From: Brenda Jo Brueggemann, Co-Editor, Disabilities Studies Quarterly:
Here's a taste from the Table of Contents for this new issue:
The spring 2009 issue is a regular collection of 8 peer-reviewed articles that illustrates well the broad and bold brushstrokes that make up the multi-disciplinary canvas of Disability Studies.
From Religious Studies comes a collaborative essay by Jennifer L. Koosed and Darla Schumm, "From Superman to Super Jesus: Constructions of Masculinity and Disability on the Silver Screen." Analyzing the "hyper-masculinity" of the American superhero as portrayed in two recent films, Mel Gibson's The Passion of Christ and Philip Saville's The Gospel of John, their essay employs disability studies frameworks to argue that the "Super Jesus" model of these films prevents the exploration of alternative theologies of disability.
Working from within Communication Studies, Elizabeth Scherman also studies "Superman" with her analysis of "The Speech that Didn't Fly: Polysemic Readings of Christopher Reeves' Speech to the 1996 Democratic National Convention." Scherman's rhetorical analysis of the text, context, and audience reception of this famous speech compares varying reactions of the mainstream press with that of the disability press.
In "Bridging the Deficiency Divide: Expressions of Non-deficiency Models of disability in Health Care," Dana Lee Baker approaches a study of the shifting paradigms for understanding disability from a (predominate) deficiency model. Trained and teaching from within the field Political Science, she uses data collected from a survey of parents and primary caregivers with autism to explore the manifestations of non-deficiency based models of disability in health care settings and interactions.
In "Women Wheelchair Athletes: Competing against Media Stereotypes," Jean Ann Hargreaves and Brent Hardin explore three themes as scholars of sport and exercise science: (a) that the 10 female wheelchair athletes interviewed were consumers of both mainstream and disability print media; (b) that they were tired of the media stereotypes; and (c) that they believed that the media is partially responsible for the lack of coverage of women and individuals with disabilities in sports media as a whole.
As a professor of Journalism, Katherine Foss examines the case of the popular TV show, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and one of its lead characters, Gil Grissom, to highlight multiple understandings of hearing loss and deafness. In "Gil Grissom and his hidden condition: Constructions of Hearing Loss and Deafness in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," Foss finds paradoxically that while the overall show itself resents hearing loss to be isolating and career-damaging, through Grissom's character, deafness is also conveyed not always as a functional limitation, but as one characteristic of a rich cultural community.
In "Shana's story: The Struggles, Quandaries and Pitfalls Surrounding Self-determination," Amy J. Petersen, a scholar of Education, employs qualitative research study to explore the concept of self-determination as experienced by an African American woman labeled with a disability in an educational setting. Peterson's article illustrates the conflicts and quandaries that arise when self-determination is enacted in education via a technical-rationale instructional paradigm for people with disabilities.
Colleagues Pamela Reed Gibson, Sahisna Suwal, and Lauren G. Sledd — working as scholars in Psychology — document tensions around "Services Requested and received by Consumers with Chemical Sensitivities at the Centers for Independent Living." They discuss results from surveys of 41 persons with environmental sensitivities (ES) who requested help from Centers for Independent Living (CIL), and conclude by offering suggestions from respondents for improved access and service for this population and for training of CIL advocates.
As a Literature scholar (English, Linguistics, Communication), Chris Foss maps a trajectory within a particular kind of "emerging" disability narrative — that of book-length accounts of living with autism spectrum disorders. In "Emerging from Emergence: Toward a Rethinking of the Recovery Story in Nine Contemporary Nonfiction Autism Narratives," Foss analyzes numerous narratives and observes a marked shift in how many of these writers now position themselves relative to the earlier established pattern for such stories.