Narratives of illness & disability

It has been acknowledged in social science that the narrative is one of the methods we use to construct and assign meaning to our social worlds (Hyden, 1997). Continue reading “Narratives of illness & disability”


Jo Spence

Lennard Davis also mentioned Jo Spence as an example of an artist using the spectacular gaze to come to terms with bodily changes. Her work, especially The Picture of Health, is richly autobiographical and explores issues surrounding feminine beauty and age, as well as her experience of partial mastectomy. Continue reading “Jo Spence”

Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist

In a bizarre alternative universe kind of way I sort of resemble Superman. . . . [D]espite my skinny physique and frail sensitivities, I possess certain powers and abilities far beyond those of so-called normal human beings. I was born with a genetic illness that I was supposed to succumb to at two, then ten, then twenty, and so on. But I didn’t. And, in a never-ending battle not just to survive but to subdue my stubborn disease, I’ve learned to fight sickness with sickness.” (Bob Flanagan, quoted in Kilpatrick 1998) Continue reading “Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist”

Tobin Siebers, My Withered Limb

This article is one of the most touching and brave explorations of disability I have read. Kudos to Siebers for having the courage to reveal himself in such an explicit way. Siebers suffered from the effects of polio as a child, resulting in a withered right leg. Continue reading “Tobin Siebers, My Withered Limb”