Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies

Body Politics and Disability

Negotiating Subjectivity and Embodiment in Disability Poetry

Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies (2017), 11, (2), 205–222.

Abstract

The article explores the relation between the body and subjectivity through the lens of physical disability. Embarking from the idea that corporeality plays a crucial role in the way subjects are conceptualized, it emphasizes the potential of the non-normative body to produce a more flexible type of subjectivity. By focusing on poems on disability that are included in the collection Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability (2011), the aim in the article is to combine various representations of the disabled body with theories of subjectivity that reject unity, hierarchy, and order. For this purpose, the article employs the transgressive thought of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, who developed a more extrovert and fluid conception of the subject compared to previous psychoanalytic theories. Notions of the Body without Organs, becoming, and desiring-machines are used to investigate the complex subject positions that emerge from disabled bodies and their interaction with their environment, as well as other bodies, both non-disabled and disabled. This understanding of the subject promotes a political stance that replaces hierarchal, ableist assumptions on embodiment with a more horizontal view of the body and its various manifestations.

Access Token
£25.00
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Bartlett, Jennifer. Preface. Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability. Ed. Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black, and Michael Northen. El Paso: Cinco Puntos P, 2011. 15–17. Print. Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability 15 17 Google Scholar

Bartlett, Jennifer, Sheila Black, and Michael Northen, eds. Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability. El Paso: Cinco Puntos P, 2011. Print. Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability Google Scholar

Blackman, Lisa. The Body: The Key Concepts. Oxford: Berg, 2008. Print. The Body: The Key Concepts Google Scholar

Brians, Ella. “The Virtual Body and the Strange Persistence of the Flesh: Deleuze, Cyberspace and the Posthuman.” Deleuze and the Body. Eds. Laura Guillaume and Joe Hughes. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2011. 117–43. Print. The Virtual Body and the Strange Persistence of the Flesh: Deleuze, Cyberspace and the Posthuman Deleuze and the Body 117 43 Google Scholar

Campbell, Fiona Kumari. Contours of Ableism: The Production of Disability and Abledness. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. Print. Contours of Ableism: The Production of Disability and Abledness Google Scholar

Campbell, Fiona Kumari. “Inciting Legal Fictions: Disability’s Date with Ontology and the Ableist Body of the Law.” Griffith Law Review 10.1 (2001): 42–62. Print. Inciting Legal Fictions: Disability’s Date with Ontology and the Ableist Body of the Law Griffith Law Review 10.1 42 62 Google Scholar

Colebrook, Claire. Gilles Deleuze. London: Routlegde, 2002. Print. Gilles Deleuze Google Scholar

Deleuze, Gilles and Felix Guattari. Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Trans. Robert Hurley et al. London: Athlone P, 1977. Print. Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia Google Scholar

Deleuze, Gilles and Felix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Trans. Brian Massumi. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1987. Print. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia Google Scholar

Deleuze, Gilles and Felix Guattari. Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature. Trans. Dana Polan. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1986. Print. Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature Google Scholar

Detsi-Diamanti, Zoe, Katerina Kitsi-Mitakou, and Effie Yiannopoulou, eds. “Introduction.” The Future of Flesh: A Cultural Survey of the Body. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. 1–15. Print. Introduction The Future of Flesh: A Cultural Survey of the Body 1 15 Google Scholar

Dyens, Ollivier. Metal and Flesh The Evolution of Man: Technology Takes Over. Trans. Evan J. Bibbee and Ollivier Dyens. Cambridge, Mass: The MIT P, 2001. Print. Metal and Flesh The Evolution of Man: Technology Takes Over Google Scholar

Eigner, Larry. “July 3 64.” Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability. Eds. Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black, and Michael Northen. El Paso: Cinco Puntos P, 2011. 33–34. Print. July 3 64 Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability 33 34 Google Scholar

Ferris, Jim. “Keeping the Knives Sharp.” Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability. Eds. Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black, and Michael Northen. El Paso: Cinco Puntos P, 2011. 89–93. Print. Keeping the Knives Sharp Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability 89 93 Google Scholar

Ferris, Jim. “Poet of Cripples.” Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability. Eds. Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black, and Michael Northen. El Paso: Cinco Puntos P, 2011. 94. Print. Poet of Cripples Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability 94 Google Scholar

Fries, Kenny. “Beauty and Variations.” Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability. Eds. Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black, and Michael Northen. El Paso: Cinco Puntos P, 2011. 107–9. Print. Beauty and Variations Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability 107 9 Google Scholar

Hershey, Laura. “Working Together.” Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability. Eds. Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black, and Michael Northen. El Paso: Cinco Puntos P, 2011. 133. Print. Working Together Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability 133 Google Scholar

Kuppers, Petra. “The Origin of my Wheelchair.” Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability. Eds. Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black, and Michael Northen. El Paso: Cinco Puntos P, 2011. 115. Print. The Origin of my Wheelchair Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability 115 Google Scholar

Kuppers, Petra. “The Sound of the Bones.” Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability. Eds. Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black, and Michael Northen. El Paso: Cinco Puntos P, 2011. 110–14. Print. The Sound of the Bones Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability 110 14 Google Scholar

Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar of Jacques Lacan: Book II The Ego in Freud’s Theory and in the Technique of Psychoanalysis 1954–1955. Trans. Sylvana Tomaselli. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1991. Print. The Seminar of Jacques Lacan: Book II The Ego in Freud’s Theory and in the Technique of Psychoanalysis 1954–1955 Google Scholar

Mansfield, Nick. Subjectivity: Theories of the Self from Freud to Haraway. Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 2000. Print. Subjectivity: Theories of the Self from Freud to Haraway Google Scholar

May, Todd. Gilles Deleuze: An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2005. Print. Gilles Deleuze: An Introduction Google Scholar

Miller, Vassar. “If I Had Wheels or Love.” Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability. Eds. Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black, and Michael Northen. El Paso: Cinco Puntos P, 2011. 52. Print. If I Had Wheels or Love Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability 52 Google Scholar

Mitchell, David and Sharon Snyder, eds. Encyclopedia of Disability. Thousand Oaks: SAGE, 2006. Print. Encyclopedia of Disability Google Scholar

Northen, Michael. “A Short History of American Disability Poetry.” Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability. Eds. Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black, and Michael Northen. El Paso: Cinco Puntos P, 2011. 18–26. Print. A Short History of American Disability Poetry Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability 18 26 Google Scholar

Omi, Michael and Howard Winant. Racial Formation in the United States: From the 1960s to the 1990s. New York: Routledge, 1994. Print. Racial Formation in the United States: From the 1960s to the 1990s Google Scholar

Parr, Adrian, ed. The Deleuze Dictionary: Revised Edition. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2005. Print. The Deleuze Dictionary: Revised Edition Google Scholar

Shontz, Franklin C. “Body Image and Physical Disability.” Body Images: Development, Deviance and Change. Eds. Thomas F. Cash and Thomas Pruzinsky. New York: The Guilford P, 1990. 149–69. Print. Body Image and Physical Disability Body Images: Development, Deviance and Change 149 69 Google Scholar

Simpson, Daniel. “School for the Blind.” Beauty Is A Verb: The New Poetry of Disability. Eds. Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black, and Michael Northen. El Paso: Cinco Puntos P, 2011. 123–24. Print. School for the Blind Beauty Is A Verb: The New Poetry of Disability 123 24 Google Scholar

Young, Eugene B., Gary Genosko, and Janell Watson. The Deleuze and Guattari Dictionary. London: Bloomsbury, 2013. Print. The Deleuze and Guattari Dictionary Google Scholar

Bartlett, Jennifer. Preface. Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability. Ed. Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black, and Michael Northen. El Paso: Cinco Puntos P, 2011. 15–17. Print. Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability 15 17 Google Scholar

Bartlett, Jennifer, Sheila Black, and Michael Northen, eds. Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability. El Paso: Cinco Puntos P, 2011. Print. Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability Google Scholar

Blackman, Lisa. The Body: The Key Concepts. Oxford: Berg, 2008. Print. The Body: The Key Concepts Google Scholar

Brians, Ella. “The Virtual Body and the Strange Persistence of the Flesh: Deleuze, Cyberspace and the Posthuman.” Deleuze and the Body. Eds. Laura Guillaume and Joe Hughes. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2011. 117–43. Print. The Virtual Body and the Strange Persistence of the Flesh: Deleuze, Cyberspace and the Posthuman Deleuze and the Body 117 43 Google Scholar

Campbell, Fiona Kumari. Contours of Ableism: The Production of Disability and Abledness. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. Print. Contours of Ableism: The Production of Disability and Abledness Google Scholar

Campbell, Fiona Kumari. “Inciting Legal Fictions: Disability’s Date with Ontology and the Ableist Body of the Law.” Griffith Law Review 10.1 (2001): 42–62. Print. Inciting Legal Fictions: Disability’s Date with Ontology and the Ableist Body of the Law Griffith Law Review 10.1 42 62 Google Scholar

Colebrook, Claire. Gilles Deleuze. London: Routlegde, 2002. Print. Gilles Deleuze Google Scholar

Deleuze, Gilles and Felix Guattari. Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Trans. Robert Hurley et al. London: Athlone P, 1977. Print. Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia Google Scholar

Deleuze, Gilles and Felix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Trans. Brian Massumi. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1987. Print. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia Google Scholar

Deleuze, Gilles and Felix Guattari. Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature. Trans. Dana Polan. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1986. Print. Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature Google Scholar

Detsi-Diamanti, Zoe, Katerina Kitsi-Mitakou, and Effie Yiannopoulou, eds. “Introduction.” The Future of Flesh: A Cultural Survey of the Body. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. 1–15. Print. Introduction The Future of Flesh: A Cultural Survey of the Body 1 15 Google Scholar

Dyens, Ollivier. Metal and Flesh The Evolution of Man: Technology Takes Over. Trans. Evan J. Bibbee and Ollivier Dyens. Cambridge, Mass: The MIT P, 2001. Print. Metal and Flesh The Evolution of Man: Technology Takes Over Google Scholar

Eigner, Larry. “July 3 64.” Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability. Eds. Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black, and Michael Northen. El Paso: Cinco Puntos P, 2011. 33–34. Print. July 3 64 Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability 33 34 Google Scholar

Ferris, Jim. “Keeping the Knives Sharp.” Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability. Eds. Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black, and Michael Northen. El Paso: Cinco Puntos P, 2011. 89–93. Print. Keeping the Knives Sharp Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability 89 93 Google Scholar

Ferris, Jim. “Poet of Cripples.” Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability. Eds. Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black, and Michael Northen. El Paso: Cinco Puntos P, 2011. 94. Print. Poet of Cripples Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability 94 Google Scholar

Fries, Kenny. “Beauty and Variations.” Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability. Eds. Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black, and Michael Northen. El Paso: Cinco Puntos P, 2011. 107–9. Print. Beauty and Variations Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability 107 9 Google Scholar

Hershey, Laura. “Working Together.” Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability. Eds. Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black, and Michael Northen. El Paso: Cinco Puntos P, 2011. 133. Print. Working Together Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability 133 Google Scholar

Kuppers, Petra. “The Origin of my Wheelchair.” Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability. Eds. Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black, and Michael Northen. El Paso: Cinco Puntos P, 2011. 115. Print. The Origin of my Wheelchair Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability 115 Google Scholar

Kuppers, Petra. “The Sound of the Bones.” Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability. Eds. Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black, and Michael Northen. El Paso: Cinco Puntos P, 2011. 110–14. Print. The Sound of the Bones Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability 110 14 Google Scholar

Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar of Jacques Lacan: Book II The Ego in Freud’s Theory and in the Technique of Psychoanalysis 1954–1955. Trans. Sylvana Tomaselli. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1991. Print. The Seminar of Jacques Lacan: Book II The Ego in Freud’s Theory and in the Technique of Psychoanalysis 1954–1955 Google Scholar

Mansfield, Nick. Subjectivity: Theories of the Self from Freud to Haraway. Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 2000. Print. Subjectivity: Theories of the Self from Freud to Haraway Google Scholar

May, Todd. Gilles Deleuze: An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2005. Print. Gilles Deleuze: An Introduction Google Scholar

Miller, Vassar. “If I Had Wheels or Love.” Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability. Eds. Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black, and Michael Northen. El Paso: Cinco Puntos P, 2011. 52. Print. If I Had Wheels or Love Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability 52 Google Scholar

Mitchell, David and Sharon Snyder, eds. Encyclopedia of Disability. Thousand Oaks: SAGE, 2006. Print. Encyclopedia of Disability Google Scholar

Northen, Michael. “A Short History of American Disability Poetry.” Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability. Eds. Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black, and Michael Northen. El Paso: Cinco Puntos P, 2011. 18–26. Print. A Short History of American Disability Poetry Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability 18 26 Google Scholar

Omi, Michael and Howard Winant. Racial Formation in the United States: From the 1960s to the 1990s. New York: Routledge, 1994. Print. Racial Formation in the United States: From the 1960s to the 1990s Google Scholar

Parr, Adrian, ed. The Deleuze Dictionary: Revised Edition. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2005. Print. The Deleuze Dictionary: Revised Edition Google Scholar

Shontz, Franklin C. “Body Image and Physical Disability.” Body Images: Development, Deviance and Change. Eds. Thomas F. Cash and Thomas Pruzinsky. New York: The Guilford P, 1990. 149–69. Print. Body Image and Physical Disability Body Images: Development, Deviance and Change 149 69 Google Scholar

Simpson, Daniel. “School for the Blind.” Beauty Is A Verb: The New Poetry of Disability. Eds. Jennifer Bartlett, Sheila Black, and Michael Northen. El Paso: Cinco Puntos P, 2011. 123–24. Print. School for the Blind Beauty Is A Verb: The New Poetry of Disability 123 24 Google Scholar

Young, Eugene B., Gary Genosko, and Janell Watson. The Deleuze and Guattari Dictionary. London: Bloomsbury, 2013. Print. The Deleuze and Guattari Dictionary Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Details

Author details

Tsiokou, Katerina

Tsiokou, Katerina