Mad at School: Rhetorics of Mental Disability and Academic Life (Corporealities: Discourses of Disability)

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<p><i>Mad at School</i> explores the contested boundaries between disability, illness, and mental illness in the setting of U.S. higher education. Much of the research and teaching within disability studies assumes a disabled body but a rational and energetic (an ""agile"") mind. In <i>Mad at School</i>, scholar and disabilities activist Margaret Price asks: How might our education practices change if we understood disability to incorporate the disabled mind?</p><p>Mental disability (more often called ""mental illness"") is a topic of fast-growing interest in all spheres of American culture, including popular, governmental, aesthetic, and academic. <i>Mad at School</i> is a close study of the ways that mental disabilities impact academic culture. Investigating spaces including classrooms, faculty meeting rooms, and job searches, Price challenges her readers to reconsider long-held values of academic life, including productivity, participation, security, and independence. Ultimately, she argues that academic discourse both produces and is produced by a tacitly privileged ""able mind,"" and that U.S. higher education would benefit from practices that create a more accessible academic world.</p><p><i>Mad at School</i> is the first book to use a disability-studies perspective to focus specifically on the ways that mental disabilities impact academic culture at institutions of higher education. Individual chapters examine the language used to denote mental disability; the role of ""participation"" and ""presence"" in student learning; the role of ""collegiality"" in faculty work; the controversy over ""security"" and free speech that has arisen in the wake of recent school shootings; and the marginalized status of independent scholars with mental disabilities. </p>

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Tobin Siebers is V. L. Parrington Collegiate Professor of Literary and Cultural Criticism, Professor of Art and Design and the Chair of the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan

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