Anthropology of Disability: Summer Reading

The past few years have seen a wave of new studies relating broadly to disability and the body, and I’m woefully behind on my reading.  Although many of the books listed below are not by anthropologists, they relate closely to many of the dominant themes in my work and would likely be useful for anyone interested in the anthropology of disability.  Here’s a closer look at my summer reading list, in no particular order:

A Disability of the Soul: An Ethnography of Schizophrenia and Mental Illness in Contemporary Japan (Karen Nakamura, 2013)

The Question of Access: Disability, Space, Meaning (Tanya Titchkisky, 2011)

Don’t Call Me Inspirational: A Disabled Feminist Talks Back (Harilyn Rousso, 2013)

Staring: How We Look (Rosemarie Garland-Thomas, 2009)

Raising Henry: A Memoir of Motherhood, Disability, and Discovery (Rachel Adams, 2013)

Sex and Disability (Robert McRuer and Anna Mollow, 2012)

Feminist, Queer, Crip (Alison Kafer, 2013)

Additional suggestions are welcome and encouraged!


2 thoughts on “Anthropology of Disability: Summer Reading

  1. I bring to your attention a relatively new book I published, Picturing Disability: Beggar, Freak, Citizen and other Photographic Rhetoric. It is available on Amazon and through the publisher, Syracuse University Press.

    Bob Bogdan

    “CHOICE Outstanding Title for 2013”

    “The stunning archive of images that Bogdan and his co-authors have amassed is a major contribution to the growing body of analysis of disability representation in photography. This book brings incisive, expert historical perspective to more familiar terrain and at the same time opens up important new avenues of exploration.” Susan Schweik, University of California at Berkeley

    “This book makes a substantial contribution to the history of visual representation of disability in the United States. It should become an important resource to those who seek to understand the varieties of contexts and purposes in which people with disabilities were portrayed by others, and—equally important—portrayed themselves.” Philip Ferguson, Chapman University

    “…Bogdan’s book is one of the most non-exploitative and morally responsible recent projects on physical anomaly…” Jack David Eller, Anthropology Review Database, January, 2013.

    “Read this fascinating book in one sitting, and follow the author’s instructions to carefully examine the photographs before and after reading the text. Bogdan (Syracuse Univ.) has given readers the pictorial evidence of the social construction of disability, and he points out masterfully how it is the photographer’s point of view that is revealed, and not the lived experience of people with disabilities who are the objects of these images. This point is complicated, however, by people with disabilities who used their own images to promote themselves as a method of earning a living…. … the historical content helps readers understand and appreciate disability as it exists in the 21st century. Bogdan provides the pictorial evidence of the construction of disability. Summing Up: Essential. All levels/libraries.” P. A. Murphy, University of Toledo

    “…a fascinating overview of the history of the photography of people with disabilities in the United States… compelling… highly recommended to anyone interested in the lives of people with disabilities and their representation within society.” Thomas Malcomson, Professor, George Brown College, The Social Role Valorization Journal

    “…a visual treasure trove…” “…of great value to scholars of disability as well as those studying poverty, charity, art, film, and the family, among other topics, in the late ninetieth- and twentieth century America.” Laurel Daen, William and Mary, on H-Net

    “…of great interest to anyone with a broad interest in disability studies, and in the social history of photography, and it is a required source for any academic program that touches on these topics.” Ron Amundson, U. of Hawaii, on Behavioral Connections

    “The contribution of this work to the field of disability studies cannot be overstated…” “Its noteworthy coverage and fresh insights make it a terrific contribution to the field.” Melinda C. Hall, Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies


  2. Pingback: Anthropology of Disability: Summer Reading | Ragnarok Connection

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