Autism in a Decentered World  book cover
1st Edition

Autism in a Decentered World

ISBN 9780815381884
Published September 10, 2018 by Routledge
262 Pages

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Book Description

Autistic people are empirically and scientifically generalized as living in a fragmented, alternate reality, without a coherent continuous self. In Part I, this book presents recent neuropsychological research and its implications for existing theories of autism, selfhood, and identity, challenging common assumptions about the formation and structure of the autistic self and autism’s relationship to neurotypicality. Through several case studies in Part II, the book explores the ways in which artists diagnosed with autism have constructed their identities through participation within art communities and cultures, and how the concept of self as ‘story’ can be utilized to better understand the neurological differences between autism and typical cognition. This book will be of particular interest to researchers and scholars within the fields of Disability Studies, Art Education, and Art Therapy.

Table of Contents

Introduction Part I: Theories of Selfhood 1. Beyond The Cognitive (Cartesian) "I" 2. Constructing Autism Narratives 3. On Language and Autism 4. Augmentative and Alternative Communication 5. Constructions of the Autism Label and the Autistic Identity Part II: The Artist's Identity 6. Emerging from Anonymity 7. Gerone Spruill 8. Dan Miller 9. William Scott 10. R.B., Gender, and Policy

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Alice Wexler is Professor Emeritus of Art Education at SUNY New Paltz, USA.


"Wexler deserves praise for her ambitious synthesis of research on autistic intelligence and for her exploration of autistic creativity" - Mark Osteen, Disability Studies Journal


"Alice Wexler’s Autism in a Decentered World offers a novel epistemology of autism that valorizes autistic ways of experiencing by celebrating the artistic expressions of self-identified autistic people. It raises interesting and ultimately unanswerable ontological and epistemological questions about human consciousness/perception, artistic difference and the politics of representation. This book introduces readers to artists whose work has been under-valued because of othering, [and it] politicizes art by emphasizing its world-disclosing capacities…" - Majia Nadesan, Professor, School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arizona State University.