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Disability Studies diverge from the medical model of disability (which argues that disabled subjects can and should be “fixed”) to view disability as socially constructed, much in the same way other identities are. The work of reading black and disabled bodies is not only recovery work, but work that requires a willingness to deconstruct the systems that would keep those bodies in separate spheres. This pivotal volume uncovers the misrepresentations of black disabled bodies and demonstrates how those bodies transform systems and culture. Drawing on key themes in Disability Studies and African American Studies, these collected essays complement one another in interesting and dynamic ways, to forge connections across genres and chronotopes, an invitation to keep blackness and disability in conversation. With an analysis of disability as a result of war, studies of cognitive impairment and slavery in fiction, representations of slavery and violence in photography, deconstructions of illness (cancer and AIDS) narratives, comparative analyses of black and Latina/o and black and African subjects, analysis of treatments of disability in hip-hop, and commentary on disability, blackness, and war, this volume shows that the historical lines of demarcation in this field are permeable and should be challenged.
About the Author
Christopher M. Bell was Disabilities Studies Fellow at the Center of Human Policy, Law, and Disability Studies at Syracuse University.