Animated Film and Disability
Animated Film and Disability analyzes over 30 animated works that represent disabled characters, including Finding Nemo, Inside Out, and BoJack Horseman, and contends that crip animation has the power to disorient viewers and force them to become aware of their own bodies. Slava Greenberg focuses not only on representations of internal psychological worlds and conditions but also the subjective viewpoints of people with disabilities. In addition, Greenberg explores physical and sensory accessibility in theaters and suggests new ways to accommodate cinematic screenings for disabled audiences.
Offering an introduction to disability studies and crip theory for film, media, and animation scholars, Animated Film and Disability demonstrates that crip animation has the power to breach the spectator's comfort, subvert tradition, and create deeper understanding.
About the Author
"A tour de force that will enrich the way we experience and value our diverse embodiments both personally and socially, Animated Film and Disability: Cripping Spectatorship is an immensely important and much needed contribution not only to film and media studies but also to the humanities and social sciences. Taking some (but not all) of the 'dis' out of 'disability,' Greenberg approaches embodiment through the metamorphic plasmatics of animation. This strikingly original and expansive critical strategy and its highlighted films give shape and subjective voice to a variety of 'crip' ways of 'being in the world,' that may also 'crip' these films' spectators, who sense (if not re-cognize) the various onscreen possibilities and probabilities of their own embodied and ever-mutable animation."—Vivian Sobchack, author of Carnal Thoughts: Embodiment and Moving Image
"In Animated Film and Disability, Slava Greenberg opens up a theory of 'crip animation' that grapples with the fullness of disability, queer, and trans experience. Applying a phenomenological approach, the book enables the radical basis of the animated film genre's alternative world-building objectives to surface. No longer child's play, animation operationalizes plastic universes to destabilize viewers' and normative film conventions that typically structure the visual, auditory, and cognitive processing fields. In doing so, Greenberg unveils the political possibilities of disability representation and its potential to upend the over-worn expectations of cinematic normalcy."—David T. Mitchell, George Washington University
"In this fresh and exciting study, Greenberg offers an engaging account of animation's unique potential to reflect disability experiences beyond live-action's usual realism, didacticism, and stereotypes. Greenberg argues convincingly that animation can express disabled people's interior worlds in imaginative ways that can provoke a multisensory response, moving audiences beyond the empathic to an embodied prefiguration of worlds made possible by disabled ways of being. Animated Films and Disability is essential reading for anyone interested in film and social justice."—Carrie Sandahl, Professor and Director of the Program on Disability Art, Culture and Humanities, Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago
"Is it possible to understand others' experiences of embodied difference or disability? In Slava Greenberg's investigation of crip animation, we see how the imaginative possibilities of animation challenge cinematic expectations of non-disabled spectatorship, producing novel sensorial experiences that offer affirmation for disabled spectators and challenge non-disabled spectators to moments of productive disorientation. Through such cinematic efforts, perhaps we may find points of connection and possibilities for anti-ableist change in the theater and beyond."—Elizabeth Ellcessor, author of Restricted Access: Media, Disability, and the Politics of Participation
"Through a creative use of many examples, Animated Film and Disability moves readers to consider the able-ist gaze that forms the content and perception of cinematic renderings of disability. Slava Greenberg invites us, both spectators and theorists, to detach ourselves from our typical perceptions of disability as a method to get in touch with alternative relations forged through a focus on crip subjectivities and viewpoints. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in the power of perception as a political and creative site of inquiry."—Tanya Titchkosky, author of Reading and Writing Disability Differently: The Textured Life of Embodiment
"Animated Film and Disability: Cripping Spectatorship offers a much needed interdisciplinary intervention by interrogating cinema's 'ableist gaze' and theorizing animated media's capacity to subvert it. Poised to become a foundational text in disability studies and animation studies alike, Greenberg's groundbreaking and timely study deftly combines phenomenological analysis and critical disability theory, defining a rigorous, inclusive framework for the study of disabled subjectivities and their transformative potential."—Mihaela Mihailova, editor of Coraline: A Closer Look at Studio LAIKA's Stop-Motion Witchcraft
"Slava Greenberg's Animated Film and Disability is not just about disabled characters or creators, it is about how we take in, sense, and are immersed within animated media – what this does to our bodies and minds – or bodyminds – and how this spectatorship forms new relationships between bodyminds. Readers of this compelling, clear, and beautifully-written book, like spectators for these films, will find themselves guided into and through similar processes of encountering and embodying difference and disability. The book is highly personal – and not just in the sense that Greenberg so carefully and openly captures his own crip power and vulnerability, but also in the sense that the reader will have a deeply personal response, likewise powerful and vulnerable, fraught and desirable. The book develops novel methodologies for reading any cultural text with and through disability, as well as means of animating a wide range of conversations about embodiment, affect, intersubjectivity, and the sensorium."—Jay Dolmage, author of Disabled Upon Arrival: Eugenics, Immigration, and the Construction of Race and Disability
Other Titles in SOCIAL SCIENCE / People with Disabilities