Description : Focusing primarily on the work of Samuel Beckett, Toni Morrison, Wole Soyinka, and J. M. Coetzee, Ato Quayson launches a thoroughly cross-cultural, interdisciplinary study of the representation of physical disability. Quayson suggests that the subliminal unease and moral panic invoked by the disabled is refracted within the structures of literature and literary discourse itself, a crisis he terms "aesthetic nervousness." The disabled reminds the able-bodied that the body is provisional and temporary and that normality is wrapped up in certain social frameworks. Quayson expands his argument by turning to Greek and Yoruba writings, African American and postcolonial literature, depictions of deformed characters in early modern England and the plays of Shakespeare, and children's films, among other texts. He considers how disability affects interpersonal relationships and forces the character and the reader to take an ethical standpoint, much like representations of violence, pain, and the sacred. The disabled are also used to represent social suffering, inadvertently obscuring their true hardships.
Description : Disability is a growing reality. According to the United States Census Bureau, approximately 57 million people—19 percent of the population—had a disability in 2010, more than half being reported as “severe.” Interest in disability studies is also growing, in literature, film, art, politics and religion. Exploring the intersection between disability and young adult literature, this collection of new essays fills a gap in scholarship between teachers and YAL scholars. The contributors offer textual analysis, best practices and numerous examples that enable teachers to expose students to dynamic characters who both reflect and contrast with the reader’s reality.
Description : The Fourth Edition of the Disability Studies Reader breaks new ground by emphasizing the global, transgender, homonational, and posthuman conceptions of disability. Including physical disabilities, but exploring issues around pain, mental disability, and invisible disabilities, this edition explores more varieties of bodily and mental experience. New histories of the legal, social, and cultural give a broader picture of disability than ever before. Now available for the first time in eBook format 978-0-203-07788-7.
Description : Imagination and the Contemporary Novel examines the global preoccupation with the imagination among literary authors with ties to former colonies of the British Empire since the 1960s. John Su draws on a wide range of authors including Peter Ackroyd, Monica Ali, Julian Barnes, André Brink, J. M. Coetzee, John Fowles, Amitav Ghosh, Nadine Gordimer, Hanif Kureishi, Salman Rushdie and Zadie Smith. This study rehabilitates the category of imagination in order to understand a broad range of contemporary Anglophone literature. The responses of such literature to shifts in global capitalism have often been misunderstood by the dominant categories of literary studies, the postmodern and the postcolonial. As both an insightful critique into the themes that drive a range of today's best novelists and a bold restatement of what the imagination is and what it means for contemporary culture, this book breaks new ground in the study of twenty-first-century literature.
Description : Twisted bodies, deformed faces, aberrant behavior, and abnormal desires characterized the hideous creatures of classic Hollywood horror, which thrilled audiences with their sheer grotesqueness. Most critics have interpreted these traits as symptoms of sexual repression or as metaphors for other kinds of marginalized identities, yet Angela M. Smith conducts a richer investigation into the period's social and cultural preoccupations. She finds instead a fascination with eugenics and physical and cognitive debility in the narrative and spectacle of classic 1930s horror, heightened by the viewer's desire for visions of vulnerability and transformation. Reading such films as Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931), Freaks (1932), and Mad Love (1935) against early-twentieth-century disability discourse and propaganda on racial and biological purity, Smith showcases classic horror's dependence on the narratives of eugenics and physiognomics. She also notes the genre's conflicted and often contradictory visualizations. Smith ultimately locates an indictment of biological determinism in filmmakers' visceral treatments, which take the impossibility of racial improvement and bodily perfection to sensationalistic heights. Playing up the artifice and conventions of disabled monsters, filmmakers exploited the fears and yearnings of their audience, accentuating both the perversity of the medical and scientific gaze and the debilitating experience of watching horror. Classic horror films therefore encourage empathy with the disabled monster, offering captive viewers an unsettling encounter with their own impairment. Smith's work profoundly advances cinema and disability studies, in addition to general histories concerning the construction of social and political attitudes toward the Other.
Description : In the mid-nineteenth-century United States, as it became increasingly difficult to distinguish between bodies understood as black, white, or Indian; able-bodied or disabled; and male or female, intense efforts emerged to define these identities as biologically distinct and scientifically verifiable in a literally marked body. Combining literary analysis, legal history, and visual culture, Ellen Samuels traces the evolution of the “fantasy of identification”—the powerful belief that embodied social identities are fixed, verifiable, and visible through modern science. From birthmarks and fingerprints to blood quantum and DNA, she examines how this fantasy has circulated between cultural representations, law, science, and policy to become one of the most powerfully institutionalized ideologies of modern society. Yet, as Samuels demonstrates, in every case, the fantasy distorts its claimed scientific basis, substituting subjective language for claimed objective fact. From its early emergence in discourses about disability fakery and fugitive slaves in the nineteenth century to its most recent manifestation in the question of sex testing at the 2012 Olympic Games, Fantasies of Identification explores the roots of modern understandings of bodily identity.
Description : Theorists of Orientalism and postcolonialism argue that novelists betray political and cultural anxieties when characterizing "the Other." Shameem Black takes a different stance. Turning a fresh eye toward several key contemporary novelists, she reveals how "border-crossing" fiction represents socially diverse groups without resorting to stereotype, idealization, or other forms of imaginative constraint. Focusing on the work of J. M. Coetzee, Amitav Ghosh, Jeffrey Eugenides, Ruth Ozeki, Charles Johnson, Gish Jen, and Rupa Bajwa, Black introduces an interpretative lens that captures the ways in which these authors envision an ethics of representing social difference. They not only offer sympathetic portrayals of the lives of others but also detail the processes of imagining social difference. Whether depicting the multilingual worlds of South and Southeast Asia, the exportation of American culture abroad, or the racial tension of postapartheid South Africa, these transcultural representations explore social and political hierarchies in constructive ways. Boldly confronting the orthodoxies of recent literary criticism, Fiction Across Borders builds upon such seminal works as Edward Said's Orientalism and offers a provocative new study of the late twentieth-century novel.
Description : Critical Theory and Disability explores social and ontological issues encountered by present-day disabled people, applying ideas from disability studies and phenomenology. It focuses on disabling contexts in order to highlight and criticize the ontological assumptions of contemporary society, particularly those related to the meaning of human being. In empirical terms, the book explores critically social practices that undermine disabled people's well being, drawing on cases from contemporary Bulgaria. It includes in-depth examination of key mechanisms such as disability assessment, personal assistance (direct payments) and disability-based discrimination. On this basis, wider sociological and ontological claims are made concerning the body, identity, otherness, and exclusion.
Description : Now available in a single volume paperback, this advanced reference resource for the novel and novel theory offers authoritative accounts of the history, terminology, and genre of the novel, in over 140 articles of 500-7,000 words. Entries explore the history and tradition of the novel in different areas of the world; formal elements of the novel (story, plot, character, narrator); technical aspects of the genre (such as realism, narrative structure and style); subgenres, including the bildungsroman and the graphic novel; theoretical problems, such as definitions of the novel; book history; and the novel's relationship to other arts and disciplines. The Encyclopedia is arranged in A-Z format and features entries from an international cast of over 140 scholars, overseen by an advisory board of 37 leading specialists in the field, making this the most authoritative reference resource available on the novel. This essential reference, now available in an easy-to-use, fully indexed single volume paperback, will be a vital addition to the libraries of literature students and scholars everywhere.
Description : Queer Postcolonial Narratives and the Ethics of Witnessing is a critical study of the relationship between bodies, memories and communal witnessing. With a focus on the aesthetics and politics of queer postcolonial narratives, this book examines how unspeakable traumas of colonial and familial violence are communicated through the body. Exploring multisensory epistemologies as queer and anti-colonial acts of resistance, McCormack offers an original engagement with collective and public forms of bearing witness that may emerge in response to institutionalized violence. Intergenerational, communal and fragmented narratives are central to this analysis of ethics, witnessing, and embodied memories. Queer Postcolonial Narratives and the Ethics of Witnessing is the first text to offer a sustained analysis of Judith Butler's and Homi Bhabha's intersecting theories of performativity, and to draw out the centrality of witnessing to the performative structure of power. It moves through queer, postcolonial, disability and trauma studies to explore how the repetition of familial violence – throughout multiple generations –may be lessened through an embodied witnessing that is simultaneously painful, disturbing and filled with pleasure. Its focus is selected literary texts by Shani Mootoo, Tahar Ben Jelloun and Ann-Marie MacDonald, and it situates this literary analysis in the colonial histories of Trinidad, Morocco and Canada.