Cognitive Disability Aesthetics: Visual Culture, Disability Representations, and the (In)Visibility of Cognitive Difference
Cognitive Disability Aesthetics explores the invisibility of cognitive disability in theoretical, historical, social, and cultural contexts. Benjamin Fraser’s cutting edge research and analysis signals a second-wave in disability studies that prioritizes cognition. Fraser expands upon previous research into physical disability representations and focuses on those disabilities that tend to be least visible in society (autism, Down syndrome, Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia). Moving beyond established literary approaches analyzing prose representations of disability, the book explores how iconic and indexical modes of signification operate in visual texts. Taking on cognitive disability representations in a range of visual media (painting, cinema, and graphic novels), Fraser showcases the value of returning to impairment discourse. Cognitive Disability Aesthetics successfully reconfigures disability studies in the humanities and exposes the chasm that exists between Anglophone disability studies and disability studies in the Hispanic world.
- Series: Toronto Iberic
- World Rights
- Page Count: 288 pages
- Dimensions: 6.3in x 0.9in x 9.3in
"An impressively theorized case for recharting the boundaries of scholarship on disability in the humanities, Fraser’s book compellingly argues for questioning the productivity of an existing divide between bodily and cognitive (intellectual, developmental, and psychiatric) approaches. Along the way, he convincingly moves toward bridging a gap between narrative and visual methodologies in the disability studies field at large, while also making an important contribution to moving criticism of contemporary Anglophone and Hispanophone (here, by way of Spain) disability culture much more closely into conversation."
Matthew J. Marr, Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, Pennsylvania State University
"Professor Fraser’s Cognitive Disability Aesthetics is an innovative study that fills a gap in the field of Disability Studies. The theoretical proposals and the magnificent analysis of visual representations of cognitive disability bring attention to an important and neglected area of inquiry."
Encarnación Juárez-Almendros, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, University of Notre Dame
Author InformationBenjamin Fraser is a professor of Hispanic Studies and chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at East Carolina University.
Table of contents
Part I: Theorizing Visual Disability Representations
The (In)Visibility of Cognitive Disability
Signification and Staring: Icon, Index, and Symbol in Visual Media
Disability Scholarship at the Seam: The Materiality of Visual Narrative
Part II: Cognition, Collaboration, Community
Visualizing Down Syndrome and Autism: The Trazos Singulares [Singular Strokes] (2011) Exhibition and María cumple 20 años [María Turns Twenty] (2015)
Sequencing Alzheimer’s Dementia: Paco Roca’s Graphic Novel Arrugas [Wrinkles] (2008)
Screening Schizophrenia: Documentary Cinema, Cognitive Disability and Abel García Roure’s Una cierta verdad [A Certain Truth] (2008)
Subjects and Courses