Centre for Culture & Disability Studies

Authored Books

book coverDavid Bolt.
Cultural Disability Studies in Education: Interdiciplinary Navigations of the Normative Divide.
Abingdon: Routledge, 2018.

Over the last few decades disability studies has emerged not only as a discipline in itself but also as a catalyst for cultural disability studies and Disability Studies in Education. In this book the three areas become united in a new field that recognises education as a discourse between tutors and students who explore representations of disability on the levels of everything from academic disciplines and knowledge to language and theory; from received understandings and social attitudes to narrative and characterisation. Moving from late nineteenth to early twenty-first-century representations, this book combines disability studies with aesthetics, film studies, Holocaust studies, gender studies, happiness studies, popular music studies, humour studies, and media studies. In so doing it encourages discussion around representations of disability in drama, novels, films, autobiography, short stories, music videos, sitcoms, and advertising campaigns. Discussions are underpinned by the tripartite model of disability and so disrupt one-dimensional representations.

Cultural Disability Studies in Education encourages educators and students to engage with disability as an isolating, hurtful, and joyful experience that merits multiple levels of representation and offers true potential for a non-normative social aesthetic. It will be required reading for all scholars and students of disability studies, cultural disability studies, disability studies in education, sociology and cultural studies.

book coverAlan Hodkinson.
Key issues in Special Educational Needs and Inclusion. 2nd Edition.
London: SAGE, 2015.

Understanding and engaging critically with the field of special educational needs and disability (SEND) is a difficult task. However, the new edition of this bestselling book continues to help students contextualize SEND in relation to historical, ideological and political developments as well as support them in developing a critical understanding of the complexities associated with inclusion.

Completely up to date with recent legislation such as the SEND Code of Practice (2014) there are case studies, reflections and activities which will help students question practice they have seen and experienced.

Covering the 0-25 age range this book is suitable for all those working with children and young people across education, health and social work.

book coverDavid Bolt.
The Metanarrative of Blindness: A Re-Reading of Twentieth-Century Anglophone Writing.
Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2014.

Although the theme of blindness occurs frequently in literature, literary criticism rarely engages the experiential knowledge of people with visual impairments. The Metanarrative of Blindness counters this trend by bringing to readings of 20th-century works in English a perspective appreciative of impairment and disability. The monograph examines representations of blindness in more than 40 literary works, including writing by Kipling, Joyce, Synge, Orwell, H. G. Wells, Susan Sontag, and Stephen King, shedding light on the deficiencies of these representations and sometimes revealing an uncomfortable resonance with the Anglo-American science of eugenics.

What connects these seemingly disparate works is what this book terms “the metanarrative of blindness,” a narrative steeped in mythology and with deep roots in Western culture. The book examines literary representations of blindness using the analytical tools of disability studies in both the humanities and social sciences. The readings are also broadly appreciative of personal, social, and cultural aspects of disability, with the aim of bringing literary scholars to the growing discipline of disability studies, and vice versa. This truly interdisciplinary monograph is relevant to people working in literary studies, disability studies, psychology, sociology, applied linguistics, life writing, and cultural studies, as well as those with a general interest in education and representations of blindness.

book coverClaire Penketh.
A Clumsy Encounter: Dyspraxia and Drawing.
Rotterdam: Sense, 2011.

A Clumsy Encounter offers an interrogation of inclusive education by exploring the point at which dyspraxia and drawing from observation meet within formal learning environments. Drawing on stories of individual experience, this book seeks to promote the interrogation of implicit educational practices. Here the complexity of observational drawing is examined not within a closed community of art education but within the social and cultural domain of other critical debates within education, specifically those related to inclusion. Pupils do not experience inclusion and exclusion in the abstract but through discipline-based and situated practices. This book aims to explore this complexity and disrupt approaches that might seek to rationalise and compartmentalise educational experience. A Clumsy Encounter reflects a cross-disciplinary perspective and will be of interest to academics, professionals and practitioners interested in the nature, role and value of art education as well as those with a particular interest in dyspraxia. It will also be of particular relevance to those concerned with hearing the voices of pupil experience of inclusive and exclusive educational practices.

book coverDavid Feeney.
Toward an Aesthetics of Blindness: An Interdisciplinary Response to Synge, Yeats, and Friel.
Peter Lang: New York, 2007.

Blindness has always fascinated those who can see. Although modern imaginative portrayals of the sightless experience are increasingly positive, the affirmative elements of these renderings are inevitably tempered and problematized by the visual predilections of the artists undertaking them. This book explores a variety of the (dis)continuities between depictions of the sightless experience of beauty by sighted artists and the lived aesthetic experiences of blind people. It does so by pressing a radical interdisciplinary reinterpretation of celebrated dramatic portrayals of blindness into service as a tool with which to probe the boundaries of the capacities of the sighted imagination while exploring the sensory detriment of our visually fixated notions of beauty. Works by J. M. Synge, W. B. Yeats, and Brian Friel are explored as a means of crafting a workable and innovative medium of theoretical and experiential exchange among the disciplines of literature, aesthetics, and disability studies. In addition to appraising previously unexamined aspects of the work of three of Ireland’s most celebrated modern dramatists, this book considers the consequences for blind people of the exclusionary and prohibitive elements of traditional aesthetic theory and art education. The insights yielded will be of value to those with an interest in modern literature, differential aesthetics, visual culture, perception, and the experience of blindness.

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