This Companion analyzes the representation of disability in literatures in English, including American and postcolonial writing, across all major time periods and through a variety of critical approaches. Through the alternative ideas of mind and embodiment generated by physiological and psychological impairments, an understanding of disability narrative changes the way we read literature. With contributions from major figures in literary disability studies, The Cambridge Companion to Literature and Disability covers a wide range of impairments, including cognitive difference, neurobehavioral conditions, and mental and chronic illnesses. This book shows how disability demands innovation in literary form and aesthetics, challenges the notion of a human 'norm' in the writing of character, and redraws the ways in which writing makes meaning of the broad spectrum of humanity. It will be a key resource for students and teachers of disability and literary studies.
Clare Barker is Lecturer in English Literature (Medical Humanities) at the University of Leeds. She is the author of Postcolonial Fiction and Disability: Exceptional Children, Metaphor and Materiality (2011), and has co-edited two special issues of the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies, on 'Disabling Postcolonialism' (with Stuart Murray, 2010) and 'Disability and Indigeneity' (with Siobhan Senier, 2013). Her research focuses on representations of disability, health, and biomedicine in postcolonial literatures and film. Stuart Murray is Professor of Contemporary Literatures and Film at the University of Leeds, where he is also Director of the Leeds Centre for Medical Humanities. He began working in disability studies following the diagnosis of his two sons with autism in 2002, taught the first course in a UK university on representations of disability in literature and film, and was the founding editor of the UK's first publishing series focused on representations of health and disability: Representations: Health, Disability, Culture and Society. His book Representing Autism (2008) was the first critical monograph on the topic, while Autism (2012) was the launch book in Routledge's Integrating Science and CulturE series.