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.

chapter |8 pages


Avoidance, the academy, and activism
ByDavid Bolt

chapter 1|12 pages

Disability, diversity, and diversion

Normalization and avoidance in higher education
ByDavid T. Mitchell

chapter 2|12 pages

Disabling policies and exclusionary infrastructures

A critique of the AAUP report
BySushil K. Oswal

chapter 3|12 pages

‘Crippled inside?’

Metaphors of organisational learning difficulty
ByJoel Petrie

chapter 4|12 pages

Avoiding new literacies

Ideology, dyslexia, and perceived deficits
ByOwen Barden

chapter 5|11 pages

School textbooks and the avoidance of disability

Emptied of representation
ByAlan Hodkinson

chapter 6|11 pages

Lessons in critical avoidance

Disability studies and ‘special educational needs’
ByClaire Penketh, Laura Waite

chapter 7|10 pages

Words for dignity

From Budapest to Berkeley and back
ByRita Hoffmann, Maria Flamich

chapter 8|10 pages

Validating critical avoidance

Professional social work, mental health service users/survivors, and the academy
ByKathy Boxall, Peter Beresford

chapter 9|13 pages

Servicescapes, people, brands, and marketing management

Looking to the future of consumer disability research through disability studies
ByTom Coogan, Robert Cluley

chapter 10|10 pages

Literary disability studies in creative writing

A practical approach to theory
ByCath Nichols

chapter 11|11 pages

Fabulous invalids together

Why disability in mainstream theater matters
ByAnn M. Fox

chapter 12|10 pages

Ahimsa and the ethics of caring

Gandhi’s spiritual experiments with truth via the idea of a vulnerable human body
ByHemachandran Karah

chapter 13|10 pages

Disability studies and modern responses to Stefan Zweig’s Beware of Pity

Critics’ avoidance
ByEmmeline Burdett

chapter 14|11 pages

Avoiding disability in Scottish literary studies?

Scottish studies, ablenationalism, and beyond
ByArianna Introna

chapter 15|13 pages

How I can go on

Embracing modernity’s displeasure with Beckett’s Murphy
ByChris Ewart

chapter 16|11 pages

Signifying Otherness in modernity

The subject of disability in The Sun Also Rises and The Sound and The Fury
ByWill Kanyusik

chapter |4 pages


The space of avoidance
ByClaire Penketh