David  Bolt Author of Evaluating Organization Development
FEATURED AUTHOR

David Bolt

Professor
Liverpool Hope University

David Bolt is Professor of Disability Studies at Liverpool Hope University, where he is Director of the Centre for Culture and Disability Studies and the Disability Studies MA. He is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies (Liverpool University Press); a series editor of Literary Disability Studies (Palgrave Macmillan/Springer); and a general editor of A Cultural History of Disability (Bloomsbury).

Biography

David Bolt is Professor in the Department of Disability and Education, Course Leader on the Disability Studies MA, and Director of the Centre for Culture and Disability Studies (Liverpool Hope University). He is Founder of the International Network of Literary and Cultural Disability Scholars, and his work in disability studies has been widely recognised in both the humanities and the social sciences. He is author of The Metanarrative of Blindness: A Re-reading of Twentieth-Century Anglophone Writing (University of Michigan Press, 2014/16); has published in journals such as The Explicator, Textual Practice, Disability and Society, The Midwest Quarterly, Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, British Journal of Visual Impairment, Entre dos mundos, New Zealand Journal of Disability Studies, Mosaic, and Journal of Further and Higher Education; and has contributed chapters to books such as Short Story Criticism: Criticism of the Works of Short Fiction Writers (2014), Routledge Handbook of Disability Studies (2012), and Language, Bodies, and Health (2011). He is Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has been Honorary Research Fellow of the Centre for Disability Research, Lancaster University. He is Editor in Chief of the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies (Liverpool University Press and Project MUSE). He has collaborated on the editing of other projects, including a special issue of the Review of Disability Studies. He is Book Series Editor, with Julia Miele Rodas and Elizabeth J. Donaldson, of Literary Disability Studies (Palgrave Macmillan). He is editor of Changing social attitudes toward disability: Perspectives from historical, cultural, and educational studies (Routledge, 2014).  He is joint editor, with Claire Penketh, of Disability, Avoidance, and the Academy: Challenging Resistence (Routledge, 2016) and, with Julia Miele Rodas and Elizabeth J. Donaldson, The Madwoman and the Blindman: Jane Eyre, Discourse, Disability (Ohio State University Press, 2012/15). In addition, he is an Editorial Board Member of Disability and Society, the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, and the Journal of Language and Discrimination, Executive Board Member of Considering Disability, as well as an occasional reviewer for British Journal of Special Education, British Journal of Visual Impairment, Disability Studies Quarterly, Literature Compass, and Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs. He has also been external reviewer for Manchester University Press, Cambridge University Press, Routledge, and the grant-awarding Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, Swiss National Science Foundation.

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    Disability Studies
    Cultural representation
    Education

Websites

Books

Featured Title
 Featured Title - Routledge Handbook of Disability Studies - Watson et al. RPD - 1st Edition book cover

Articles

Journal of Further and Higher Education

Radio blindness: interdisciplinarity, ocularnormativity, and young people’s preparation for academia


Published: May 16, 2019 by Journal of Further and Higher Education
Authors: David Bolt

Disability studies and radio studies are brought together to predicate and inform the analysis of a sample of education-centred discussions featured in In Touch, a long-running BBC Radio 4 programme made for, and by, people who have visual impairments. Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) is applied to the sub-themes of mainstream-special schooling and social interaction, which are organised in accordance with the tripartite model of disability in order to avoid one-dimensional readings.

Disability & Society

Pretending to be a normal human being


Published: Jul 25, 2016 by Disability & Society
Authors: David Bolt

This article is about the place of disability in the British sitcom Peep Show. CDA is employed to probe the relationship between casual word choice and broader themes such as normalcy, humour, and social attitudes. This analysis is informed by classic and new work in cultural disability studies, as well as by work in literary studies and television studies. Despite its apparent irrelevance to disability studies, Peep Show reveals much about conversational invocations of disability.

Journal of Further and Higher Education

Enabling the Classroom and the Curriculum


Published: Mar 04, 2016 by Journal of Further and Higher Education
Authors: David Bolt

In this article the tripartite model of disability is applied to the lived experience of twenty-first-century higher education. The tripartite model facilitates a complex understanding of disability that recognises assumptions and discrimination but not at the cost of valued identity. This being so, not only the normative positivisms and non-normative negativisms but also the non-normative positivisms of the classroom and the curriculum are explored.

Disability & Society

Negative to the extreme: the problematics of the RNIB’s See the Need campaign


Published: Jan 07, 2016 by Disability & Society
Authors: David Bolt
Subjects: Media and Cultural Studies

This article reports the findings of research about the RNIB’s advertising campaign. Under the methodological rubric of Critical Discourse Analysis, two paradigms were applied as research instruments: an advertising aesthetic was used in the primary analysis; and the tripartite model of disability was used in the secondary analysis. This analysis of various texts culminated in the conclusion that the RNIB’s campaign is fundamentally contradictory.

Revista de La Facultad de Medicina

Editorial: The Importance of Disability Research


Published: Nov 01, 2015 by Revista de La Facultad de Medicina
Authors: David Bolt

Why is disability research important? When asked this question I tend to respond by revising it in my head (if not out loud). Why is disability research so important? Why is any research important? I might go on in this vein but my point is that disability research has the potential to improve understandings of the most fundamental aspect of the human condition —namely, the diversity of minds and bodies.

Disability and Society

Not forgetting happiness: the tripartite model of disability and its application


Published: Aug 17, 2015 by Disability and Society
Authors: David Bolt

This interdisciplinary article draws on the social sciences to posit a tripartite model from which literary research into disability can benefit. Ableism and disablism are defined by normative positivisms and non-normative negativisms respectively, but consideration is also given to non-normative positivisms.

Short Story Criticism: Criticism of the Works of Short Fiction Writers

The Starfish Paradigm


Published: Jan 01, 2014 by Short Story Criticism: Criticism of the Works of Short Fiction Writers
Authors: David Bolt

It is a curious fact that some species of starfish can regrow their damaged or lost limbs. In a few cases the limbs contain vital organs, meaning that a whole starfish can regenerate from a single limb. It is also a curious fact that, in the cultural imagination, a person‘s impairment tends to be comparably envisaged as an interim step in a narrative that strides toward unimpairment for its very resolution...

The British Journal of Visual Impairment

An advertising aesthetic: Real beauty and visual impairment


Published: Jan 01, 2014 by The British Journal of Visual Impairment
Authors: David Bolt

This article considers critical responses to disability in 20th-century Anglo-American advertisements from which a problematic advertising aesthetic emerges. The aesthetic is used to test the progressiveness of a recent trilogy of Dove advertisements that represents visual impairment. The conclusion is that while there has been much progress, the ableist advertising aesthetic of decades ago remains an issue in the 21st century. More specifically...

Mosaic

Aesthetic Blindness: Symbolism, Realism, and Reality


Published: Jan 01, 2013 by Mosaic
Authors: David Bolt

As a representation of blindness, Maurice Maeterlinck's The Blind is highly problematic and becomes more so if we fail to engage with its social implications. This essay teases out these issues, compares their representation with contemporaneous works of realism, and illustrates the play's twenty-first-century relevance on the basis of visually impaired embodiment.

Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal

Theorizing Culture and Disability: Interdisciplinary Dialogues


Published: Jul 01, 2010 by Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal
Authors: Dan Goodley, Rebecca Mallett, Rebecca Lawthom, Lucy Burke, David Bolt

An ongoing project on interdisciplinary approaches to disability has grown from a brief exchange of e-mails between one of us, a professor of psychology and disability studies, and the other, a lecturer in disability studies and editor of a journal that focuses on literary and cultural studies of disability. The outcome of the exchange has thus far been twofold, both elements going under the title Theorizing

The Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal

Introduction: Theorizing Culture and Disability: Interdisciplinary Dialogues


Published: Jan 07, 2010 by The Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal
Authors: Dan Goodley, David Bolt

An ongoing project on interdisciplinary approaches to disability has grown from a brief exchange of e-mails between one of us, a professor of psychology and disability studies, and the other, a lecturer in disability studies and editor of a journal that focuses on literary and cultural studies of disability. The outcome of the exchange has thus far been twofold, both elements going under the title Theorizing Culture and Disability: Interdisciplinary Dialogues...

The Midwest Quarterly

The Starfish Paradigm


Published: Jan 01, 2010 by The Midwest Quarterly
Authors: David Bolt

It is a curious fact that some species of starfish can regrow their damaged or lost limbs. In a few cases the limbs contain vital organs, meaning that a whole starfish can regenerate from a single limb. It is also a curious fact that, in the cultural imagination, a person's impairment tends to be comparably envisaged as an interim step in a narrative that strides toward unimpairment for its very resolution. Of course there are many―marked bodies‖ in culture, owing to...

Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies

Introduction: Literary disability studies in the UK


Published: Mar 01, 2009 by Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies
Authors: David Bolt

It has been less than two years since the Journal of Literary Disability (JLD) was launched but much has happened in the emerging field during that short time. Consequently, by way of an introduction to this, the first issue under the new title Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies (JLCDS), I would like to reflect on some of the recent interdisciplinary progress. I am compelled to focus on the example with which I am most familiar—namely, the British academy...

Textual Practice

The blindman in the classic


Published: Jun 01, 2008 by Textual Practice
Authors: David Bolt

According to a number of classic expositions the ideological bases of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre1 and Rudyard Kipling's The Light That Failed2 are diametrically opposed. Jane Eyre has been commended by Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, for instance, as a work of 'rebellious feminism', 3 while George Holbrook Jackson has asserted that the 'keynote'of The Light That Failed is 'the love of the masculine life'. 4 Indeed, far from being commended as a belief in the equality of the sexes...

The Explicator

Saramago's Blindness: Humans or Animals?


Published: Sep 01, 2007 by The Explicator
Authors: David Bolt

This short article will consider the blurring of the human-animal distinction in José Saramago's Blindness from a perspective that is far too frequently ignored. The significance of animals in the novel has already been raised in Kevin Cole’s assertion that one in particular, the dog of tears, ‘becomes a full-fledged character’ (109). Indeed, expanding on the narrator’s remark that the character is ‘an animal of the human type’ (253), Cole goes so far as to…

The Explicator

Osborne’s Look Back in Anger: Looking Back at Oedipus Rex


Published: Jul 11, 2007 by The Explicator
Authors: David Bolt

In 1956, more than half a century ago, John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger was first performed at the Royal Court Theatre, but the character of the central protagonist Jimmy Porter can be traced back much further. With the help of psychoanalytic theory, it is possible to identify a link between Jimmy and Oedipus, the mythical king who unknowingly killed his father and married his mother.

Presented at the Inaugural Conference of the Cultural Disability Studies Research Network

Literary Disability Studies: The Long Awaited Response


Published: May 26, 2007 by Presented at the Inaugural Conference of the Cultural Disability Studies Research Network
Authors: David Bolt

I love you. Answer came there none. I love you. Ah, it’s official, nobody loves me. While the absence of the appropriate response isn’t too concerning in this context, a stranger addressing a group of people in a lecture theatre, it would be quite perplexing between two lovers. Let’s begin by considering this scenario for a moment...

Entre dos mundos

De ‘‘ceguera’’a ‘‘discapacidad visual’’


Published: Apr 01, 2007 by Entre dos mundos
Authors: David Bolt

El modelo social de discapacidad sostiene que las personas pueden presentar una discapacidad por múltiples motivos, pero que es la sociedad la que las convierte en minusválidas. El tema central de este artículo es la terminología, como producto de una sociedad “minusvalizante” y como elemento clave de la representación psicocultural. Se presenta una tipología tripartita compuesta por “capacitismo” 1, minusvalía y discapacidad...

Journal of Literary Disability

Introduction: Disability and/as Poetry


Published: Jan 01, 2007 by Journal of Literary Disability
Authors: David Bolt

The Journal of Literary Disability has arisen as a response to a series of interrelated absences, the most fundamental of which being that disability is implicitly and/or explicitly present in all literary works, but too frequently absent from literary criticism. This conspicuous absence invokes a parallel with what Jacques Derrida has referred to as hauntology, a neologistic variant on the word ontology that describes the paradoxical state of neither being nor non-being…

New Zealand Journal of Disability Studies

Beneficial blindness


Published: Jan 01, 2006 by New Zealand Journal of Disability Studies
Authors: David Bolt

Though a critical response to negative stereotyping becomes intuitive for people who strive to be unprejudiced in their attitudes, so-called positive stereotypes remain frequently unchallenged or even unnoticed. On this premise the paper examines the “positive” stereotyping of people with impaired vision that is perpetuated by Anglophone literature. The resulting myth is found to be somewhat paradoxical...

Disability & Society

Looking back at literature


Published: Dec 01, 2005 by Disability & Society
Authors: David Bolt

Considering the Unseen Starer and Unseeing Victim in a sample of Anglophone literature, the paper focuses on the privileging of a perspective that is dominated by vision, the ocularcentrism that defines people with impaired vision as epistemologically and even ontologically inferior to people with unimpaired vision. The underpinning assumption of authority is explained in terms of panopticism, whereby the presence or even the notion of an Unseen Starer affects control...

British Journal of Visual Impairment

Caught in the chasm


Published: Sep 01, 2005 by British Journal of Visual Impairment
Authors: David Bolt

Both fictional and factual discourses have situated visual impairment in a causal relationship with suicide. The article compares samples of these discourses in order to suggest that the fiction may have some bearing on the facts. This alternative explanation becomes all the more thought-provoking when it is considered that not only visual impairment but visual restoration has been posited as a cause of suicide.

Disability & Society

From blindness to visual impairment


Published: Aug 01, 2005 by Disability & Society
Authors: David Bolt

The Social Model of Disability holds that persons are impaired for a number of reasons, but that it is only by society that they are disabled. As a product of that disabling society and a key component in psychocultural representation, it is terminology on which the paper focuses. Consisting of ableism, disablement and impairment, a tripartite typology is proposed, the first phase of which is rendered outmoded, the second regressive and the third progressive. This hierarchical...

Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness (JVIB)

Castrating depictions of visual impairment: The literary backdrop to eugenics


Published: Mar 01, 2005 by Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness (JVIB)
Authors: David Bolt

Whether consciously or unconsciously, attitudes toward visual impairment are likely to be influenced by its representation in fictional literature. Critical of a supposed link between visual impairment and castration, this article examines a sample of literary works that are found to unify with eugenics—not only in geographic and historical circulation, but in ideological content.

Entre dos mundos: revista de traducción sobre discapacidad visual

La terminología y la carga psicosocial de la ceguera


Published: Jan 01, 2005 by Entre dos mundos: revista de traducción sobre discapacidad visual
Authors: David Bolt

Resumen Se examinan varias denotaciones y connotaciones de la palabra «ceguera» y se infiere que todas ellas constituyen una carga psicosocial que perpetúa el prejuicio. El análisis realizado mueve a formular la hipótesis de que una terminología más progresista podría conducir a la reducción de dicha carga.

Entre dos mundos: revista de traducción sobre discapacidad visual

Atrapados en el abismo: representación literaria y suicidio en personas con disc


Published: Jan 01, 2005 by Entre dos mundos: revista de traducción sobre discapacidad visual
Authors: David Bolt

Resumen En este artículo se comparan fragmentos de ambos tipos de discurso con el objetivo de sugerir que la ficción ejerce una cierta influencia en la realidad fáctica. Esta explicación alternativa resulta aún más sugerente cuando se tiene en cuenta que además de la discapacidad visual, también la recuperación de la visión se ha establecido como una causa posible de suicidio.

Journal of Further and Higher Education

Disability and the rhetoric of inclusive higher education


Published: Nov 01, 2004 by Journal of Further and Higher Education
Authors: David Bolt

The social model of disability states that many persons have many impairments, but that it is only by the ableist society in which they live that they are disabled. In considering just how inclusive Higher Education is for said persons, this short paper proposes a long‐overdue modernization of the ableist way in which undergraduates are taught. As a traditional gold standard university subject, direct reference is made to the study of English, but the conclusion will be pertinent...

British Journal of Visual Impairment

Terminology and the psychosocial burden of blindness


Published: May 01, 2004 by British Journal of Visual Impairment
Authors: David Bolt

Various denotations and connotations of the word 'blindness' are examined and the inference is drawn that they constitute a psychosocial burden that perpetuates prejudice. The analysis leads on to a hypothesis in which a more progressive terminology could lead to reduction of this burden.

Keele University

A brief introduction to post-disability literary criticism


Published: Jan 01, 2004 by Keele University
Authors: David Bolt

The aim of this presentation is to introduce what I call a postdisability approach to literary studies. Firstly, I will explain what is meant by the term post-disability; secondly, I will endeavour to justify its coinage; and thirdly, I will provide a brief postdisability reading of two extracts from the filmic versions of Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood and Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange. The extracts are very short, but the reading will reveal many implicit references to...

Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

The terminology debate continues


Published: Jan 01, 2004 by Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness
Authors: David Bolt

I am very pleased that people found the time to read and respond to ‘Blindness and the problems of terminology’, Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness (2003), 97, 9, pp. 519-20, the very aim of which was to stimulate debate. The short paper identified many ways in which a term like "the blind" might prove burdensome for the persons it is meant to denote. I acknowledged that there is empowerment in the act of appropriation, in the act of subverting…

Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness

Blindness and the problems of terminology


Published: Sep 01, 2003 by Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness
Authors: David Bolt

Discussion about the terminology of blindness has remained lively for decades, as is evident in the work of psychologist Donald Kirtley (1975) and former National Federation of the Blind (NFB) president Kenneth Jernigan (1993). At the heart of this debate is the inherently problematic nature of the word blind, which the article will illustrate in order that an alternative might be considered.

Photos

News

Cultural Disability Studies in Education Book Launch.

By: David Bolt
Subjects: Education, Media and Cultural Studies, Media, Journalism and Communications

Over the last few decades disability studies has emerged not only as a discipline in itself but also as a catalyst for cultural disability studies and Disability Studies in Education. In this book the three areas become united in a new field that recognises education as a discourse between tutors and students who explore representations of disability on the levels of everything from academic disciplines and knowledge to language and theory; from received understandings and social attitudes to narrative and characterisation.

Moving from late nineteenth to early twenty-first-century representations, this book combines disability studies with aesthetics, film studies, Holocaust studies, gender studies, happiness studies, popular music studies, humour studies, and media studies. In so doing it encourages discussion around representations of disability in drama, novels, films, autobiography, short stories, music videos, sitcoms, and advertising campaigns. Discussions are underpinned by the tripartite model of disability and so disrupt one-dimensional representations.

Cultural Disability Studies in Education encourages educators and students to engage with disability as an isolating, hurtful, and joyful experience that merits multiple levels of representation and offers true potential for a non-normative social aesthetic. It will be required reading for all scholars and students of disability studies, cultural disability studies, Disability Studies in Education, sociology, and cultural studies.

Disability, Avoidance and the Academy Book Launch

By: David Bolt
Subjects: Education, Media and Cultural Studies, Media, Journalism and Communications

Disability is a widespread phenomenon, indeed a potentially universal one as life expectancies rise. Within the academic world, it has relevance for all disciplines yet is often dismissed as a niche market or someone else’s domain. This collection explores how academic avoidance of disability studies and disability theory is indicative of social prejudice and highlights, conversely, how the academy can and does engage with disability studies.

This innovative book brings together work in the humanities and the social sciences, and draws on the riches of cultural diversity to challenge institutional and disciplinary avoidance. Divided into three parts, the first looks at how educational institutions and systems implicitly uphold double standards, which can result in negative experiences for staff and students who are disabled. The second part explores how disability studies informs and improves a number of academic disciplines, from social work to performance arts. The final part shows how more diverse cultural engagement offers a way forward for the academy, demonstrating ways in which we can make more explicit the interdisciplinary significance of disability studies – and, by extension, disability theory, activism, experience, and culture.

Disability, Avoidance and the Academy: Challenging Resistance will interest students and scholars of disability studies, education studies and cultural studies.

Videos

Cultural Disability Studies in Education Book Launch.

Published: Aug 06, 2018

Cultural Disability Studies in Education was launched in the Centre for Culture and Disability Studies, July 2018. The presentation was introduced by Dean of Education Prof Kenneth Newport.

Disability Studies Student

Published: Jul 02, 2014

MA Student Ella Houston discusses her experience on the Disability Studies course at Liverpool Hope University.

Disability Studies Tutor

Published: Jul 02, 2014

Dr David Bolt discusses the Disability Studies MA course at Liverpool Hope University. The Facebook page for the Disability Studies MA: https://www.facebook.com/DisabilityStudiesMA For more information on the course: http://www.hope.ac.uk/postgraduate/postgraduatecourses/disabilitystudiesma/

CCDS Book Launch: Disability, Avoidance and the Academy

Published: Nov 13, 2015

CCDS Book Launch Friday 13th November Disability, Avoidance and the Academy: Challenging Resistance