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Cover

Shakespeare and Disability Studies

Sonya Freeman Loftis

Publication Date - June 2021

ISBN: 9780198864547

160 pages
Paperback
8.0 x 5.3 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $20.00

Shakespeare and Disability Studies argues that an understanding of disability theory is essential for scholars, teachers, and directors who wish to create more inclusive and accessible theatrical and pedagogical encounters with Shakespeare's plays.

Description

Shakespeare and Disability Studies argues that an understanding of disability theory is essential for scholars, teachers, and directors who wish to create more inclusive and accessible theatrical and pedagogical encounters with Shakespeare's plays. Previous work in the field of early modern disability studies has focused largely on Renaissance characters that a modern audience might view as disabled. This volume argues that the conception of disability as residing within individual literary characters limits understandings of disability in Shakespeare: by theorizing disability vis-a-vis characters, previous studies have largely overlooked readers, performers, and audience members who self-identify as disabled. Focusing on issues such as accessible performances, inclusive casting, and Shakespeare-based therapy, Shakespeare and Disability Studies reinvigorates textual approaches to disability in Shakespeare by reading accessibility as an art form and exploring both the powers and potential limits of universal design in theatrical performance. The book examines the complex interdependence among the concepts of theory, access, and inclusion--demonstrating the crucial role of disability theory in building access and examining the ways that access may both open and foreclose inclusive dramatic practice. Shakespeare and Disability Studies challenges Shakespearians, from students to audience members, from classroom teachers to theatre practitioners, to consider how Shakespeare, as industry, as high art, and as cultural symbol, impacts the lived reality of those with disabled bodies and/or minds.

Features

  • Examines the critical intersections of disability studies and Shakespeare studies
  • Focus on accessibility for people with disabilities
  • Includes interviews with theatre practitioners
  • Is radically different from existing scholarship on early modern literature and disability studies

About the Author(s)

Sonya Freeman Loftis, Professor of English, Morehouse College

Sonya Freeman Loftis is Director of English and Professor of English at Morehouse College, where she specializes in early modern drama, Shakespeare and appropriation, and disability studies. She is the author of Shakespeare's Surrogates (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) and Imagining Autism (Indiana University Press, 2015), as well as the co-editor of Shakespeare's Hamlet in an Era of Textual Exhaustion (Routledge, 2017). Her work on drama and disability has appeared in journals and collections such as Shakespeare Survey, The Disability Studies Reader, Disability Studies Quarterly, and Shakespeare Bulletin. She currently serves on the editorial boards of Disability Studies Quarterly, Review of Disability Studies, and Ought: The Journal of Autistic Culture.

Table of Contents

    Introduction: Theory, Access, Inclusion
    1. Cripping (and Re-Cripping) Richard: Was Richard III Disabled?
    2. Making it Accessible: Building Access in Shakespearian Spaces
    3. Play for All: Shakespeare Therapy and the Concept of Inclusion
    4. Neurodiverse Shakespeares: Mental Disability in Still Dreaming
    Afterword: The Brilliant Red of Shakespeare
    Further Reading