The Politics and Aesthetics of Disability: A Review of Michael Davidson's Concerto For the Left Hand: Disability and the Defamiliar Body

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Abstract

Michael Davidson's Concerto for the Left Hand offers a major contribution to the growing field of disability studies, combining thematic and formalist approaches to experimental poetry, ASL and performance art, film noir, photography and other media. Davidson's aim is to push the conversation around disability beyond identity politics by demonstrating that disability often serves as a formal constraint that leads to aesthetic innovation in these media. He shows how certain works challenge sedimented assumptions about normative embodiment and compulsory "ableness." Davidson locates disability aesthetics within the tradition of modernist and avant-garde experimentation and draws equally upon the critical strategies of queer theory, film theory, contemporary poetics, Russian Formalism and theories of globalization to make legible the unrecognized problems of disability.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-170
JournalJournal of Modern Literature
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • disability
  • poetics
  • cinema
  • photography
  • avant-garde aesthetics

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