Autism, a neuro-developmental disability, has received wide but often sensationalistic treatment in the popular media. A great deal of clinical and medical research has been devoted to autism, but the traditional humanities disciplines and the new field of Disability Studies have yet to explore it. This volume, the first scholarly book on autism in the humanities, brings scholars from several disciplines together with adults on the autism spectrum to investigate the diverse ways that autism has been represented in novels, poems, autobiographies, films, and clinical discourses, and to explore the connections and demarcations between autistic and "neurotypical" creativity. Using an empathetic scholarship that unites professional rigor with experiential knowledge derived from the contributors lives with or as autistic people, the essays address such questions as: In what novel forms does autistic creativity appear, and what unusual strengths does it possess? How do autistic representations--whether by or about autistic people--revise conventional ideas of cognition, creativity, language, (dis)ability and sociability? This timely and important collection breaks new ground in literary and film criticism, aesthetics, psychology, and Disability Studies.
Osteen focuses on contemporary writing, offering astute and sensitive appraisals of a wide range of novels, parental accounts and autobiographies. -- Dr Michael Fitzpatrick, Spiked This book is an excellent resource for any scholar interested in disability studies and autism. It brings theory to bear on what may be called a cognitive disability, places the diagnosis of autism in a historical and cultural context, and addresses issues of representation (by self and other). The essays demonstrate, in their entirety, how wide the spectrum of what is being called autism is and alert us to the individuality of autistics. NYU Literature, Medicine and Arts Database