Disability Media Studies

Disability Media Studies

Elizabeth Ellcessor and Bill Kirkpatrick

Print publication date: 2018

ISBN: 9781479867820

Publisher: NYU Press


Disability Media Studies proposes the formation of a field of study, based in the rich traditions of media, cultural, and disability studies. Such a field is necessarily interdisciplinary and diverse, arising from cross-pollinating conversations and engagements. Thus, this collection offers fourteen chapters written by scholars located in a variety of disciplinary homes, all exploring media artifacts in light of disability. Additionally, two afterwords—by Rachel Adams, and Mara Mills and Jonathan Sterne—reflect upon the collection, the ongoing conversations, and the future of disability media studies. This book is intended to be accessible, teachable, and friendly to newcomers to the study of disability and media alike. Case studies include familiar contemporary examples—such as the blockbuster film Iron Man 3 (2013), Lady Gaga, and Oscar Pistorius—as well as historical media, independent disability media, reality television, and media technologies. Chapters consider disability representation, the role of media in forming cultural assumptions about ability, the construction of disability via media technologies, and how disabled audiences respond to particular media artifacts. Each chapter is preceded by a short abstract, orienting the reader by explaining the background and contribution of the essay.

Table of Contents


Elizabeth Ellcessor, Mack Hagood, and Bill Kirkpatrick

Part I Access and Media Production

1 Kickstarting Community

Elizabeth Ellcessor

2 After School Special Education

Julie Passanante Elman

Part II Disability and Race

3 Throw Yo’ Voice Out

Alex S. Porco

Part III Disability and Gender

5 Prosthetic Heroes

Ellen Samuels

6 “It’s Not Just Sexism”

D. Travers Scott and Meagan Bates

Part IV Disability and Celebrity Culture

7 One of Us?

Krystal Cleary

Part V Disability and Temporality

10 How to Get through the Day with Pain and Sadness

Shoshana Magnet and Amanda Watson

11 Any Day Now

Robert McRuer

Part VI Disability and Technology

14 “A Blessed Boon”

Bill Kirkpatrick


15 Afterwords I

Rachel Adams

16 Afterword II

Mara Mills and Jonathan Sterne