Through a reading of Freud’s case history Dora, the article argues that the cultural construction of “hysteria” is a crucial factor in the oppression of people with what may be termed “undocumented disabilities”—that is, impairments that are neither visible nor definitively measurable by modern Western medical technologies. The contention is that the prevailing theoretical paradigms in disability studies are of limited use in developing critical analyses of undocumented disability. Insofar as the social model of disability (and the related “critique of the medical model”) downplays connections between disability and suffering, it may reinforce the oppression of subjects with undocumented disabilities. Such subjects, often marked as “hysterical,” must struggle to obtain recognition of the disabling suffering that is experienced. The article introduces the term criphystemologies to reference epistemologies that validate the lived experiences of people with undocumented disabilities.


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pp. 185-201
Launched on MUSE
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