Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Disability and representaion

Kim K's picture

In Margaret Price's Mad At School, Price brings up some interesting points regarding labeling and boxing people - especially students in academic settings- with mental disabilities. She talks about wanting to fix or cure these problems rather than working with them or embracing the idea of mental difference. I think that she makes some good points, and I started thinking further about the portrayal of this kind of different (yet brilliant) mind in movies and on TV. Temple Grandin is a recent example that Price also talked about, but I could't help relating this back to Eli Clare's "super crip" category. The movie about Temple Grandin touched millions of people and suddenly autism and aspergers became the disability du jour. Temple Grandin was celebrated (and rightfully so) for being an extraordinary person with autism. This also relates back to the ideas of visibility in media and society. In these movies about disabled minds, very well-known, attractive Hollywood stars represent these afflicted people. (Russell Crow in A Beautiful Mind and Clare Danes in Temple Grandin). It is an interesting way to look at mainstream acceptance of disabilities and their portrayal.