The Ugly Laws: Disability In Public by Susan M. SchweikThe Ugly Laws: Disability In Public by Susan M. Schweik

The Ugly Laws: Disability In Public

bySusan M. Schweik

Paperback | August 30, 2010

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In the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, municipallaws targeting "unsightly beggars" sprang up in cities across America. Seeming to criminalize disability and thus offering a visceral example of discrimination, these “ugly laws” have become a sort of shorthand for oppression in disability studies, law, and the arts.

In this watershed study of the ugly laws, Susan M. Schweik uncovers the murky history behind the laws, situating the varied legislation in its historical context and exploring in detail what the laws meant. Illustrating how the laws join the history of the disabled and the poor, Schweik not only gives the reader a deeper understanding of the ugly laws and the cities where they were generated, she locates the laws at a crucial intersection of evolving and unstable concepts of race, nation, sex, class, and gender. Moreover, she explores the history of resistance to the ordinances, using the often harrowing life stories of those most affected by their passage. Moving to the laws' more recent history, Schweik analyzes the shifting cultural memory of the ugly laws, examining how they have been used—and misused—by academics, activists, artists, lawyers, and legislators.

Title:The Ugly Laws: Disability In PublicFormat:PaperbackDimensions:443 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:August 30, 2010Publisher:NYU PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0814783619

ISBN - 13:9780814783610


Editorial Reviews

"Shweik combines a sophisticated grasp of disability, critical race and social theory, extensive archival and legal research, close textual analysis, and broad reading in a wide range of historical and other literatures. Her account brings the insights of disability history and theory to bear on systems of exclusion, subordination, and othering more generally in American life as the United States entered the twentieth century... This is a powerful book, essential reading for scholars of disability, race, gender, sexuality, immigration, urban, legal, social movement, and twentieth-century history more generally-- indeed, for anyone concerned about law and its power and the limits of that power to define borders of belonging."-American Historical Review,