- Series: Routledge Research in Cultural and Media Studies (Book 12)
- Paperback: 324 pages
- Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (November 29, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0415806275
- ISBN-13: 978-0415806275
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,823,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Autism and Representation (Routledge Research in Cultural and Media Studies) 1st Edition
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"Osteen focuses on contemporary writing, offering astute and sensitive appraisals of a wide range of novels, parental accounts and autobiographies." -- Dr Michael Fitzpatrick, Spiked
"This book is an excellent resource for any scholar interested in disability studies and autism. It brings theory to bear on what may be called a cognitive disability, places the diagnosis of autism in a historical and cultural context, and addresses issues of representation (by self and other). The essays demonstrate, in their entirety, how wide the spectrum of what is being called autism is and alert us to the individuality of autistics." NYU Literature, Medicine and Arts Database
About the Author
Mark Osteen is Professor of English and Director of Film Studies at Loyola College in Maryland.
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The book undeniably contains some innovative and exciting recent writing on this emerging topic, despite this, the work as a whole suffers from the editor's perspective and biases. These biases are clearly stated in the introduction, as well as in Osteen's own problematic essay, and raise the question of whether the book's title drifts from problematic to offensive when one is confronted with the reasoning by which autistic people were specifically designated as irrelevant and unwelcome to this "representation."
It should go without saying that the work suffers--profoundly--from the lack of inclusion of autistic voices. Mark Osteen dismisses the emerging neurodiversity movement as a misguided attempt by "high-functioning aspies" to inflict their naïve worldview on the parents and caregivers of persons with real autism, an argument that entirely discounts the growing numbers of neurodiversity advocates who would fall into the category Osteen would designate "low-functioning."
In light of the fact that Autism and Representation continues the controversial practice of relying on non-autistic voices to speak for autistic people, as well as Mark Osteen's choice to publish an essay in which he egregiously violates his own child's privacy , it is the opinion of this reviewer that one cannot ethically endorse the purchase of this book or its inclusion on a college syllabus; it does, however, contain several praise-worthy essays (such as James T. Fisher's "Autism and the American Conversion Narrative") which stand on their own and one hopes may eventually be found elsewhere.