Authoring Autism: On Rhetoric and Neurological Queerness

Melanie Yergeau (Author)
Available

Description

In Authoring Autism Melanie Yergeau defines neurodivergence as an identity--neuroqueerness--rather than an impairment. Using a queer theory framework, Yergeau notes the stereotypes that deny autistic people their humanity and the chance to define themselves while also challenging cognitive studies scholarship and its reification of the neurological passivity of autistics. She also critiques early intensive behavioral interventions--which have much in common with gay conversion therapy--and questions the ableist privileging of intentionality and diplomacy in rhetorical traditions. Using storying as her method, she presents an alternative view of autistic rhetoricity by foregrounding the cunning rhetorical abilities of autistics and by framing autism as a narrative condition wherein autistics are the best-equipped people to define their experience. Contending that autism represents a queer way of being that simultaneously embraces and rejects the rhetorical, Yergeau shows how autistic people queer the lines of rhetoric, humanity, and agency. In so doing, she demonstrates how an autistic rhetoric requires the reconceptualization of rhetoric's very essence.

Product Details

Price
$27.95
Publisher
Duke University Press
Publish Date
January 05, 2018
Pages
312
Dimensions
6.0 X 0.8 X 9.1 inches | 1.0 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9780822370208

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About the Author

Melanie Yergeau is Assistant Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan.

Reviews

"Authoring Autism provides many thought-provoking insights for disability scholars. . . . Melanie Yergeau's double perspective as a rhetorician and autistic activist that makes Authoring Autism valuable to a larger audience."-- (11/01/2018)
"A new exploration--a work that defines, defies, and defiles the boundaries of rhetorical regimes of neurological oppression. . . . An intervention, a disruption, an eruption."-- (04/16/2018)
"Deftly integrates rich theoretical analysis with moments of humor, irony, autoethnography (autie-ethnography), and poetic insight. Authoring Autism will be appropriate for graduate courses in rhetorical theory, whether feminist, queer, disability, posthuman, material, or embodied. It is essential reading for anyone who does rhetorical theory, and it will transform not only how we think about who a rhetor can be, but also what rhetoric should be."-- (02/06/2019)
"A closely argued, elegantly performed, and even joyfully humorous work of critical emancipatory scholarship. Yergeau carefully intertwines lived experience, autistic memoir, clinical discourse, and humanities theory (particularly rhetorical studies, narrative theory, disability studies, and queer theory) to achieve a highly insightful hybrid discourse. In the process, she breaks down binaries and opens new possibilities of form for scholarly invention and cultural creation. . . . An excellent book and a major contribution."-- (06/27/2018)
"To oppose a medicalized flattening of autism to a passive embodiment of seemingly autonomic dysfunction, Yergeau makes a powerful case for 'autism's rhetorical potentials' grounded in the resilient ways that autistic people self-consciously 'story' their desires for better, more inclusive futures. . . . Autistic people, Yergeau reminds us, have always been rhetorical beings. Only by redefining the very definitions and conventions of rhetoric can we begin to attend to these autistic narratives on their own terms."-- (05/02/2019)
"I need to (want to) read it several times in order to process the many profound, challenging, and delightful layers of [Yergeau's] rhetoric on rich display. . . . Authoring Autism is a masterclass in simultaneously claiming and dismantling rhetoric."-- (06/01/2019)
"Authoring Autism doesn't just show us what the neuroqueer can offer rhetoric, what the embodied experience of autistic people have to teach us of rhetoric, it resists these clinical gazes for us to study and instead urges readers to consider their own rhetoricity. How it might be neuroqueered--expanded, warped, and blown up. Yergeau wishes for us to embrace a future rhetoric full of tics and stims, and if this book is a glimpse of that future, it's one every rhetorician should be advocating for."-- (06/07/2019)
"Authoring Autism is a revolutionary book, a neuroqueer revelation."--Michael Bรฉrubรฉ"Public Books" (09/23/2019)
"Yergeau's book is a welcome history of autism and critique of contemporary perceptions and 'treatments' of it. It is an insightful, often refreshingly irreverent argument that should be read by professors, administrators, and students."-- (11/01/2019)