Using an autoethnographic approach, as well as multiple first-person accounts from disabled writers, artists, and scholars, Jan Doolittle Wilson describes how becoming disabled is to forge a new consciousness and a radically new way of viewing the world. In Becoming Disabled, Wilson examines disability in ways that challenge dominant discourses and systems that shape and reproduce disability stigma and discrimination. It is to create alternative meanings that understand disability as a valuable human variation, that embrace human interdependency, and that recognize the necessity of social supports for individual flourishing and happiness. From her own disability view of the world, Wilson critiques the disabling impact of language, media, medical practices, educational systems, neoliberalism, mothering ideals, and other systemic barriers. And she offers a powerful vision of a society in which all forms of human diversity are included and celebrated and one in which we are better able to care for ourselves and each other.
Jan Doolittle Wilson is Wellspring Associate Professor of Gender Studies and History, Co-Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, and Director of Graduate Studies at the University of Tulsa.
Part I: Identifying Disability
Chapter 1: Meanings of Disability
Chapter 2: Cripping Disability Identities
Part II: (Re)Imagining Disability
Chapter 3: Disability on Display
Chapter 4: Disability and Inclusive Education
Part III: Locating Disability
Chapter 5: Burrowing Within Disability
Chapter 6: Making Disability Home
Part IV: Mothering Disability
Chapter 7: Disability and the Constructs of Motherhood
Chapter 8: Refiguring Motherhood Through a Disability Lens
This is an important book if only because it brings neurodiversity into the discourse on disability. Additionally, the chapter on mothering puts this book into the genre of parents writing about mothering (sometimes fathering) their disabled children. Indeed, the author writes lovingly about her experience of mothering Zoey. It is more than simple biography of neurodiversity within the family: it is a disability studies text…. General readers through graduate students; professionals.
This book gives us a brilliant and clearly written look into the world of disability and neurodiversity with a combination of scholarship, media savvy, and personal narrative drawn from the author’s life and that of her daughter. Wilson presents up-to-date and nuanced information on these fascinating subjects in a format that is both engaging and meaningful. Highly recommended for those seeking an introduction to the topic and those who know it well.
Jan Wilson's Becoming Disabled: Forging a Disability View of the World is a revelation for all of us about how what we learn to think of as the limitations and problems we call disabilities can become a source of understanding and human solidarity that deepens our relationships with one another and strengthens our human bonds. Whether we understand ourselves as people with disabilities or people without these human differences, we all need to know Jan Wilson's personal and family journey from being someone with medical problems to becoming someone who is a part of a culture and community that can sustain all of us.
5/31/22, Choice: This book was included in a roundup of the “Top 75 Community College Titles.”