Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies

Criphystemologies

What Disability Theory Needs to Know about Hysteria

Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies (2014), 8, (2), 185–201.

Abstract

Through a reading of Freud's case history Dora, the article argues that the cultural construction of "hysteria" is a crucial factor in the oppression of people with what may be termed "undocumented disabilities"—that is, impairments that are neither visible nor definitively measurable by modern Western medical technologies. The contention is that the prevailing theoretical paradigms in disability studies are of limited use in developing critical analyses of undocumented disability. Insofar as the social model of disability (and the related "critique of the medical model") downplays connections between disability and suffering, it may reinforce the oppression of subjects with undocumented disabilities. Such subjects, often marked as "hysterical," must struggle to obtain recognition of the disabling suffering that is experienced. The article introduces the term criphystemologies to reference epistemologies that validate the lived experiences of people with undocumented disabilities.

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Mollow, Anna. "No Safe Place." WSQ: Women's Study Quarterly 39.1-2 (2011): 188-99. Print. No Safe Place WSQ: Women's Study Quarterly 39 188 99 Google Scholar

Mollow, Anna. "Is Sex Disability? Queer Theory and the Disability Drive." Sex and Disability. Ed. Robert McRuer and Anna Mollow. Duke UP, 2012. 285-312. Print. Sex and Disability 285 312 Google Scholar

Mollow, Anna. "‘When Black Women Start Going on Prozac’: Race, Gender, and Mental Illness in Meri Nana-Ama Danquah's Willow Weep for Me." MELUS 31.3 (2006): 67-99. Reprinted in The Disability Studies Reader. Ed. Lennard J. Davis. 4th edn. New York: Routledge, 2013. 411-31. Print. ‘When Black Women Start Going on Prozac’: Race, Gender, and Mental Illness in Meri Nana-Ama Danquah's Willow Weep for Me MELUS 31 67 99 Google Scholar

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Mollow, Anna. "Mad Feminism." Social Text Online, DSM-CRIP. October 2013. Web. 20 March 2014. Mad Feminism Social Text Online, DSM-CRIP Google Scholar

Montgomery, Cal. "A Hard Look at Invisible Disability." Ragged Edge Online 22.2 (2001). Web. 20 March 2014. A Hard Look at Invisible Disability Ragged Edge Online 22 Google Scholar

Munson, Peggy. Stricken: Voices from the Hidden Epidemic of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Binghamton: Haworth, 2000. Print. Stricken: Voices from the Hidden Epidemic of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Schweik, Susan. The Ugly Laws: Disability in Public. New York: New York UP, 2009. Print. The Ugly Laws: Disability in Public Google Scholar

Showalter, Elaine. Hystories: Hysterical Epidemics and Modern Media. New York: Columbia UP, 1997. Print. Hystories: Hysterical Epidemics and Modern Media Google Scholar

Siebers, Tobin. Disability Theory. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 2008. Print. Disability Theory Google Scholar

Wendell, Susan. "Unhealthy Disabled: Treating Chronic Illnesses as Disabilities." Hypatia 16.4 (2001): 17-33. Print. Unhealthy Disabled: Treating Chronic Illnesses as Disabilities Hypatia 16 17 33 Google Scholar

Wendell, Susan. "Toward a Feminist Theory of Disability." The Disability Studies Reader. Ed. Lennard J. Davis. 3rd edn. New York: Routledge, 2010. 336-52. Print. The Disability Studies Reader 336 52 Google Scholar

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Mollow, Anna