Disability in Film and Literature


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About the Book

Literary and filmic depictions of the disabled reinforce an “ableist” ideology that classifies bodies as normal or abnormal—positive or negative. Disabled characters are often represented as aberrant or evil and are isolated or incarcerated. This book examines language in film, fiction and other media that perpetuates the representation of the disabled as abnormal or problematic. The author looks at depictions of disability—both disparaging and amusing—and discusses disability theory as a framework for reconsidering “normal” and “abnormal” bodies.

Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Nicole Markotić teaches Creative Writing, Children’s Literature, and Disability Studies at the University of Windsor (Ontario). She has worked as a freelance editor, was poetry editor for Red Deer Press for six years, edits the chapbook series Wrinkle Press, and is currently on the NeWest editorial board.

Bibliographic Details

Nicole Markotić
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 220
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9649-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2466-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction: The [adj.] Body 1
1. Razzle Dazzle Heartbreak: Disability Promotion and Glorious Abjection in Guy Maddin’s The Saddest Music in the World 11
2. Transposing Disability: Passing, Intellectual Disabilities, and Accommodating Others 24
3. Icarus, Gods and the “Lesson” of Disability 39
4. Freaks, Misfits and Other Citizens 54
5. 20th-Century Fables: Fiction, Disease, and—oh, yeah—Disability 71
6. The Body in Pieces: Lacan and the Crisis of the Unified Fragmentary 92
7. The Narrator Witness: Dis/connections Between Disability and Death 107
8. Where the Line Breaks: Disability in the Poetry of Roy Miki and Sharon Thesen 127
9. Play the Facts and the Truth: Disability in Documentary Film 142
10. Sitting Pretty: The Politics of (Not) Standing on Ceremony 154
Afterword: Not Assisted Suicide, Yet! 167
Chapter Notes 177
Works Cited 189
Index 199

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “A thorough examination of the sociocultural and linguistic roots of society’s ambivalent attitudes toward individuals with disabilities. The narrative of this engaging, lively study is witty and flows easily. Highly recommended”—Choice
  • “A comprehensive examination”—ProtoView