"The Thing. Daredevil. Captain Marvel. The Human Fly. Drawing on DC and Marvel comics from the 1950s to the 1990s and marshaling insights from three burgeoning fields of inquiry in the humanities--disability studies, death and dying studies, and comics studies-- José Alaniz seeks to redefine the contemporary understanding of the superhero. Beginning in the Silver Age, the genre increasingly challenged and complicated its hypermasculine, quasi-eugenicist biases through such disabled figures as Ben Grimm/The Thing, Matt Murdock/Daredevil, and the Doom Patrol. Alaniz traces how the superhero became increasingly vulnerable, ill, and mortal in this era. He then proceeds to a reinterpretation of characters and series--some familiar (Superman), some obscure (She-Thing). These genre changes reflected a wider awareness of related body issues in the postwar U.S. as represented by hospice, death with dignity, and disability rights movements. The persistent highlighting of the body's "imperfection" comes to forge a predominant aspect of the superheroic self. Such moves, originally part of the Silver Age strategy to stimulate sympathy, enhance psychological depth, and raise the dramatic stakes, developed further in such later series as The Human Fly, Strikeforce: Morituri, and the landmark graphic novel The Death of Captain Marvel, all examined in this volume. Death and disability, presumed routinely absent or denied in the superhero genre, emerge to form a core theme and defining function of the Silver Age and beyond." Source: Ebook Central
"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."
Literature and Disability introduces readers to the field of disability studies and the ways in which a focus on issues of impairment and the representation of disability can provide new approaches to reading and writing about literary texts. Disability plays a central role in much of the most celebrated literature, yet it is only in recent years that literary criticism has begun to consider the aesthetic, ethical and literary challenges that this poses.
The author explores:
key debates and issues in disability studies today
different forms of impairment, with the aim of showing the diversity and ambiguity of the term "disability"
the intersection between literary critical approaches to disability and feminist, post-colonial, and autobiographical writing
genre and representations of disability in relation to literary forms including novels, short stories, poems, plays and life writing
This volume provides students and academics with an accessible overview of literary critical approaches to disability representation.
"What are the unconscious fantasies circulating in representations of disability? What role do these fantasies play in defining the condition of disability? What can these fantasies teach us about human vulnerability writ large?
The Fantasy of Disability explores how popular culture texts, such as Degrassi: The Next Generation and Glee, fantasize about what life with a physical disability must be like, while at the same time exerting tremendous pressure on disabled individuals to conform their identity and behaviour to fit within the margins of these societally perpetuated archetypes. Rather than merely engaging with how disability is represented, though, this text investigates how representations of disability reveal their nondisabled producers to be perpetually anxious subjects, doomed to fear not just the disabled subject but the very reality of disability lurking within.
Situated at the nexus of disability studies, media studies and psychology, this text presents an innovative way of analyzing representations of disability in popular culture, inverting the psychoanalytic gaze back upon the nondisabled to investigate how disability can become a lens through which to interrogate the normate subject." Source Taylor and Francis
"Disability, like questions of race, gender, and class, is one of the most provocative topics among theorists and philosophers today. This volume, situated at the intersection of feminist theory and disability studies, addresses questions about the nature of embodiment, the meaning of disability, the impact of public policy on those who have been labeled disabled, and how we define the norms of mental and physical ability. The essays here bridge the gap between theory and activism by illuminating structures of power and showing how historical and cultural perceptions of the human body have been informed by and contributed to the oppression of women and disabled people."
"In Feminist, Queer, Crip Alison Kafer imagines a different future for disability and disabled bodies. Challenging the ways in which ideas about the future and time have been deployed in the service of compulsory able-bodiedness and able-mindedness, Kafer rejects the idea of disability as a pre-determined limit. She juxtaposes theories, movements, and identities such as environmental justice, reproductive justice, cyborg theory, transgender politics, and disability that are typically discussed in isolation and envisions new possibilities for crip futures and feminist/queer/crip alliances. This bold book goes against the grain of normalization and promotes a political framework for a more just world."--Publisher's website
"Literatures of Madness: Disability Studies and Mental Health brings together scholars working in disability studies, mad studies, feminist theory, Indigenous studies, postcolonial theory, Jewish literature, queer studies, American studies, trauma studies, and comics to create an intersectional community of scholarship in literary disability studies of mental health. The collection contains essays on canonical authors and lesser known and sometimes forgotten writers, including Sylvia Plath, Louisa May Alcott, Hannah Weiner, Mary Jane Ward, Michelle Cliff, Lee Maracle, Joanne Greenberg, Ann Bannon, Jerry Pinto, Persimmon Blackridge, and others. The volume addresses the under-representation of madness and psychiatric disability in the field of disability studies, which traditionally focuses on physical disability, and explores the controversies and the common ground among disability studies, anti-psychiatric discourses, mad studies, graphic medicine, and health/medical humanities." Source Publisher
"Disability in Comic Books and Graphic Narratives invites readers to consider both canonical and alternative graphic representations of disability. Some chapters focus on comic superheroes, from lesser-known protagonists like Cyborg and Helen Killer to classics such as Batgirl and Batman; many more explore the amazing range of graphic narratives revolving around disability, covering famous names such as Alison Bechdel and Chris Ware, as well as less familiar artists like Keiko Tobe and Georgia Webber. The volume also offers a broad spectrum of represented disabilities: amputation, autism, blindness, deafness, depression, Huntington's, multiple sclerosis, obsessive-compulsive disorder, speech impairment, and spinal injury. A number of the essays collected here show how comics continue to implicate themselves in the objectification and marginalization of persons with disabilities, perpetuating stale stereotypes and stigmas. At the same time, others stress how this medium simultaneously offers unique potential for transforming our understanding of disability in truly profound ways." Source: Publisher