural mediation of disabled bodies. They then sought, from scholars at every stage of their careers, new ideas about how disabled bodies coexist with a range of other bodies (gendered, queered, racialized, classed, etc.).
To call into question why certain bodies invite the label “problem” more frequently than other bodies, the contributors draw on scholarship from feminist, race, queer, cultural studies, disability, and film studies arenas. In Chivers and Markotic’s introduction, they draw on disability theory and a range of cinematic examples to explain the term “problem body” in relation to its projection. In explorations of film noir, illness narratives, classical Hollywood film, and French film, the essays reveal the “problem body” as a multiplication of lived circumstances constructed both physically and socially.
In The Right to Maim Jasbir K. Puar brings her pathbreaking work on the liberal state, sexuality, and biopolitics to bear on our understanding of disability. Drawing on a stunning array of theoretical and methodological frameworks, Puar uses the concept of “debility”—bodily injury and social exclusion brought on by economic and political factors—to disrupt the category of disability. She shows how debility, disability, and capacity together constitute an assemblage that states use to control populations. Puar's analysis culminates in an interrogation of Israel's policies toward Palestine, in which she outlines how Israel brings Palestinians into biopolitical being by designating them available for injury. Supplementing its right to kill with what Puar calls the right to maim, the Israeli state relies on liberal frameworks of disability to obscure and enable the mass debilitation of Palestinian bodies. Tracing disability's interaction with debility and capacity, Puar offers a brilliant rethinking of Foucauldian biopolitics while showing how disability functions at the intersection of imperialism and racialized capital.
Drawing on extensive fieldwork and a variety of original sources, Katharina Heyer examines three case studies—Germany, Japan, and the United Nations—to trace the evolution of a disability rights model from its origins in the U.S. through its adaptations in other democracies to its current formulation in international law. She demonstrates that, although notions of disability, equality, and rights are reinterpreted and contested within various political contexts, ultimately the result may be a more robust and substantive understanding of equality.
Rights Enabled is a truly interdisciplinary work, combining sociolegal literature on rights and legal mobilization with a deep cultural and sociopolitical analysis of the concept of disability developed in Disability Studies. Heyer raises important issues for scholarship on comparative rights, the global reach of social movements, and the uses and limitations of rights-based activism.
Sex and Disability
Robert McRuer and Anna Mollow, eds. Duke University Press, 2012 Library of Congress HQ30.5.S46 2012 | Dewey Decimal 306.7087
The title of this collection of essays, Sex and Disability, unites two terms that the popular imagination often regards as incongruous. The major texts in sexuality studies, including queer theory, rarely mention disability, and foundational texts in disability studies do not discuss sex in much detail. What if "sex" and "disability" were understood as intimately related concepts? And what if disabled people were seen as both subjects and objects of a range of erotic desires and practices? These are among the questions that this collection's contributors engage. From multiple perspectives—including literary analysis, ethnography, and autobiography—they consider how sex and disability come together and how disabled people negotiate sex and sexual identities in ableist and heteronormative culture. Queering disability studies, while also expanding the purview of queer and sexuality studies, these essays shake up notions about who and what is sexy and sexualizable, what counts as sex, and what desire is. At the same time, they challenge conceptions of disability in the dominant culture, queer studies, and disability studies. Contributors. Chris Bell, Michael Davidson, Lennard J. Davis, Michel Desjardins, Lezlie Frye, Rachael Groner, Kristen Harmon, Michelle Jarman, Alison Kafer, Riva Lehrer, Nicole Markotić, Robert McRuer, Anna Mollow, Rachel O’Connell, Russell Shuttleworth, David Serlin, Tobin Siebers, Abby L. Wilkerson
Drawing on her own experiences with late-onset disability and its impact on her sex life, along with her expertise as a cultural critic, Jane Gallop explores how disability and aging work to undermine one's sense of self. She challenges common conceptions that equate the decline of bodily potential and ability with a permanent and irretrievable loss, arguing that such a loss can be both temporary and positively transformative. With Sexuality, Disability, and Aging, Gallop explores and celebrates how sexuality transforms and becomes more queer in the lives of the no longer young and the no longer able while at the same time demonstrating how disability can generate new forms of sexual fantasy and erotic possibility.
Although it is commonly believed that deafness and disability limits a person in a variety of ways, Valuing Deaf Worlds in Urban India describes the two as a source of value in postcolonial India. Michele Friedner argues that the experiences of deaf people offer an important portrayal of contemporary self-making and sociality under new regimes of labor and economy in India.
Friedner contends that deafness actually becomes a source of value for deaf Indians as they interact with nongovernmental organizations, with employers in the global information technology sector, and with the state. In contrast to previous political economic moments, deaf Indians increasingly depend less on the state for education and employment, and instead turn to novel and sometimes surprising spaces such as NGOs, multinational corporations, multilevel marketing businesses, and churches that attract deaf congregants. They also gravitate towards each other. Their social practices may be invisible to outsiders because neither the state nor their families have recognized Indian Sign Language as legitimate, but deaf Indians collectively learn sign language, which they use among themselves, and they also learn the importance of working within the structures of their communities to maximize their opportunities.
Valuing Deaf Worlds in Urban India analyzes how diverse deaf people become oriented toward each other and disoriented from their families and other kinship networks. More broadly, this book explores how deafness, deaf sociality, and sign language relate to contemporary society.
War on Autism examines autism as a historically specific and powerladen cultural phenomenon that has much to teach about the social organization of a neoliberal western modernity. Bringing together a variety of interpretive theoretical perspectives including critical disability studies, queer and critical race theory, and cultural studies, the book analyzes the social significance and productive effects of contemporary discourses of autism as these are produced and circulated in the field of autism advocacy. Anne McGuire discusses how in the field of autism advocacy, autism often appears as an abbreviation, its multiple meanings distilled to various “red flag” warnings in awareness campaigns, bulleted biomedical ”facts” in information pamphlets, or worrisome statistics in policy reports. She analyzes the relationships between these fragmentary enactments of autism and traces their continuities to reveal an underlying, powerful, and ubiquitous logic of violence that casts autism as a pathological threat that advocacy must work to eliminate. Such logic, McGuire contends, functions to delimit the role of the “good” autism advocate to one who is positioned “against” autism.
Why I Burned My Book
Paul Longmore Temple University Press, 2003 Library of Congress HV1568.L66 2003 | Dewey Decimal 305.908160973
This wide-ranging book shows why Paul Longmore is one of the most respected figures in disability studies today. Understanding disability as a major variety of human experience, he urges us to establish it as a category of social, political, and historical analysis in much the same way that race, gender, and class already have been. The essays here search for the often hidden pattern of systemic prejudice and probe into the institutionalized discrimination that affects the one in five Americans with disabilities.Whether writing about the social critic Randolph Bourne, contemporary political activists, or media representations of people with disabilities, Longmore demonstrates that the search for heroes is a key part of the continuing struggle of disabled people to gain a voice and to shape their destinies. His essays on bioethics and public policy examine the conflict of agendas between disability rights activists and non-disabled policy makers, healthcare professionals, euthanasia advocates, and corporate medical bureaucracies. The title essay, which concludes the book, demonstrates the necessity of activism for any disabled person who wants access to the American dream.