Centre for Culture & Disability Studies

Book Series

book coverElizabeth J. Donaldson.
Literatures of Madness: Disability Studies and Mental Health.
New York: Palgrave Macmillan/Springer, 2018.

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.

book coverAlex Tankard.
Tuberculosis and Disabled Identity in Nineteenth Century Literature: Invalid Lives.
New York: Palgrave Macmillan/Springer, 2017.

Until the nineteenth century, consumptives were depicted as sensitive, angelic beings whose purpose was to die beautifully and set an example of pious suffering – while, in reality, many people with tuberculosis faced unemployment, destitution, and an unlovely death in the workhouse. Focusing on the period 1821-1912, in which modern ideas about disease, disability, and eugenics emerged to challenge Romanticism and sentimentality, Invalid Lives examines representations of nineteenth-century consumptives as disabled people. Letters, self-help books, eugenic propaganda, and press interviews with consumptive artists suggest that people with tuberculosis were disabled as much by oppressive social structures and cultural stereotypes as by the illness itself. Invalid Lives asks whether disruptive consumptive characters in Wuthering Heights, Jude the Obscure, The Idiot, and Beatrice Harraden’s 1893 New Woman novel Ships That Pass in the Night represented critical, politicised models of disabled identity (and disabled masculinity) decades before the modern disability movement.

book coverHannah Thompson.
Reviewing Blindness in French Fiction, 1789-2013.
New York: Palgrave Macmillan/Springer, 2017.

This book argues that the most interesting depictions of blindness in French fiction are those which call into question and ultimately undermine the prevailing myths and stereotypes of blindness which dominate Western thought. Rather than seeing blindness as an affliction, a tragedy or even a fate worse than death, the authors examined in this study celebrate blindness for its own sake. For them it is a powerful artistic and creative force which offers new and surprising ways of describing, and relating to, reality. Canonical and lesser-known novels from a range of genres, including the roman noir, science fiction, auto-fiction and realism are analyzed in detail to show how the presence of blind characters invites the reader to abandon his or her traditional reliance on the sense of sight and engage with the world in sensual, and hitherto unexpected, ways. This book challenges everything we thought we knew about blindness and invites us to revel in the pleasures and perils of reading blind.

book coverMichael Bradshaw. ed.
Disabling Romanticism: Body, Mind, and Text.
New York: Palgrave Macmillan/Springer, 2016.

This book investigates the presence of disability in British Romantic literature, as subject matter, as metaphorical theme, and as lived experience. It is the first collection of its kind, breaking new ground in re-interpreting key texts and providing a challenging overview of this emerging field. The collection offers both a critique of academic Romantic studies and an affirmation of the responsiveness of the Romantic canon to new stimuli. Authors discussed include William Blake, Lord Byron, Ann Batten Cristall, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, George Darley, Richard Payne Knight, William Gilpin, Mary Robinson, Mary Shelley, Robert Southey, and William Wordsworth.

book coverChris Foss, Jonathan W. Gray, and Zach Whalen. eds.
Disability in Comic Books and Graphic Narratives.
New York: Palgrave Macmillan/Springer, 2016.

As there has yet to be any substantial scrutiny of the complex confluences a more sustained dialogue between disability studies and comics studies might suggest, Disability in Comic Books and Graphic Narratives aims through its broad range of approaches and focus points to explore this exciting subject in productive and provocative ways.

book coverPatricia Friedrich.
The Literary and Linguistic Construction of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: No Ordinary Doubt.
New York: Palgrave Macmillan/Springer, 2015.

This book presents a literary and linguistic reading of obsessive-compulsive disorder to argue that medical understandings of disability need their social, political, literary and linguistic counterparts, especially if we aspire to create a more inclusive, self-reflective society.

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