From concerns of an ‘autism epidemic’ to the MMR vaccine crisis, autism is a source of peculiar fascination in the contemporary media. Discussion of the condition has been largely framed within medicine, psychiatry and education but there has been no exploration of its power within representative narrative forms. Representing Autism is the first book to tackle this approach, using contemporary fiction and memoir writing, film, photography, drama and documentary together with older texts to set the contemporary fascination with autism in context. Representing Autism analyses and evaluates the place of autism within contemporary culture and at the same time examines the ideas of individual and community produced by people with autism themselves to establish the ideas of autistic presence that emerge from within a space of cognitive exceptionality. Central to the book is a sense of the legitimacy of autistic presence as a way by which we might more fully articulate what it means to be human.
Stuart Murray is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Leeds.
List of Figures
Introduction: autism and narrative
1. Presences: autistic difference
2. Idiots and savants
4. Boys and girls, men and women
5. In our time: families and sentiments
June 1, 2008
Representations: Health, Disability, Culture and Society