Disability Pride Month Reads

Happy Disability Pride Month! As we celebrate the 1990 passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we’re proud to share some of our recent and forthcoming titles that focus on disability studies and histories. 

Black Disability Politics by Sami Schalk explores how issues of disability have been and continue to be central to Black activism from the 1970s to the present by drawing on rich archives from the Black Panther Party and the National Black Women’s Health Project. It’s available for pre-order now.

In How to Go Mad Without Losing Your Mind, La Marr Jurelle Bruce ponders the presence of “madness” in black literature, music, and performance since the early twentieth century, showing how artists ranging from Kendrick Lamar to Nina Simone activate madness as content, form, aesthetic, strategy, philosophy, and energy in an enduring black radical tradition.

Todd Carmody’s Work Requirements outlines how disability itself became a tool of social discipline by exploring how the idea that work is inherently meaningful was reinforced and tasked to those who lived on the margins and needed assistance during nineteenth-century America.

Observing that trans studies was founded on a split from and disavowal of madness, illness, and disability, Cameron Awkward-Rich’s The Terrible We argues for and models a trans criticism that works against this disavowal. It can be pre-ordered now.

Long Term weaves LGBTQ and disability studies by using the tension between popular embrace and legalization of same-sex marriage and the queer critique of homonormativity as an opportunity to examine the myriad forms of queer commitment and their durational aspect. The essay collection is written by numerous contributors, edited by Scott Herring and Lee Wallace and includes a preface by E. Patrick Johnson.

Sarah Imhoff’s The Lives of Jessie Sampter tells the story of the queer, disabled, Zionist writer Jessie Sampter (1883-1938), whose body and life did not match typical Zionist ideals—thus serving as an example of the complex relationships between the body, queerness, disability, religion, and nationalism.

Jonathan Sterne offers a sweeping cultural study and theorization of impairment, in which experience is understood from the standpoint of a subject that is not fully able to account for itself in Diminished Faculties.

In On Living with Television, Amy Holdsworth blends media and disability studies by recounting her life with television to trace how the medium shapes everyday activities, our relationships with others, and our sense of time. 

In “Disability Dramaturgies,” a special issue of Theater (52:2), disabled practitioners and scholars explore how strategies of care—long cultivated and practiced by disabled artists and the creative communities around them—might speak to the present moment. This special issue is edited by Madeline Charne and Tom Sellar and will be freely available in full for three months.

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