Austen, Expectations, and Crips in the World

Pasquale S. Toscano // I’ve been reading a great deal of Jane Austen lately, which is odd, because I’ve never considered myself a fan of the grande dame of English letters. All of her plots are so damned predictable, and well—how shall we put this—quaint. And then there are those maddeningly handsome gentlemen and far-too-fetching…

Trump, Madness, Tricolon Crescendos

Pasquale S. Toscano // Madness is therefore defined to be a vehement dotage, or raving without a fever, far more violent than melancholy, full of anger and clamour, horrible looks, actions, gestures, troubling the patients with far greater vehemency both of body and mind, without all fear and sorrow, with such impetuous force and boldness…

Environmental Neurodiversity and Systems Change

Neşe Devenot // Neurodivergent perspectives inspired two of the biggest environmental justice movements of 2019—Extinction Rebellion and Greta Thunberg’s “Fridays for Future”—and I don’t think that’s a coincidence. For her part, Thunberg garnered widespread media attention for linking her global impact to having Asperger’s, an autism-spectrum condition that Thunberg calls her “superpower.” According to Thunberg,…

Teaching Victorian Disability Studies

“What it must mean, if we are to be present in this age of challenges, is a profound rethinking of our pedagogical priorities, disciplinary boundaries, and subject positions. Let us actually be Victorianists.” –Christie Harner, “Victorian hybridities”[i] Travis Chi Wing Lau // As I begin to construct my syllabus for my introductory seminar on medical…

Special Issue Review: Chemistry, Disability, and Frankenstein

Diana Rose Newby // Chemistry, Disability, and Frankenstein, theme issue of Literature and Medicine, vol. 36, no. 2, fall 2018. In her introduction to the 1831 edition of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley concludes with well wishes for her creation’s second life: “And now, once again, I bid my hideous progeny go forth and prosper” (25). Today,…

Monstrous Myths of Disability in M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass

Diana Rose Newby // Warning: This piece contains mild spoilers for the film Glass. Difference is the bread and butter of the superhero genre. And to a degree, so is disability. Think X-Men’s paraplegic Professor X; the blindness and depression of Marvel’s Daredevil; the facial scarring that catalyzes Harvey Dent’s murderous mental illness; Iron Man’s super-powered…

Institutionalization

Roanne Kantor // Earlier this month, I handed in the grades for  my course on narratives of disability from around the world.  At the same time I was teaching a graduate class about the interdisciplinary endeavor and its dependence on metaphor. The way that the same words have slippery and differing meanings depending on disciplinary…

Taking Stock: Disability Studies and the Medical Humanities

While on the academic job market over the past few months, I had many opportunities to define myself as a scholar. You get particularly good not only at elevator pitches—short, pithy descriptions of your intellectual interests and dissertation project—but also at sketching out your intellectual formation. My research and teaching interests have primarily been in…

Disability as Experience

In this post, I’d like to make things a bit more personal than I have so far. Last week I got into a debate with a professor. It’s not important what this debate was about. Instead, it’s important what this debate wasn’t about. This professor was asking my class—myself and six other graduate students/artists—to participate…