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Have these representations simply doubled down on ableist norms and assumptions?

by | Nov 5, 2022 | American Literature | 0 comments

 

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This week, we turn our attention to Fantasy and Disability (Disability Studies is one of my areas of specialization!). My original plan for this week was to assign just the first episode of American Horror Story: Freak Show. But then I learned AHS has left Netflix for Hulu, and I didn’t feel I could require a Hulu subscription. If you have one, do please feel free to watch S4E1. But if you don’t, the trailer itself will suffice, I think, to give a sense of how the show is using/treating disability. I think the Bitch Media article does a pretty good job establishing the broad strokes of the show, too.
Here are the Tavern prompts for this week. Please answer:
1. How has horror traditionally upheld ableist norms and assumptions? What about Tim Burton’s and Stephen King’s use of horror avoids these pitfalls, according to Melinda Hall? That is, how, according to Hall, might we think of Burton’s and King’s work as liberating/progressive when it comes to disability representation? What’s her argument there?
2. Where have you seen “freak” or “monstrosity” representations at work in contemporary media? Where have these representations intersected with disability–and how? Have these representations simply doubled down on ableist norms and assumptions? Or have you perhaps come across representations that seem more liberating/progressive when it comes to disability representations? Expound!
https://dsq-sds.org/article/view/3258/4205 – Melinda Hall (Horror question 1)
*******No in-text citation or reference page. USE YOUR OWN THOUGHTS AND WORDS****

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