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Books | Lennard J. Davis

Books

Lennard Davis is the author or editor of more than a dozen books covering a wide range of subjects including literary theory, disability studies and biocultures. He has also published award-winning creative works.

enabling_actsEnabling Acts: The Hidden Story of How the Americans with Disabilities Act Gave the Largest US Minority Its Rights
In this riveting account, acclaimed disability scholar Lennard J. Davis tells the behind-the-scenes and on-the-ground story of a too-often ignored or forgotten civil rights fight, while illustrating the successes and shortcomings of the ADA in areas ranging from employment, education, and transportation to shifting social attitudes. Published for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the ADA, this book promises to powerfully ignite readers in a discussion of disability rights in America. (Beacon Press, July 2015 )
Also available at:  Barnes & Noble  |  Amazon.com  | Indiebound

 

The End of NormalThe End of Normal: Identity in a Biocultural Era
In an era when human lives are increasingly measured and weighed in relation to the medical and scientific, notions of what is “normal” have changed drastically. While it is no longer useful to think of a person’s particular race, gender, sexual orientation, or choice as “normal,” the concept continues to haunt us in other ways. In The End of Normal, Lennard J. Davis explores changing perceptions of body and mind in social, cultural, and political life as the twenty-first century unfolds. The book’s provocative essays mine the worlds of advertising, film, literature, and the visual arts as they consider issues of disability, depression, physician-assisted suicide, medical diagnosis, transgender, and other identities. (University of Michigan Press, 2013)
Also available at: Barnes & Noble  |  Amazon.com  |  Indiebound

 

Disability Studies ReaderThe Disability Studies Reader
Edited by Lennard J. Davis
The Fourth Edition of the Disability Studies Reader breaks new ground by emphasizing the global, transgender, homonational, and posthuman conceptions of disability. Including physical disabilities, but exploring issues around pain, mental disability, and invisible disabilities, this edition explores more varieties of bodily and mental experience. New histories of the legal, social, and cultural give a broader picture of disability than ever before. (Routledge, 1997; Revised Fourth Edition, 2013)
Also available at: Barnes & Noble  |  Amazon.com  |  Indiebound

 

Routledge SeriesRoutledge Series Integrating Science and Culture
Lennard Davis is the series editor for the Routledge Series Integrating Science and Culture.  The series brings together multiple theoretical approaches and presents new ways to think about medical and popular discourses. The series began in 2011 and continues to add scholarly titles.

 

 

 

Disability and Social TheoryDisability and Social Theory: New Developments and Directions
Co-Edited w/ Bill Hughes and Dan Goodley
This comprehensive, interdisciplinary collection examines disability from a theoretical perspective. Each chapter challenges dominant biological, individualistic and psychological views of disability, drawing on one or two theories (and theorists) to advance a sustained analysis of disability, impairment and society. Throughout, social theories of disability intersect with other transformative ideas around sex/gender, race/ethnicity, class, sexuality and nation, engaging with ideas from poststructuralism, phenomenology, psychoanalysis, postcolonialism, Marxism, feminisms and queer theory to recast disabled bodies-and-minds as psychosocial, cultural and political phenomena. (Palgrave, 2012)
Also available at:  Barnes & Noble  |  Amazon.com |  Indiebound

 


Go Ask Your FatherGo Ask Your Father: One Man’s Obsession with Finding His Origins Through DNA Testing

Every family has a secret. But what if that secret makes you question your own place in the family? Mixing equal parts memoir, detective story, and popular-science narrative, this is the emotionally charged account of one man’s quest to find out the truth about his genetic heritage–and confront the agonizing possibility of having to redefine the first fifty years of his life. (Random House, 2009)
Available at: Barnes & Noble  |  Amazon.com  |  Indiebound

 

 

ObsessionObsession: A History
Obsession is not only a phenomenon of modern existence: it is a medical category—both a pathology and a goal. Behind this paradox lies a fascinating history, which Lennard J. Davis tells in Obsession. Beginning with the roots of the disease in demonic possession and its secular successors, Davis traces the evolution of obsessive behavior from a social and religious fact of life into a medical and psychiatric problem. From obsessive aspects of professional specialization to obsessive compulsive disorder and nymphomania, no variety of obsession eludes Davis’s graceful analysis. (University of Chicago Press, 2008)
Also available at:  Barnes & Noble  |  Amazon.com  |  Indiebound

 

Bending Over Backwards

Bending Over Backwards: Disabililty, Dismodernism and Other Difficult Positions
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. (University of Michigan Press, 2002)
Available at:  Barnes & Noble  |  Amazon.com  |  Indiebound

 

The SonnetsThe Sonnets: A Novel
A campus novel in which a professor at Columbia University who specializes in Shakespeare begins to see a strange connection between his own life and the plot of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Will Marlowe, the professor, becomes involved with a young man and a dark lady. Each of them bring passion and problems. (State University of New York Press, 2001).
Also available at:  Barnes & Noble  |  Amazon.com  |  Indiebound

 

 

 

My Sense of Silence

My Sense of Silence: Memoirs of a Childhood with Deafness
In this candid, affecting, and often funny memoir, Lennard Davis recalls the joys and confusions of this special world, especially his complex and sometimes difficult relationships with his working-class Jewish immigrant parents. Gracefully slipping through memory, regret, longing, and redemption, My Sense of Silence is an eloquent remembrance of human ties and human failings. (University of Illinois Press, 2000)
Also available from:  Barnes & Noble  |  Amazon.com  |  Indiebound

 

 

Shall I Say A Kiss?Shall I Say A Kiss?: The Courtship Letters of a Deaf Couple 1936-1938
Upon the death of his father Morris at age 82, Lennard Davis found among his effects a trove of letters, kept in careful chronological order, that dated from 1936. The letters ended in 1938, when Eva Weintrobe came to America to marry Morris, and they provide the core of Shall I Say A Kiss?, their courtship by correspondence. (Gallaudet University Press, 1999)
Also available at:  Barnes & Noble  |  Amazon.com  |  Indiebound

 

 

Factual FictionsFactual Fictions: The Origins of the English Novel
Nowadays, most readers take the intersection between fiction and fact for granted. We’ve developed a faculty for pretending that even the most bizarre literary inventions are, for the nonce, real.” (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997)
Also available at:  Barnes & Noble  |  Amazon.com 

 

 

Enforcing NormalcyEnforcing Normalcy: Disability, Deafness and the Body
Enforcing Normalcy surveys the emergence of a cluster of concepts around the term “normal” as these matured in western Europe and the United States over the past 250 years. Linking such notions to the concurrent emergence of discourses about the nation, Davis shows how the modern nation-state constructed its identity on the backs not only of colonized subjects, but of its physically disabled minority. (Verso, 1995; reprinted 2000)
Also available at :  Barnes & Noble  |  Amazon.com  |  Indiebound

 

 

Left Politics and the Literary ProfessionWhere We're Bound
With M.B. Mirabella
By providing a meditative overview of the past twenty years in the political study and teaching of literature, Left Politics and the Literary Profession assesses the concrete contributions of the sixties and the kind of changes that needed to come about to institutionalize the activism of this period. (Columbia University Press, 1990)
Also available at:  Barnes & Noble  |  Amazon.com  |  Indiebound

 

 

Resisting NovelsResisting Novels: Ideology and Fiction
While discussions of ideology in novels traditionally concentrate on thematics, Lennard Davis approaches the subject through structural features–location, character, dialogue and plot–examining each in turn for its unsuspected effect on the reader. (Methuen, 1987)
Also available at :  Barnes & Noble  |  Amazon.com  |  Indiebound

 

Lennard Davis is the editor of the Disability Studies Reader. Read more