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    • January 1997
    • 9780231105170
  • 248 Pages

  • Paperback
  • $28.00
  • / £19.50

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    • January 1997
    • 9780231105163
  • 248 Pages

  • Hardcover
  • $85.00
  • / £58.50

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Extraordinary Bodies

Figuring Physical Disability in American Culture and Literature

Rosemarie Garland Thomson

Inaugurates a new field of disability studies by framing disability as a minority discourse rather than a medical one, revising oppressive narratives and revealing liberatory ones. The book examines disabled figures in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin and Rebecca Harding Davis's Life in the Iron Mills, in African-American novels by Toni Morrison and Audre Lorde, and in the popular cultural ritual of the freak show.

About the Author

Rosemarie Garland-Thomson is Professor of English at Emory University, where her fields of study are disability studies, American literature and culture, feminist theory, and bioethics. Her work develops the field of critical disability studies in the health humanities, broadly understood, to bring forward disability access, inclusion and identity to communities inside and outside of the academy. She is the author of Staring: How We Look and the editor of Freakery: Cultural Spectacles of the Extraordinary Body.

"A well-written and provocative beginning to a conversation about disability that is long overdue among scholars in literary and cultural studies." — Choice

"Provides complex answers to the puzzle of American images of disabilities from the nineteenth century to the present. This is a solid, useful book which all readers interested in the relationship between society and culture must read." — Sander L. Gilman, University of Chicago

About the Author

Rosemarie Garland-Thomson is Professor of English at Emory University, where her fields of study are disability studies, American literature and culture, feminist theory, and bioethics. Her work develops the field of critical disability studies in the health humanities, broadly understood, to bring forward disability access, inclusion and identity to communities inside and outside of the academy. She is the author of Staring: How We Look and the editor of Freakery: Cultural Spectacles of the Extraordinary Body.

Preface and Acknowledgments
Part 1.....Politicizing Bodily Differences
1 Disability, Identity, and Representation: An Introduction
The Disabled Figure in Culture
The Disabled Figure in Literature
The Gap Between Representation and Reality
An Overview and a Manifesto
2 Theorizing Disability
Feminist Theory, the Body, and the Disabled Figure
Sociocultural Analyses of the Extraordinary Body
The Disabled Figure and the Ideology of Liberal Individualism
The Disabled Figure and the Problem of Work
Part 2.....Constructing Disabled Figures: Cultural and Literary Sites
3 The Cultural Work of American Freak Shows, 1835-1940
The Spectacle of the Extraordinary Body
Constituting the Average Man
Identification and the Longing for Distinction
From Freak to Specimen: "The Hottest Venus" and "The Ugliest Woman in the World"
The End of the Prodigious Body
4 Benevolent Maternalism and the Disabled Women in Stowe, Davis and Phelps
THe Maternal Benefactress and Her Disabled Sisters
The Disabled Figure as a Call for Justice: Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin
Empowering the Maternal Benefactress
Benevolent Maternalism's Flight from the Body: Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin
The Female Body as Liability
Two Opposing Scripts of Female Embodiment: Rebecca Harding Davis's Life in the Iron Mills
The Triumph of the Beautiful, Disembodied Heroine
Elizabeth Stuart Phelps's The Silent Partner
5 Disabled Women as Powerful Women in Petry, Morrison, and Lorde
Revising Black Female SUbjectivity
The Extraordinary Woman as Powerful Woman / Ann Petry's The Street
From the Grotesque to the Cyborg
The Extraordinary Body as the Historicized Body / Tony Morrison's Disabled Women
The Extraordinary Subject: Audre Lorde's Zami: A New Spelling of My Name
The Poetics of Particularity
Conclusion: From Pathology to Identity
Notes
Bibliography
Index

About the Author

Rosemarie Garland-Thomson is Professor of English at Emory University, where her fields of study are disability studies, American literature and culture, feminist theory, and bioethics. Her work develops the field of critical disability studies in the health humanities, broadly understood, to bring forward disability access, inclusion and identity to communities inside and outside of the academy. She is the author of Staring: How We Look and the editor of Freakery: Cultural Spectacles of the Extraordinary Body.

About the Author

Rosemarie Garland-Thomson is Professor of English at Emory University, where her fields of study are disability studies, American literature and culture, feminist theory, and bioethics. Her work develops the field of critical disability studies in the health humanities, broadly understood, to bring forward disability access, inclusion and identity to communities inside and outside of the academy. She is the author of Staring: How We Look and the editor of Freakery: Cultural Spectacles of the Extraordinary Body.

About the Author

Rosemarie Garland-Thomson is Professor of English at Emory University, where her fields of study are disability studies, American literature and culture, feminist theory, and bioethics. Her work develops the field of critical disability studies in the health humanities, broadly understood, to bring forward disability access, inclusion and identity to communities inside and outside of the academy. She is the author of Staring: How We Look and the editor of Freakery: Cultural Spectacles of the Extraordinary Body.

About the Author

Rosemarie Garland-Thomson is Professor of English at Emory University, where her fields of study are disability studies, American literature and culture, feminist theory, and bioethics. Her work develops the field of critical disability studies in the health humanities, broadly understood, to bring forward disability access, inclusion and identity to communities inside and outside of the academy. She is the author of Staring: How We Look and the editor of Freakery: Cultural Spectacles of the Extraordinary Body.