Disability Arts and Culture (Book)

Methods and Approaches

Edited by Petra Kuppers

What does it mean to approach disability-focused cultural production and consumption as generative sites of meaning-making? Disability Arts and Culture: Methods and Approaches seeks the answer to this question and more in an exploration of disability studies within the arts and beyond.


This collection offers insight into different study approaches to disability art and culture practices, and asks: what does it mean to approach disability-focused cultural production and consumption as generative sites of meaning-making? International scholars and practitioners use ethnographic and participatory action research approaches; textual and discourse analysis; as well as other methods to discover how disability figures into our contemporary world(s).
Chapters within the collection explore, amongst other topics, deaf theatre productions, representations of disability on-screen, community engagement projects and disabled bodies in dance. Disability Arts and Culture provides a comprehensive overview and a range of case studies benefitting both the practitioner and scholar.

Petra Kuppers is professor of English and women’s studies at University of Michigan, Ann Arbour. Petra is a well respected figure in the field of performance arts, in particular feminist and disabled theatre, and is a faculty fellow at the National Council for Institutional Diversity. She is the author of Theatre and Disability.


Petra Kuppers

Texts and Complexities

Chapter 1: Pain proxies, migraine and invisible disability in Renée French's H Day

Susan Honeyman 

Chapter 2: At the intersection of Deaf and Asian American performativity in Los Angeles: Deaf West Theatre's and East West Player's adaptations of Pippin

Stephanie Lim

Chapter 3: The blind gaze: Visual impairment and haptic filmmaking in João Júlio Antunes' O jogo/The Game (2010)

Eduardo Ledesma

Chapter 4: What are you looking at? Staring down notions of the disabled body in dance

Meghan Durham-Wall

Discourse Analysis: Cultures and Difference

Chapter 5: Troubling images? The re-presentation of disabled womanhood: Britain's Missing Top Model

Alison Wilde

Chapter 6: Representations of disability in Turkish television health shows: Neo-liberal articulations of family, religion and the medical approach

Dikmen Bezmez and Ergin Bulut

Chapter 7: The portrayal of people with disabilities in Moroccan proverbs and jokes

Gulnara Z. Karimova, Daniel A. Sauers and Firdaousse Dakka

People's Voices: Qualitative Methods

Chapter 8: From awww to awe factor: UK audience meaning-making of the 2012 Paralympics as mediated spectacle

Caroline E. M. Hodges, Richard Scullion and Daniel Jackson

Chapter 9: Disability in television crime drama: Transgression and access 

Katie Ellis

Chapter 10: 'It's really scared of disability': Disabled comedians' perspectives of the British television comedy industry

Sharon Lockyer

Ethnographic Approaches: Project Reports

Chapter 11: Re-voicing: Community choir participation as a medium for identity formation amongst people with learning disabilities

Nedim Hassan

Chapter 12: Dancing as a wolf: Art-based understanding of autistic spectrum condition

Kevin Burrows

Chapter 13: Disabling ability in dance: Intercultural dramaturgies of the Thikwa plus Junkan Project

Nanako Nakajima

Chapter 14: Swimming with the Salamander: A community eco-performance project

Petra Kuppers

Notes on contributors

'The essays take an unflinching look at disability, unpacking the narratives of disability that are presented in television and other media. [...] Disability Arts and Culture shares multiple experiences of disability to challenge the single story of disability as an inferior state that must be fixed and instead, shows states of being entitled to their agency.'

Nicole Y. McClam, Journal of Dance Education
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