Extraordinary Bodies: Figuring Physical Disability in American Culture and Literature

Paperback | January 6, 1997

byRosemarie Garland Thomson

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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.

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From Our Editors

As the first major critical study to examine literary and cultural representations of physical disability, Extraordinary Bodies situates disability as a social construction, shifting it from a property of bodies to a product of cultural rules about what bodies should be or do. Rosemarie Garland Thomson examines disabled figures in sent...

From the Publisher

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 nov...

From the Jacket

As the first major critical study to examine literary and cultural representations of physical disability, Extraordinary Bodies situates disability as a social construction, shifting it from a property of bodies to a product of cultural rules about what bodies should be or do. Rosemarie Garland Thomson examines disabled figures in sent...

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...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:248 pages, 6.2 × 9.3 × 0.68 inPublished:January 6, 1997Publisher:Columbia University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231105177

ISBN - 13:9780231105170

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Preface and AcknowledgmentsPart 1. Politicizing Bodily Differences1. Disability, Identity, and Representation: An Introduction2. Theorizing DisabilityPart 2. Constructing Disabled Figures: Cultural and Literary Sites3. The Cultural Work of American Freak Shows, 1835-19404. Benevolent Maternalism and the Disabled Women in Stowe, Davis and Phelps5. Disabled Women as Powerful Women in Petry, Morrison, and LordeConclusion: From Pathology to IdentityNotesBibliographyIndex

From Our Editors

As the first major critical study to examine literary and cultural representations of physical disability, Extraordinary Bodies situates disability as a social construction, shifting it from a property of bodies to a product of cultural rules about what bodies should be or do. Rosemarie Garland Thomson examines disabled figures in sentimental novels such as Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin and Rebecca Harding Davis's Life in the Iron Mills, African-American novels by Toni Morrison and Audre Lorde, and the popular cultural ritual of the freak show.

Editorial Reviews

Preface and AcknowledgmentsPart 1. Politicizing Bodily Differences1. Disability, Identity, and Representation: An Introduction2. Theorizing DisabilityPart 2. Constructing Disabled Figures: Cultural and Literary Sites3. The Cultural Work of American Freak Shows, 1835-19404. Benevolent Maternalism and the Disabled Women in Stowe, Davis and Phelps5. Disabled Women as Powerful Women in Petry, Morrison, and LordeConclusion: From Pathology to IdentityNotesBibliographyIndex 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.