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Autism and the Question of the Human
Gothenburg, Sweden.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
Uppsala University, Sweden.
2015 (English)In: Literature and medicine, ISSN 0278-9671, E-ISSN 1080-6571, Vol. 33, no 1, 202-221 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The article explores how normative notions of emotions and interaction are active in constructions of the categories of “human” and “animal” in different discourses about autism: scientific and autobiographical. In the scientific discourse of autistic emotionality, a deficit perspective of autism is central. The general affective deficit discourse relies on normative discursive notions of “humanity” or “human emotionality.” Thus, neurotypicals are produced as real “humans” and neurotypical emotionality as “normal” human emotionality. This human normativity is challenged in the Swedish autobiographical texts by Gunilla Gerland (b. 1963), Iris Johansson (b. 1945) and Immanuel Brändemo (b. 1980). Along with American authors of autobiographies about autism, such as Temple Grandin’s Thinking in Pictures (1995) and Dawn Prince-Hughes’ Songs of the Gorilla Nation (2004) they destabilize the categories of “human” and “animal” by identifying with nonhuman animals, describing themselves as such, or feeling disqualified as real humans

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015. Vol. 33, no 1, 202-221 p.
Keyword [en]
Human, animal, autism, emotions, interaction, posthumanism, disability studies, animal studies
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-105899OAI: diva2:838626
Available from: 2015-07-01 Created: 2015-07-01 Last updated: 2015-10-05Bibliographically approved

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Bertilsdotter Rosqvist, Hanna
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