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  • Bending Over Backwards: Essays on Disability and the Body
  • Book
  • Lennard J. Davis
  • 2002
  • Published by: NYU Press
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summary

With the advent of the human genome, cloning, stem-cell research and many other developments in the way we think of the body, disability studies provides an entirely new way of thinking about the body in its relation to politics, the environment, the legal system, and global economies.

Bending Over Backwards reexamines issues concerning the relationship between disability and normality in the light of postmodern theory and political activism. Davis takes up homosexuality, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the legal system, the history of science and medicine, eugenics, and genetics. Throughout, he maintains that disability is the prime category of postmodernity because it redefines the body in relation to concepts of normalcy, which underlie the very foundations of democracy and humanistic ideas about the body.

Bending Over Backwards argues that disability can become the new prism through which postmodernity examines and defines itself, supplanting the categories of race, class, gender, and sexual orientation.

Table of Contents

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  1. Cover
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  1. Half Title Page, Series Page, Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Foreword: Side Shows and Back Bends
  2. Michael Bérubé
  3. pp. vii-xii
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  1. Introduction: People With Disability: They are you
  2. pp. 1-8
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  1. 1. The End of Identity Politics and the Beginning of Dismodernism: on Disability as an Unstable Category
  2. pp. 9-32
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  1. 2. Crips Strike Back: The Rise of Disability Studies
  2. pp. 33-46
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  1. 3. Dr. Johnson, Amelia, and the Discourse of Disability
  2. pp. 47-66
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  1. 4. Criminal Statements: Homosexuality and Textuality in the Account of Jan Svilt—Eighteenth-Century Shipwrecked Sailor
  2. pp. 67-78
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  1. 5. Who Put the the in the Novel?: Identity Politics and Disability in Novel Studies
  2. pp. 79-101
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  1. 6. The Rule of Normalcy: Politics and Disability in the U.S.A. [United States of Ability]
  2. pp. 102-118
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  1. 7. Bending Over Backwards: Narcissism, the Ada, and the Courts
  2. pp. 119-144
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  1. 8. Go to the Margins of the Class: Disability and Hate Crimes
  2. pp. 145-157
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  1. 9. A Voyage out (or is it Back?): Class and Disability in My Life
  2. pp. 158-164
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 165-190
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 191-200
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  1. About the Author
  2. pp. 201-202
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