Embodied Rhetorics: Disability in Language and Culture / Edition 3

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Presenting thirteen essays, editors James C. Wilson and Cynthia Lewiecki-Wilson unite the fields of disability studies and rhetoric to examine connections between disability, education, language, and cultural practices. Bringing together theoretical and analytical perspectives from rhetorical studies and disability studies, these essays extend both the field of rhetoric and the newer field of disability studies.


The contributors span a range of academic fields including English, education, history, and sociology. Several contributors are themselves disabled or have disabled family members. While some essays included in this volume analyze the ways that representations of disability construct identity and attitudes toward the disabled, other essays use disability as a critical modality to rethink economic theory, educational practices, and everyday interactions. Among the disabilities discussed within these contexts are various physical disabilities, mental illness, learning disabilities, deafness, blindness, and diseases such as multiple sclerosis and AIDS.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This is a needed book, with a much-needed focus . . . to further the argument put forth in disability studies that ‘disability’ is a socially-constructed label and that the material circumstances of ‘disabled’ people’s lives are closely tied to ‘non-disabled’ society’s construction of those lives. It also argues for the agency of the disabled: for their right to speak for themselves.”—Patricia A. Dunn, author of Learning Re-Abled: The Learning Disability Controversy and Composition Studies
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809323937
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
  • Publication date: 10/12/2001
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 286
  • Sales rank: 861,464
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

James C. Wilson is a professor of English at the University of Cincinnati and the author of Vietnam in Prose and Film, John Reed for the Masses, and The Hawthorne and Melville Friendship


Cynthia Lewiecki-Wilson is a professor of English at Miami University and the author of Writing Against the Family: Gender in Lawrence and Joyce, and From Community to College: Reading and Writing Across Diverse Contexts.  

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Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables
1 Disability, Rhetoric, and the Body 1
Pt. 1 Identity and Rhetoricity: The (Dis)Abled Subject
2 Working (with) the Rhetoric of Affliction: Autobiographical Narratives of Victorians with Physical Disabilities 27
3 On the Rhetorics of Mental Disability 45
4 Am I MS? 61
5 Conflicting Paradigms: The Rhetorics of Disability Memoir 78
6 In Search of the Disabled Subject 92
Pt. 2 Rhetorics of Literacy: Education and Disability
7 Deafness, Literacy, Rhetoric: Legacies of Language and Communication 115
8 Going to Class with (Going to Clash with?) the Disabled Person: Educators, Students, and Their Spoken and Unspoken Negotiations 135
9 Signs of Resistance: Deaf Perspectives on Linguistic Conflict in a Nineteenth-Century Southern Family 154
Pt. 3 Cultural and Spatial Rhetorics of Disability
10 Textual Practices of Erasure: Representations of Disability and the Founding of the United Way 169
11 Putting Disability in Its Place: It's Not a Joking Matter 200
12 The Rhetoric of AIDS: A New Taxonomy 229
13 Gutting the Golden Goose: Disability in Grimms' Fairy Tales 244
Contributors 261
Index 265
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