The Disability Studies Reader  book cover
6th Edition

The Disability Studies Reader

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after March 18, 2021
ISBN 9780367536077
March 18, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
624 Pages

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Book Description

Disability studies has gone from being a relatively unknown field to one of increasing importance in the social sciences. The sixth edition of The Disability Studies Reader brings in new topics, scholars, writers, artists, and essays, to address links between ableism and imperialism, disability bioethics, and the relationship between disability agency, social policy, and decarceration

There are as many meanings and experiences of disability as there are disabled people, and this diversity ensures that the work of the field will continue to evolve. Fully revised and brought up to date, this volume addresses a wider range of geographical and cultural contexts, and many pay specific attention to the intersections between disability and race, gender, and sexuality. The growing interest and activism around the issue of neuroatypicality is also reflected in a new section on neurodivergence.

The Disability Studies Reader remains an excellent touchstone for students in disability studies courses across the disciplines, including the social sciences, English Literature and Psychology.

Table of Contents

PART 1: Key Ideas in Disability Studies  1. Davis, Lennard. "Disability, Normality and Power."  2. Shakespeare, Tom. "The Social Model of Disability."  3. Longmore, Paul. "Heaven’s Special Child."  4. Siebers, Tobin. "Disability and the Theory of Complex Embodiment."  5. McRuer, Robert. "Compulsory Able-Bodiedness and Queer/Disabled Existence."  6. Mitchell, David and Sharon Snyder. "Narrative Prosthesis."  7. Bauman, H-Dirksen L. and Joseph J. Murray. "Deaf Studies in the 21st Century."  8. Wendell, Susan. "Unhealthy Disabled."  9. Berube, Michael. "Disability, Democracy and the New Genetics."  10. Samuels, Ellen. "My Body, My Closet."  PART 2: Historical Perspectives  11. Dolmage, Jay. "Disabled Upon Arrival."  12. Zwick, Tamara. "First Victims at Last."  13. Bearden, Elizabeth. "Moctezuma’s Zoo."   14. Tyler, Dennis. "Losing Limbs in the Republic."   PART 3: The Politics of Disability  15. Mirza, Mansha. "Refugee Camps, Asylum Detention and the Geopolitics of Transnational Migration."   16. Kim, Eunjung." Folded Time and the Presence of Disability"  17. Hamraie, Aimi. "Critical Access Studies"  18. Kazemi, Sona. "Whose Disability (Studies?)"  PART 4: Theorizing Disability  19. Garland-Thomson, Rosemarie. "Disability Bioethics."  20. Kafer, Alison. "The Case of Ashley X."  21. Ibrahim, Mohamed. "Mental Health in Kenya: Not yet Uhuru."  22. McBryde Johnson, Harriet. "Unspeakable Conversations."  PART 5: Identities and Intersectionalities  23. Erevelles, Nirmala and Andrea Minear. "Unspeakable Offenses."  24. Alshammari, Shahd. "A Hybridized Academic Identity."  25. Taylor, Sunaura. "Vegans, Freaks, and Animals: Toward a New Table Fellowship"  26. Schalk, Sami. "Contextualizing Black Disability and the Culture of Dissemblance"  27. Clare, Eli. "Promise of Cure"  28. Sanchez, Rebecca. "Doing Disability with Others"  PART 6: Disability and Culture  29. Kleege, Georgina. "Blindness and Visual Culture.  30. Pickens, Theri. "Making Black Madness"   31. Minich, J.A. "Who is Human?"  32. Manning, Lynn. "The Magic Wand."  PART 7: Disability and Social Policy  33. Brown, Lydia X.Z. "Legal Ableism, Interrupted."   34. Ben-Moshe, Liat. "Intersecting Disability, Imprisonment, and Deinstitutionalization."  35. Jan Doolittle Wilson. "Reimagining Disability and Inclusive Education Through Universal Design for Learning"  36. Yapp, Hentyle. "Disability as Exception: China, Race and Human Rights"   PART 8: Sixth Edition Featured Section: Neurodivergence  37. Stenning, Ann. "Understanding Sympathy Through a Study of Autistic Life Writing"  38. Yergeau, M. Remi. "Involution"  39. Lewis, Bradley. "A Mad Fight."  40. Price, Margaret. "Defining Mental Disability."  41. Gordeon, Timotheus. "#BlackAutisticJoy in ADA 30"  42. Wang, Esme Weijun. "Yale Will Not Save You."

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Lennard J. Davis is Professor of English, Disability and Human Development, and Medical Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is the sole editor of the Routledge Series Integrating Science and Culture.  

Rebecca Sanchez is Assistant Professor of English at Fordham University, where she teaches disability studies, transatlantic modernism, and poetics.



This timely new edition by Davis and Sanchez captures a number of established and, crucially, emerging perspectives in US disability studies. The text constitutes a new key reading for students and researchers alike.

Dan Goodley, Professor of Disability Studies and Education, University of Sheffield

The 6th edition of this ever-evolving and student-friendly text demonstrates the fluidity, complexity, engagements, and energies of both the past and present critical study of disability. New sections on "key ideas," "disability and social policy" and a focus section on "neurodivergence" sparkle uniquely for this newest edition of what has always been a fundamental text in the field of Disability Studies (for 23 years, since 1997). Like all other editions before it, this one has thoughtful and provocative changes that also then illustrate the unfolding and expanding nature of critical work in our understandings and explorations --both current and historical -- of disability and complex embodiment.

Brenda Jo Brueggemann, Aetna Endowed Chair of Writing, University of Connecticut, Co-editor, Disability Studies Quarterly

The addition for the first time of a co-editor, Deaf and disability studies scholar Rebecca Sanchez, marks the 6th edition as a truly new generation for the Disability Studies Reader. More BIPOC and activist authors, more interdisciplinary and global in scope—this is the edition you want to have on your shelf. A new opening section surveys key ideas in the field, making the Reader more teachable than ever and underscoring that disability studies has arrived.

Mara Mills, Associate Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication and Co-director, NYU Center for Disability Studies

The breadth and depth in this brand-new edition of the Disability Studies Reader offers foundational grounding for approaching the study of disability while at every turn insisting on disability’s imbrication with race, gender, sexuality, geopolitical movements and socioeconomic class. 

Stephanie L. Kerschbaum, Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Delaware

Davis’s work as both scholar and editor has long been seminal to Disability Studies. An ever-evolving field, new readings on neurodivergence in this edition is a welcome addition, as well as continuing examinations of race, mental health, and global perspectives.

Johnson Cheu, Assistant Professor, Michigan State University

Now in its 6th edition, The Disability Studies Reader is simultaneously viewed as a dynamic standard-bearer for the field of disability studies and a snapshot of what is happening in the field now. This edition, edited by Lennard Davis and new co-editor Rebecca Sanchez, continues the tradition. The inclusion of more contributions featuring intersectional analysis on disability and race, gender, sexuality, as well as chapters focusing on structural inequities, such as decarceration, makes this new edition a must for disability scholars and campus library collections. Additionally, the section focusing on neurodiversity is an especially compelling and excellent introduction to this area of disability studies for those who are less familiar with this topic. Most importantly, in this time of pandemic and social change, the 6th edition of The Disability Studies Reader functions as a helpful guide to those of us thinking about the future of disability studies education and advocacy.

Teresa Blankmeyer Burke, Professor of Philosophy, Gallaudet University