Enforcing Normalcy: Disability, Deafness, and the Body by Lennard J. Davis

By Lennard J. Davis

During this hugely unique research of the cultural assumptions governing our notion of individuals with disabilities, Lennard J. Davis argues forcefully opposed to "ableist" discourse and for a whole recasting of the class of incapacity itself.

Enforcing Normalcy surveys the emergence of a cluster of innovations round the time period "normal" as those matured in western Europe and the USA over the last 250 years. Linking such notions to the concurrent emergence of discourses in regards to the state, Davis indicates how the fashionable geographical region built its id at the backs not just of colonized topics, yet of its bodily disabled minority. In a desirable bankruptcy on modern cultural conception, Davis explores the pitfalls of privileging the determine of sight in conceptualizing the character of textuality. And in a therapy of nudes and fragmented our bodies in Western artwork, he indicates how the fitting of actual wholeness is either demanded and denied within the classical aesthetics of representation.

Enforcing Normalcy redraws the bounds of political and cultural discourse. by way of insisting that incapacity be further to the standard triad of race, category and gender, the e-book demanding situations progressives to extend the bounds in their wondering human oppression.

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What accounts for the increased centrality of stars to the commercial and competitive strategies of the film industry in the second half of the 1910s? To begin with, producers simply became ever more convinced that stars were the crucial magnet attracting ticket buyers. The industry took its cue from the empirical observation that fans fell in love with stars. The spectator’s sense of personal affinity and connection to a star was, more often than not, what motivated moviegoers’ film selections. Other factors, such as the production company or the story, while sometimes important, 22 BEN SINGER AND CHARLIE KEIL were secondary considerations.

More concrete business practicalities were also a factor in the ascendancy of stars. Paramount and other distributors had established the practice of block booking, whereby an exhibitor was obliged to rent an entire year’s worth of films altogether, sight unseen. This regularized producers’ revenue by protecting them from the risk of losses that would be incurred INTRODUCTION 23 when they made a film that, for whatever reason, fell far below the anticipated number of rentals. Producers tried to convince exhibitors that block booking was a win-win proposition, since overall rental costs could be reduced.

Easily the most prominent subgenre of westerns this year, however, remained films about Indians, as it had been for the past two years. At least ten Indian westerns were released each month. For several reasons, especially the landscape of the East Coast where most Indian films were shot, they drew more from James Fenimore Cooper’s novels of sociable natives than from the post–Civil War plains battles that became the model for a half-century from 1911 onward (Simmon, Invention 12–54). Several companies had a sideline in Indian westerns, including Selig, Lubin, and Biograph, and among the most fascinating are those directed for Pathé by James Young Deer, of Winnebago ancestry.

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