In the neoliberal era, when human worth is measured by its relative utility within global consumer culture, selected disabled people have been able to gain entrance into late capitalist culture. The Biopolitics of Disability terms this phenomenon “ablenationalism” and asserts that “inclusion” becomes meaningful only if disability is recognized as providing modes of living that are alternatives to governing norms of productivity and independence. Thus, the book pushes beyond questions of impairment to explore how disability subjectivities create new forms of embodied knowledge and collective consciousness. The focus is on the emergence of new crip/queer subjectivities at work in disability arts, disability studies pedagogy, independent and mainstream disability cinema (e.g., Midnight Cowboy), internet-based medical user groups, anti-normative novels of embodiment (e.g., Richard Powers’s The Echo-Maker) and, finally, the labor of living in “non-productive” bodies within late capitalism.
About the Author
David Mitchell is Professor of English and Sharon L. Snyder is a faculty member at George Washington University.
Table of Contents
Part I From Liberal Restraints to Neoliberal Inclusion
1 From Liberal to Neoliberal Futures of Disabilitry: Rights-based Inclusionism, Ablenationalism, and the Able-Disabled 35
2 Curricular Cripistemologies; or, Every Child Left Behind 63
Part II The Biopolitics of in(ter) dependent disability cinema
3 Gay Pasts and Disability Future(s) Tense: Heteronormative Trauma and Parasitism in Midnight Cowboy 97
4 The Politics of Atypicality: International Disability Film Festivals and the Productive Fracturing of Identity 115
5 Permutations of the Species: Independent Disability Cinema and the Critique of Ablenationalism 136
Part III Medical Outlers: Navigating The Disability Bio(Political) Sphere
6 Corporeal Subcultures and the Specter of Biopolitics 155
7 The Capacities of Incapacity in Antinormative Novels of Embodiment 180
Afterword Disability as Multitude: Reworking Nonproductive Labor Power 204
Works Cited 239