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The Disability Studies Reader 2nd Edition
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"The Disability Studies Reader is a classic of invention, intervention, and interdiciplinarity. Contesting at every juncture the arbitrariness of signs such as "normal, "natural," "healthy," and "able bodied," the collection rewrites epistemologies of pedagogy and research long considered "standard." The work's judgments are rejuvenating, its observations insightful, its creativity a gift."―Houston Baker, English, Vanderbilt University
"Over the past 15 years, disability studies have grown not only along with, but because of, Lennard Davis's Disability Studies Reader. This anthology provides a flexible, advanced overview of the state of scholarship on disability in the humanities and reaffirms the DSR’s position as the "must have" text for those venturing into disability studies at any level."―Robert A. Wilson, Philosophy, University of Alberta
"Professor Davis has compiled an outstanding selection of essays from leading American and international disability scholars and activists. The book is a comprehensive survey of disability culture, politics, identity, history, and fiction that can both enlighten the educated student of disability studies and serve as an introduction to the disability experience."―Paul S. Miller, Law, University of Washington--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
"This is an indispensable collection, bringing together foundational arguments in disability studies and provocative new work from emerging young scholars in the field. If you're curious as to why (and how) disability studies has stimulated so much debate in the humanities, The Disability Studies Reader is a great place to start finding out."
--Michael Bérubé, Paterno Family Professor in Literature, Penn State University
"There is simply no area of contemporary life-- be it medical, economic, educational, juridical, athletic, architectural, culinary, recreation, entertainment--that goes unaddressed in the disability studies literature. Just when you thought that there was nothing new to say about social construction, difference, the performative, the universal, the particular and the body, disability studies comes along to demonstrate both the theoretical and practical urgencies to which these and other too often abstract terms really refer. If you've been hearing about disability studies, but didn't quite know what to make of it, this is the anthology for you."
--Stanley Fish, Davidson-Kahn Distinguished University Professor of Humanities and Law, Florida International University
"A classic just got even better! Only a few disciplines can claim a founding text. For disability studies, with its far-reaching implications for other fields, this is it. It all starts--and re-starts in a superb second edition--right here."
--David B. Morris, author of The Culture of Pain
"This revised edition demonstrates the significant evolution of the field. Greater attention to such vital issues as globalization, gender, critical race studies, and cultural constructions appear in cogent new essays that enhance and complement the collection. As with the original Disability Studies Reader , this edition challenges its readers with pioneering studies of theoretical models and the politics of disability.
--Susan Burch, author of Signs of Resistance: American Deaf Cultural History, 1900 to World War II
"This collection of scholarly essays strikes at the concept of normalcy and touches us on both personal and societal levels. From an academic perspective, the field of disability studies broadens our race, class, and gender discussions to include layers of identity and moments of connection. The Disability Studies Reader challenges us to reexamine human difference."
--I. King Jordan, President, Gallaudet University
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Davis has written an elegant introduction that is ideological - with good reason. He provides an overview and defines the field and its terms. Davis cites many of the developers and 'early' thinkers (ancient times to the present) of disability studies and, in summary, asserts that Disability Studies is not about "sensitizing" "normal" persons. Disability Studies is, rather, "in favor of advocacy, investigation, inquiry, archeology, genealogy, dialectic, and deconstruction."
The book (which does not have to be read in any particular order) is divided into seven main sections: "Historical Perspectives," "Politics of Disability," "Stigma and Illness," "Gender and Disability," "Disability and Education," "Disability and Culture," and finally a small section of fiction and poetry.
Davis' "Constructing Normalcy" appears first, appropriately so, for in my view it's really required reading. There is a generous selection of essays on Deafness and Deaf culture. (Davis himself grew up as the child of Deaf parents). Some of my favorite essays: Harlan Hahn's "Advertising the Acceptably Employable Image," on the relationship between capitalism and disability; Susan Wendell's deeply personal and thoughtful "Toward a Feminist Theory of Disability," in which she points out, "When you listen to this culture in a disabled body, you hear how often health and physical vigor are talked about as if they were moral virtues." Susan Sontag writes on AIDS and metaphor. "Blindness and Art" by Nicholas Mirzoeff is complex, difficult, and worth the effort. In addition there are a number of incredibly powerful historical discussions.
This is a terrific textbook - for it contains a wealth of material that is challenging and engaging. Readers interested in this field and its ideas will be pleased. As a reference work it'll doubtless be useful for many years. It's solid and complex, and definitely worth reading.