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The Disability Studies Reader (4th edition)

by Lennard J. Davis

The Fourth Edition of the Disability Studies Reader breaks new ground by emphasizing the global, transgender, homonational, and posthuman conceptions of disability. Including physical disabilities, but exploring issues around pain, mental disability, and invisible disabilities, this edition explores more varieties of bodily and mental experience. New histories of the legal, social, and cultural give a broader picture of disability than ever before. Now available for the first time in eBook format 978-0-203-07788-7.

Enabling Acts

by Lennard J. Davis

The first significant book on the history and impact of the ADA--the "eyes on the prize" moment for disability rights The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the widest-ranging and most comprehensive piece of civil rights legislation ever passed in the United States, and it has become the model for disability-based laws around the world. Yet the surprising story behind how the bill came to be is little known.In this riveting account, acclaimed disability scholar Lennard J. Davis delivers the first behind-the-scenes and on-the-ground narrative of how a band of leftist Berkeley hippies managed to make an alliance with upper-crust, conservative Republicans to bring about a truly bipartisan bill. Based on extensive interviews with all the major players involved including legislators and activists, Davis recreates the dramatic tension of a story that is anything but a dry account of bills and speeches. Rather, it's filled with one indefatigable character after another, culminating in explosive moments when the hidden army of the disability community stages scenes like the iconic "Capitol Crawl" or an event some describe as "deaf Selma," when students stormed Gallaudet University demanding a "Deaf President Now!"From inside the offices of newly formed disability groups to secret breakfast meetings surreptitiously held outside the White House grounds, here we meet countless unsung characters, including political heavyweights and disability advocates on the front lines. "You want to fight?" an angered Ted Kennedy would shout in an upstairs room at the Capitol while negotiating the final details of the ADA. Congressman Tony Coelho, whose parents once thought him to be possessed by the devil because of his epilepsy, later became the bill's primary sponsor. There's Justin Dart, adorned in disability power buttons and his signature cowboy hat, who took to the road canvassing fifty states, and people like Patrisha Wright, also known as "The General," Arlene Myerson or "the brains," "architect" Bob Funk, and visionary Mary Lou Breslin, who left the hippie highlands of the West to pursue equal rights in the marble halls of DC. Published for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the ADA, Enabling Acts promises to ignite readers in a discussion of disability rights by documenting this "eyes on the prize" moment for tens of millions of American citizens.

The End of Normal: Identity in a Biocultural Era

by Lennard J. Davis

In The End of Normal, Lennard J. Davis explores changing perceptions of body and mind in social, cultural, and political life as the twenty-first century unfolds. The book's provocative essays mine the worlds of advertising, film, literature, and the visual arts as they consider issues of disability, depression, physician-assisted suicide, medical diagnosis, transgender, and other identities.

Enforcing Normalcy

by Lennard J. Davis

In this highly original study of the cultural assumptions governing our conception of people with disabilities, Lennard J. Davis argues forcefully against "ableist" discourse and for a complete recasting of the category of disability itself.Enforcing Normalcy surveys the emergence of a cluster of concepts around the term "normal" as these matured in western Europe and the United States over the past 250 years. Linking such notions to the concurrent emergence of discourses about the nation, Davis shows how the modern nation-state constructed its identity on the backs not only of colonized subjects, but of its physically disabled minority. In a fascinating chapter on contemporary cultural theory, Davis explores the pitfalls of privileging the figure of sight in conceptualizing the nature of textuality. And in a treatment of nudes and fragmented bodies in Western art, he shows how the ideal of physical wholeness is both demanded and denied in the classical aesthetics of representation.Enforcing Normalcy redraws the boundaries of political and cultural discourse. By insisting that disability be added to the familiar triad of race, class and gender, the book challenges progressives to expand the limits of their thinking about human oppression.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Enforcing Normalcy: Disability, Deafness, and the Body

by Lennard J. Davis

This book tries to think through some of the complex issues raised by concepts such as the body, the normal, the abnormal, disability, the disabled, and people with disabilities. I wrote this book because I believe deeply that people with disabilities, Deaf people, and others who might not even consider themselves as having a disability have been relegated to the margins by the very people who have celebrated and championed the emergence of multiculturalism, class consciousness, feminism, and queer studies from the margins.

Go Ask Your Father

by Lennard J. Davis

At last the envelope from the lab arrives. My wife hands it to me, giving me an expectant and sympathetic look. My hands shake when I pick up this bland looking envelope, knowing that inside I will find the answer to the obsessive question I have been asking.

Obsession: A History

by Lennard J. Davis

We live in an age of obsession. Not only are we hopelessly devoted to our work, strangely addicted to our favorite television shows, and desperately impassioned about our cars, we admire obsession in others: we demand that lovers be infatuated with one another in films, we respond to the passion of single-minded musicians, we cheer on driven athletes. To be obsessive is to be American; to be obsessive is to be modern. But obsession is not only a phenomenon of modern existence: it is a medical category -- both a pathology and a goal. Behind this paradox lies a fascinating history, which Lennard Davis tells in "Obsession". Beginning with the roots of the disease in demonic possession and its secular successors, Davis traces the evolution of obsessive behavior from a social and religious fact of life into a medical and psychiatric problem. From obsessive aspects of professional specialization to obsessive sex and nymphomania, no variety of obsession eludes Davis's graceful analysis. "Obsession" also considers the clinical definition of the condition: Davis investigates the huge increase (estimates suggest up to 600-fold) in diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder over the past thirty years. Surveying the many ways in which doctors today treat OCD, he points out the limitations of and contradictions within the biological definitions of the disease. Impassioned, witty, and learned, "Obsession" is for anyone -- from compulsive hand washers to professional psychologists -- who has been fascinated by, struggled with, or cultivated obsession.

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