By the 1990s critics had shown the ways that race, class, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality shape identity. Yet, as Lennard J. Davis pointed out, disability was largely invisible on the spectrum of identity. With Enforcing Normalcy: Disability, Deafness, and the Body (1995) and the anthology The Disabilities Studies Reader (1st ed., 1997; 5th ed., 2016), Davis helped establish the field of disability studies.

He further explored the representation and politics of disability in Bending Over Backwards: Disability, Dismodernism, and Other Difficult Positions (2002), The End of Normal: Identity in a Biocultural Era (2013), and Enabling Acts: The Hidden Story of How the American with Disabilities Act Gave the Largest US Minority Its Rights (2015), a trade book that tells the story of that landmark legislation, as well as the collection Disability and Social Theory: New Developments and Directions (coedited, 2012). More generally, he has argued for a “biocultural” approach in...

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