Disability Rhetoric is the first book to view rhetorical theory and history through the lens of disability studies. Traditionally, the body has been seen as, at best, a rhetorical distraction; at worst, those whose bodies do not conform to a narrow range of norms are disqualified from speaking. Yet, Dolmage argues that communication has always been obsessed with the meaning of the body and that bodily difference is always highly rhetorical. Following from this rewriting of rhetorical history, he outlines the development of a new theory, affirming the ideas that all communication is embodied, that the body plays a central role in all expression, and that greater attention to a range of bodies is therefore essential to a better understanding of rhetorical histories, theories, and possibilities.
Presenting thirteen essays, [the] editors ... unite the fields of disability studies and rhetoric to examine connections between disability, education, language, and cultural practices. Bringing together theoretical and analytical perspectives from rhetorical studies and disability studies, these essays extend both the field of rhetoric and the newer field of disability studies. Several essayists are themselves disabled or have disabled family members. Some of the scholars whose essays are collected in this volume analyze the ways that representations of disability construct disability identity and attitudes toward the disabled. Other scholars in this volume use disability as a critical modality to rethink economic theory, educational practices, and everyday interactions.-Back cover.
Ableism, a form of discrimination that elevates “able” bodies over those perceived as less capable, remains one of the most widespread areas of systematic and explicit discrimination in Western culture. Yet in contrast to the substantial body of scholarly work on racism, sexism, classism, and heterosexism, ableism remains undertheorized and underexposed. In this book, James L. Cherney takes a rhetorical approach to the study of ableism to reveal how it has worked its way into our everyday understanding of disability. Ableist Rhetoric argues that ableism is learned and transmitted through the ways we speak about those with disabilities. Through a series of textual case studies, Cherney identifies three rhetorical norms that help illustrate the widespread influence of ableist ideas in society. He explores the notion that “deviance is evil” by analyzing the possession narratives of Cotton Mather and the modern horror touchstone The Exorcist. He then considers whether “normal is natural” in Aristotle’s Generation of Animals and in the cultural debate over cochlear implants. Finally, he shows how the norm “body is able” operates in Alexander Graham Bell’s writings on eugenics and in the legal cases brought by disabled athletes Casey Martin and Oscar Pistorius. These three simple equivalencies play complex roles within the social institutions of religion, medicine, law, and sport. Cherney concludes by calling for a rhetorical model of disability, which, he argues, will provide a shift in orientation to challenge ableism’s epistemic, ideological, and visual components. Accessible and compelling, this groundbreaking book will appeal to scholars of both rhetoric and disability studies, as well as to disability rights advocates.
While there are many introductions to disability and disability studies, most presume an advanced academic knowledge of a range of subjects. Beginning with Disability is the first introductory primer for disaibility studies aimed at first year students in two- and four-year colleges. This volume of essays across disciplines—including education, sociology, communications, psychology, social sciences, and humanities—features accessible, readable, and relatively short chapters that do not require specialized knowledge. Lennard Davis, along with a team of consulting editors, has compiled a number of blogs, vlogs, and other videos to make the materials more relatable and vivid to students. "Subject to Debate" boxes spotlight short pro and con pieces on controversial subjects that can be debated in class or act as prompts for assignments.
Rhetorical Touch argues for an understanding of touch as a rhetorical art by approaching the sense of touch through the kinds of bodies and minds that rhetorical history and theory have tended to exclude. In resistance to a rhetorical tradition focused on shaping able bodies and neurotypical minds, Shannon Walters explores how people with various disabilities—psychological, cognitive, and physical—employ touch to establish themselves as communicators and to connect with disabled and nondisabled audiences. In doing so, she argues for a theory of rhetoric that understands and values touch as rhetorical. Essential to her argument is a redefinition of key concepts and terms—the rhetorical situation, rhetorical identification, and the appeals of ethos (character), pathos (emotion), and logos (logic or message). By connecting Empedoclean and sophistic theories to Aristotelian rhetoric and Burkean approaches, Walters’s methods mobilize a wide range of key figures in rhetorical history and theory in response to the context of disability. Using Empedocles’ tactile approach to logos, Walters shows how the iterative writing processes of people with psychological disabilities shape crucial spaces for identification based on touch in online and real life spaces. Mobilizing the touch-based properties of the rhetorical practice of mētis, Walters demonstrates how rhetors with autism approach the crafting of ethos in generative and embodied ways. Rereading the rhetorical practice of kairos in relation to the proximity between bodies, Walters demonstrates how writers with physical disabilities move beyond approaches of pathos based on pity and inspiration. The volume also includes a classroom-based exploration of the discourses and assumptions regarding bodies in relation to haptic, or touch-based, technologies. Because the sense of touch is the most persistent of the senses, Walters argues that in contexts of disability and in situations in which people with and without disabilities interact, touch can be a particularly vital instrument for creating meaning, connection, and partial identification. She contends that a rhetoric thus reshaped stretches contemporary rhetoric and composition studies to respond to the contributions of disabled rhetors and transforms the traditional rhetorical appeals and canons. Ultimately, Walters argues, a rhetoric of touch allows for a richer understanding of the communication processes of a wide range of rhetors who use embodied strategies.
Disability, Space, Architecture: A Reader takes a groundbreaking approach to exploring the interconnections between disability, architecture and cities. The contributions come from architecture, geography, anthropology, health studies, English language and literature, rhetoric and composition, art history, disability studies and disability arts and cover personal, theoretical and innovative ideas and work. Richer approaches to disability – beyond regulation and design guidance – remain fragmented and difficult to find for architectural and built environment students, educators and professionals. By bringing together in one place some seminal texts and projects, as well as newly commissioned writings, readers can engage with disability in unexpected and exciting ways that can vibrantly inform their understandings of architecture and urban design. Most crucially, Disability, Space, Architecture: A Reader opens up not just disability but also ability – dis/ability – as a means of refusing the normalisation of only particular kinds of bodies in the design of built space. It reveals how our everyday social attitudes and practices about people, objects and spaces can be better understood through the lens of disability, and it suggests how thinking differently about dis/ability can enable innovative and new kinds of critical and creative architectural and urban design education and practice.
Whilst legislation may have progressed internationally and nationally for disabled people, barriers continue to exist, of which one of the most pervasive and ingrained is attitudinal. Social attitudes are often rooted in a lack of knowledge and are perpetuated through erroneous stereotypes, and ultimately these legal and policy changes are ineffectual without a corresponding attitudinal change. This unique book provides a much needed, multifaceted exploration of changing social attitudes toward disability. Adopting a tripartite approach to examining disability, the book looks at historical, cultural, and education studies, broadly conceived, in order to provide a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach to the documentation and endorsement of changing social attitudes toward disability. Written by a selection of established and emerging scholars in the field, the book aims to break down some of the unhelpful boundaries between disciplines so that disability is recognised as an issue for all of us across all aspects of society, and to encourage readers to recognise disability in all its forms and within all its contexts. This truly multidimensional approach to changing social attitudes will be important reading for students and researchers of disability from education, cultural and disability studies, and all those interested in the questions and issues surrounding attitudes toward disability.
Arguing for Access: Everyday Rhetorical Labor of Disability theorizes rhetoric of public engagement from the lived communicative experiences of people who are blind and visually impaired. Through semi-structured rhetorical life history interviews with nineteen people who are blind and visually impaired and rhetorical analysis of first-person narratives produced for a community-writing project, I investigate how people learn and use literate and rhetorical practices for public engagement with disability. The daily, public work of access involves developing and deploying complex verbal and embodied strategies for countering deficit discourses and reconfiguring normative relations to motivate and teach interdependence. I call this daily demand for rhetorical activity everyday rhetorical labor of disability, and I explore how it manifests in three contexts: professional, informational, and social. In professional contexts, my analysis demonstrates how what I call normative workplace commonplaces shape arguments about work and working bodies and construct barriers to access for workers with disabilities. In informational contexts, I show how what I call technological commonplaces shape claims about who uses which technologies, for what purposes, where, when, and how, creating the need for rhetorical labor from users of adaptive tools of information access. In social life, my analysis demonstrates how participants must deploy a rhetorical pedagogy of interdependence to teach non-normative ways of moving and thinking about humanness, responsibility, agency, and community. Taken together, my analysis of participant rhetorical experience in these three contexts reveals real social, emotional, and material consequences of everyday rhetorical labor of disability. Access fatigue, a phenomenon observed in the data, points to the lived consequences of such demands, demonstrating how the constant demand for rhetorical self-invention and pedagogy affects individuals' sense of self and depletes their energy for the rhetorical pursuit of access and inclusion. Ultimately, Arguing for Access provides empirical evidence of the lived consequences of a logic of individual rhetorical responsibility for justice and offers conceptual frameworks for examining other lived rhetorical experiences of difference.
Using grounded methods and deploying a critical disability studies framework, this dissertation assesses how people who identify or are identified as having intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) use their rhetorical skills—specifically, their self-advocacy skills—to access academic life. Through interviews and observations of rhetors affiliated with an innovative inclusive education program pseudonymously titled “STEP” (“Successful Transitions and Educational Progress”), I offer a practice account of I/DD’s relation to rhetoricity, or rhetorical capacity, in academic spaces. Contra to officialized discourses that portray self-advocacy as the responsibility of individual rhetors, I attend to self-advocacy’s social and rhetorical dimensions across three “sites”: student self-advocacy practices, assessment technologies used to measure student self-determination, and the self-advocacy practices of professional self-advocates. After a methodological commentary on the need for qualitative researchers in rhetoric and writing studies to attend to accessibility as a practical and theoretical concern, I conclude by reflecting on the implications of my findings for rhetorical education writ large: specifically, for how teachers conceive of the relationship between collaboration and credibility in their classrooms.
Franklin Roosevelt instinctively understood that a politician of his era who was unable to control his own body would be perceived as unable to control the body politic. He therefore took great care to hide his polioinduced lameness both visually and verbally. In "FDR's Body Politics, " Houck and Kiewe analyze the silences surrounding Roosevelt's disability, the words he chose to portray himself and his policies as powerful and healthgiving, and the methods he used to maximize the appearance of physical strength.
This volume of Wagadu: A Journal of Transnational Womens and Gender Studies launches its second printed edition. Wagaduthe Soninke name of the Ghana Empirecontrolled the present-day Mali, Mauritania and Senegal and was famous for its prosperity and power from approximately 300-1076 CE. It constituted the bridge between North Africa, the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern worlds and Sub-Saharan Africa. Ghana gave birth to the two most powerful West African Empires: Mali and Songhay. The modern country of Ghana (former British Gold Coast) derives its name from the Ghana Empire. Why Wagadu? Wagadu has come to be the symbol of the sacrifice women continue to make for a better world. Wagadu has become the metaphor for the role of women in the family, community, country, and planet. Duna taka siro no yagare npale The world does not go without women. This volume investigates the intersecting perspectives, grounded in or emanating from theoretical, discursive as well as experiential frameworks and positions specific to gender, disability and postcoloniality.
This book contains a global comparative study of implementation and monitoring mechanisms for national disability strategies. It comprises a comparative study that was conducted at international, regional and comparative country levels and that highlights critical success factors in implementing disability strategies or action plans worldwide. It explores emerging synergies between what is required to implement principles of international law contained in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and what it is possible to achieve through national policy and systems development. A number of critical success factors for implementing and monitoring strategies are identified, including leadership from government and civil society, participation of disabled people in implementation and monitoring, transparency and accountability in reporting on progress, independent monitoring and external review, and the ability to measure progress with indicators of disability equality.
Examines the rhetoric in and around the New York State Asylum for Idiots in Syracuse from 1854 to 1884. In the nineteenth century, language, rather than biology, created what we think of as disability. Much of the rhetorical nature of “idiocy,” and even intelligence itself, can be traced to the period when the New York State Asylum for Idiots in Syracuse first opened in 1854—memorialized today as the first public school for people considered “feeble-minded” or “idiotic.” The asylum-school pupil is a monumental example of how education attempts to mold and rehabilitate one’s being. Zosha Stuckey demonstrates how all education is in some way complicit in the urge to normalize. The broad, unstable, and cross-cultural category of “people with disabilities” endures an interesting relationship with rhetoric, education, speaking, and writing. Stuckey demystifies some of that relationship which requires new modes of inquiry and new ways of thinking, and she calls into question many of the assumptions about embodied differences as they relate to pedagogy, history, and public participation. “There is no other single work quite like this one. Stuckey makes an original contribution to rhetorical studies, to disability history, and to a history of special education.” — Cynthia Lewiecki-Wilson, coeditor of Disability and Mothering: Liminal Spaces of Embodied Knowledge
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.
Rhetorica in Motion is the first collected work to investigate feminist rhetorical research methods in both contemporary and historical contexts. The contributors analyze the decision-making processes and methodologies employed in deciphering the origins, meanings, theories, workings, and manifestations of feminist rhetoric. The volume examines familiar themes, such as archival, literary, and online research, but also looks to other areas of rhetoric, such as disability studies; gerontology/aging studies; Latina/o, queer, and transgender studies; performance studies; and transnational feminisms in both the United States and larger geopolitical spaces. Rhetorica in Motion incorporates previous views of feminist research, outlines a set of principles that guides current methods, and develops models for undertaking future inquiry, including working as individuals or balancing the dynamics of group research. The text explores how feminist research embodies what has come before and reflects what researchers, institutions, and instructors bring to it and what it brings to them. Underlying the discovery of this volume is the understanding that feminist rhetoric is in constant motion in a dynamic that resists definition.
* Why has 'the discursive turn' been sidelined in the development of a social theory of disability, and what has been the result of this? * How might a social theory of disability which fully incorporates the multidimensional and multifunctional role of language be described? * What would such a theory contribute to a more inclusive understanding of 'discourse' and 'culture'? The idea that disability is socially created has, in recent years, been increasingly legitimated within social, cultural and policy frameworks and structures which view disability as a form of social oppression. However, the materialist emphasis of these frameworks and structures has sidelined the growing recognition of the central role of language in social phenomena which has accompanied the 'linguistic turn' in social theory. As a result, little attention has been paid within Disability Studies to analysing the role of language in struggle and transformation in power relations and the engineering of social and cultural change. Drawing upon personal narratives, rhetoric, material discourse, discourse analysis, cultural representation, ethnography and contextual studies, international contributors seek to emphasize the multi-dimensional and multi-functional nature of disability language in an attempt to further inform our understanding of disability and to locate disability more firmly within contemporary mainstream social and cultural theory.
This unique interdisciplinary book uses a fresh approach to explore issues of disability in the Hebrew Bible. It examines how disability functions in the David Story (1 Samuel 16; 1 Kings 2) by paying special attention to Mephibosheth, the only biblical character with a disability as a sustained character trait. The David Story contains some of the Bible's most striking images of disability. Nonetheless, interpreters tend to focus on legal material rather than narratives when studying disability in the Hebrew Bible. Often, they neglect the David Story's complex use of disability. They overlook its use of disability imagery as open to critical interpretation because its stereotypical meanings may seem so commonplace and transparent. Yet recent work in the burgeoning field of disability studies presents disability as a complicated motif that demands more critical engagement than it typically receives. Informed by exciting developments in the field, it argues that the David Story employs disability imagery as a subtle mode of narrating and organizing various ideological positions regarding national identity.
Rhetoric has traditionally studied acts of persuasion in the affairs of government and men, but this work investigates the language of other, non-traditional rhetors, including immigrants, women, urban children and others who have long been on the margins of civic life and political forums.