Disability in Science Fiction: Representations of Technology as Cure

Friday, 19 April 2013 08:42

My edited collection, Disability in Science Fiction: Representations of Technology as Cure, will be published by Palgrave Macmillan August 8, 2013. It is available for pre-order from most major North American and European booksellers!

Book description: In science fiction, technology often modifies, supports, and attempts to "make normal" the disabled body. In this groundbreaking collection, twelve international scholars – with backgrounds in disability studies, English and world literature, classics, and history – discuss the representation of dis/ability, medical "cures," technology, and the body in science fiction. Bringing together the fields of disability studies and science fiction, this book explores the ways dis/abled bodies use prosthetics to challenge common ideas about ability and human being, as well as proposes new understandings of what "technology as cure" means for people with disabilities in a (post)human future.

Additional note: I edited this collection for both scholars and serious fans of SF. The analysis is academic, but the language accessible (i.e., we avoid esoteric terms & explain any complex theoretical ideas).

For anyone interested in what's inside, here's a sneak peek:

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction: Reading Disability in Science Fiction, Kathryn Allan

Theorizing Disability in Science Fiction

1. Tools to Help You Think: Intersections between Disability Studies and the Writings of Samuel R. Delany, Joanne Woiak and Hioni Karamanos

2. Freaks and Extraordinary Bodies: Disability as Generic Marker in John Varley’s “Tango Charlie and Foxtrot Romeo,” Ria Cheyne

3. The Many Voices of Charlie Gordon: On the Representation of Intellectual Disability in Daniel Keyes’s Flowers for Algernon, Howard Sklar

4. The Metamorphic Body in Science Fiction: From Prosthetic Correction to Utopian Enhancement, António Fernando Cascais

Human Boundaries and Prosthetic Bodies

5. Prosthetic Bodies: The Convergence of Disability, Technology and Capital in Peter Watts’ Blindsight and Ian McDonald’s River of Gods, Netty Mattar

6. The Bionic Woman: Machine or Human?, Donna Binns

7. Star Wars, Limb-loss, and What it Means to be Human, Ralph Covino

8. Animal and Alien Bodies as Prostheses: Reframing Disability in Avatar and How to Train Your Dragon, Leigha McReynolds

Cure Narratives for the (Post)human Future

9. “Great Clumsy Dinosaurs”: The Disabled Body in the Posthuman World, Brent Walter Cline

10. Disabled Hero, Sick Society: Sophocles’ Philoctetes and Robert Silverberg’s The Man in the Maze, Robert W. Cape, Jr.

11. “Everything is always changing”: Autism, Normalcy, and Progress in Elizabeth Moon’s The Speed of Dark and Nancy Fulda’s “Movement,” Christy Tidwell

12. Life without Hope? Huntington’s Disease and Genetic Futurity, Gerry Canavan

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