Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies

Affirming an Impersonal Life: A Different Register for Disability Studies

Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies (2009), 3, (3), 241–256.

Abstract

A fundamental tenet of the disability movement continues to be the validation of one's own identity and politics based on various disabilities: sensory, psychiatric, developmental, environmental, and physical (or any combination of the aforementioned). Underlying this politics of identity is the self-reflexive individual. Giorgio Agamben has argued that Gilles Deleuze moves the discussion to a different register, that of the impersonal life (without a self ). The article asserts that the field of Disability Studies should embrace this different register, thereby affirming the vitalism of an impersonal life.

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Bauman, Zygmunt. Postmodern Ethics. Cambridge: Blackwell, 1993. Postmodern Ethics. Google Scholar

Bolte Taylor, Jill. My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey. Toronto: Penguin, 2006. My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey. Google Scholar

Butler, Judith. Bodies that Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex." New York: Routledge. 1993. Bodies that Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex." Google Scholar

Butler, Judith. The Psychic Life of Power: Theories in Subjection. Stanford, CA: Stanford UP, 1997. The Psychic Life of Power: Theories in Subjection. Google Scholar

Deleuze, Gilles. Essays Critical and Clinical. Trans. Daniel W. Smith and Michael A. Greco. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1997. Google Scholar

Deleuze, Gilles. The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque. Trans. Tom Conley. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1993. Google Scholar

Deleuze, Gilles. The Logic of Sense. Trans. Mark Lester and Charles Stivale. Ed. Constas V. Boundas. New York: Continuum, 2004. Google Scholar

Deleuze, Gilles. Nietzsche and Philosophy. Trans. Hugh Tomlinson. New York: Columbia UP, 2006. Google Scholar

Deleuze, Gilles. Pure Immanence: Essays on a Life. Trans. Ann Boyman. New York: Zone Books, 2005. Google Scholar

Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Trans. Brian Massumi. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1987. Google Scholar

Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. What is Philosophy? Trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Graham Burchill. New York: Columbia UP, 1994. Google Scholar

Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. New York: Pantheon Books, 1978. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. Google Scholar

Gill, Jose. "The Dancer's Body." A Shock to Thought: Expression after Deleuze and Guattari. Ed. Brian Massumi. New York: Routledge, 2002. 117–127. "The Dancer's Body." A Shock to Thought: Expression after Deleuze and Guattari 117 127 Google Scholar

Kuppers, Petra. Disability and Contemporary Performance: Bodies on Edge. New York: Routledge, 2003. Disability and Contemporary Performance: Bodies on Edge. Google Scholar

May, Todd. Gilles Deleuze: An Introduction. New York: Cambridge UP, 2005. Gilles Deleuze: An Introduction. Google Scholar

Overboe, James. "Ableist Limits on Self-narration: The Concept of Post-Personhood." Unfitting Stories: Narrative Approaches to Disease, Disability, and Trauma. Ed. Valerie Raoul, Connie Canam, Angela Henderson, and Carla Paterson. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2007. 175–182. "Ableist Limits on Self-narration: The Concept of Post-Personhood." Unfitting Stories: Narrative Approaches to Disease, Disability, and Trauma 175 182 Google Scholar

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Overboe, James. "Disability and Genetics: Affirming the Bare Life (the State of Exception)." Genes and Society: Looking Back on the Future. Ed. Shelley J. Reuters and Katja Neves-Graca. Spec. Issue of Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology 44.2 (2007): 219–235. Google Scholar

Overboe, James. "Vitalism: Subjectivity Exceeding Racism, Sexism, and (Psychiatric) Ableism." Intersecting Gender and Disability Perspectives in Rethinking Postcolonial Identities. Ed. Pushpa Parekh. Spec. Issue of Wagadu, Journal of Transnational Women's and Gender Studies 4 (2007): 22–34. Google Scholar

Rajchman, John. The Deleuze Connections. Cambridge, MA: MIT P, 2000. The Deleuze Connections. Google Scholar

Agamben, Giorgio. Potentialities: Collected Essays on Philosophy. Trans. David. Heller-Roazan. Stanford, CA: Stanford UP, 1999. Google Scholar

Raoul, Valerie, Connie Canam, Angela Henderson, and Carla Paterson. "Making Sense of Disease, Disability, and Trauma: Normative and Disruptive Stories." Unfitting Stories: Narrative Approaches to Disease, Disability, and Trauma. Ed. Valerie Raoul, Connie Canam, Angela Henderson, and Carla Paterson. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2007. 3–10. "Making Sense of Disease, Disability, and Trauma: Normative and Disruptive Stories." Unfitting Stories: Narrative Approaches to Disease, Disability, and Trauma 3 10 Google Scholar

Bauman, Zygmunt. Postmodern Ethics. Cambridge: Blackwell, 1993. Postmodern Ethics. Google Scholar

Titchkosky, Tanya. Disability, Self, and Society. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2006. Disability, Self, and Society. Google Scholar

Bolte Taylor, Jill. My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey. Toronto: Penguin, 2006. My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey. Google Scholar

Titchkosky, Tanya. Reading & Writing Disability Differently: The Textured Life of Embodiment. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2007. Reading & Writing Disability Differently: The Textured Life of Embodiment. Google Scholar

Butler, Judith. Bodies that Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex." New York: Routledge. 1993. Bodies that Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex." Google Scholar

Sellars, John. "An Ethics of an Event." Angelaki 11.3 (2006): 157–171. An Ethics of an Event. Angelaki 11 157 171 Google Scholar

Butler, Judith. The Psychic Life of Power: Theories in Subjection. Stanford, CA: Stanford UP, 1997. The Psychic Life of Power: Theories in Subjection. Google Scholar

Deleuze, Gilles. Essays Critical and Clinical. Trans. Daniel W. Smith and Michael A. Greco. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1997. Google Scholar

Wendell, Susan. "Feminism, Disability, and Transcendence of the Body." Canadian Women's Studies 17.4 (1993): 116–122. Feminism, Disability, and Transcendence of the Body. Canadian Women's Studies 17 116 122 Google Scholar

Deleuze, Gilles. The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque. Trans. Tom Conley. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1993. Google Scholar

Deleuze, Gilles. The Logic of Sense. Trans. Mark Lester and Charles Stivale. Ed. Constas V. Boundas. New York: Continuum, 2004. Google Scholar

Deleuze, Gilles. Nietzsche and Philosophy. Trans. Hugh Tomlinson. New York: Columbia UP, 2006. Google Scholar

Deleuze, Gilles. Pure Immanence: Essays on a Life. Trans. Ann Boyman. New York: Zone Books, 2005. Google Scholar

Agamben, Giorgio. Potentialities: Collected Essays on Philosophy. Trans. David. Heller-Roazan. Stanford, CA: Stanford UP, 1999. Google Scholar

Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Trans. Brian Massumi. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1987. Google Scholar

Bauman, Zygmunt. Postmodern Ethics. Cambridge: Blackwell, 1993. Postmodern Ethics. Google Scholar

Bolte Taylor, Jill. My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey. Toronto: Penguin, 2006. My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey. Google Scholar

Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. What is Philosophy? Trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Graham Burchill. New York: Columbia UP, 1994. Google Scholar

Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. New York: Pantheon Books, 1978. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. Google Scholar

Butler, Judith. Bodies that Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex." New York: Routledge. 1993. Bodies that Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex." Google Scholar

Butler, Judith. The Psychic Life of Power: Theories in Subjection. Stanford, CA: Stanford UP, 1997. The Psychic Life of Power: Theories in Subjection. Google Scholar

Gill, Jose. "The Dancer's Body." A Shock to Thought: Expression after Deleuze and Guattari. Ed. Brian Massumi. New York: Routledge, 2002. 117–127. "The Dancer's Body." A Shock to Thought: Expression after Deleuze and Guattari 117 127 Google Scholar

Kuppers, Petra. Disability and Contemporary Performance: Bodies on Edge. New York: Routledge, 2003. Disability and Contemporary Performance: Bodies on Edge. Google Scholar

Deleuze, Gilles. Essays Critical and Clinical. Trans. Daniel W. Smith and Michael A. Greco. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1997. Google Scholar

May, Todd. Gilles Deleuze: An Introduction. New York: Cambridge UP, 2005. Gilles Deleuze: An Introduction. Google Scholar

Deleuze, Gilles. The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque. Trans. Tom Conley. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1993. Google Scholar

Deleuze, Gilles. The Logic of Sense. Trans. Mark Lester and Charles Stivale. Ed. Constas V. Boundas. New York: Continuum, 2004. Google Scholar

Overboe, James. "Ableist Limits on Self-narration: The Concept of Post-Personhood." Unfitting Stories: Narrative Approaches to Disease, Disability, and Trauma. Ed. Valerie Raoul, Connie Canam, Angela Henderson, and Carla Paterson. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2007. 175–182. "Ableist Limits on Self-narration: The Concept of Post-Personhood." Unfitting Stories: Narrative Approaches to Disease, Disability, and Trauma 175 182 Google Scholar

Deleuze, Gilles. Nietzsche and Philosophy. Trans. Hugh Tomlinson. New York: Columbia UP, 2006. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Overboe, James. "Disability and Genetics: Affirming the Bare Life (the State of Exception)." Genes and Society: Looking Back on the Future. Ed. Shelley J. Reuters and Katja Neves-Graca. Spec. Issue of Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology 44.2 (2007): 219–235. Google Scholar

Deleuze, Gilles. Pure Immanence: Essays on a Life. Trans. Ann Boyman. New York: Zone Books, 2005. Google Scholar

Overboe, James. "Vitalism: Subjectivity Exceeding Racism, Sexism, and (Psychiatric) Ableism." Intersecting Gender and Disability Perspectives in Rethinking Postcolonial Identities. Ed. Pushpa Parekh. Spec. Issue of Wagadu, Journal of Transnational Women's and Gender Studies 4 (2007): 22–34. Google Scholar

Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Trans. Brian Massumi. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1987. Google Scholar

Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. What is Philosophy? Trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Graham Burchill. New York: Columbia UP, 1994. Google Scholar

Rajchman, John. The Deleuze Connections. Cambridge, MA: MIT P, 2000. The Deleuze Connections. Google Scholar

Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. New York: Pantheon Books, 1978. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. Google Scholar

Raoul, Valerie, Connie Canam, Angela Henderson, and Carla Paterson. "Making Sense of Disease, Disability, and Trauma: Normative and Disruptive Stories." Unfitting Stories: Narrative Approaches to Disease, Disability, and Trauma. Ed. Valerie Raoul, Connie Canam, Angela Henderson, and Carla Paterson. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2007. 3–10. "Making Sense of Disease, Disability, and Trauma: Normative and Disruptive Stories." Unfitting Stories: Narrative Approaches to Disease, Disability, and Trauma 3 10 Google Scholar

Titchkosky, Tanya. Disability, Self, and Society. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2006. Disability, Self, and Society. Google Scholar

Gill, Jose. "The Dancer's Body." A Shock to Thought: Expression after Deleuze and Guattari. Ed. Brian Massumi. New York: Routledge, 2002. 117–127. "The Dancer's Body." A Shock to Thought: Expression after Deleuze and Guattari 117 127 Google Scholar

Titchkosky, Tanya. Reading & Writing Disability Differently: The Textured Life of Embodiment. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2007. Reading & Writing Disability Differently: The Textured Life of Embodiment. Google Scholar

Kuppers, Petra. Disability and Contemporary Performance: Bodies on Edge. New York: Routledge, 2003. Disability and Contemporary Performance: Bodies on Edge. Google Scholar

Sellars, John. "An Ethics of an Event." Angelaki 11.3 (2006): 157–171. An Ethics of an Event. Angelaki 11 157 171 Google Scholar

May, Todd. Gilles Deleuze: An Introduction. New York: Cambridge UP, 2005. Gilles Deleuze: An Introduction. Google Scholar

Wendell, Susan. "Feminism, Disability, and Transcendence of the Body." Canadian Women's Studies 17.4 (1993): 116–122. Feminism, Disability, and Transcendence of the Body. Canadian Women's Studies 17 116 122 Google Scholar

Overboe, James. "Ableist Limits on Self-narration: The Concept of Post-Personhood." Unfitting Stories: Narrative Approaches to Disease, Disability, and Trauma. Ed. Valerie Raoul, Connie Canam, Angela Henderson, and Carla Paterson. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2007. 175–182. "Ableist Limits on Self-narration: The Concept of Post-Personhood." Unfitting Stories: Narrative Approaches to Disease, Disability, and Trauma 175 182 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Overboe, James. "Disability and Genetics: Affirming the Bare Life (the State of Exception)." Genes and Society: Looking Back on the Future. Ed. Shelley J. Reuters and Katja Neves-Graca. Spec. Issue of Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology 44.2 (2007): 219–235. Google Scholar

Overboe, James. "Vitalism: Subjectivity Exceeding Racism, Sexism, and (Psychiatric) Ableism." Intersecting Gender and Disability Perspectives in Rethinking Postcolonial Identities. Ed. Pushpa Parekh. Spec. Issue of Wagadu, Journal of Transnational Women's and Gender Studies 4 (2007): 22–34. Google Scholar

Rajchman, John. The Deleuze Connections. Cambridge, MA: MIT P, 2000. The Deleuze Connections. Google Scholar

Raoul, Valerie, Connie Canam, Angela Henderson, and Carla Paterson. "Making Sense of Disease, Disability, and Trauma: Normative and Disruptive Stories." Unfitting Stories: Narrative Approaches to Disease, Disability, and Trauma. Ed. Valerie Raoul, Connie Canam, Angela Henderson, and Carla Paterson. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2007. 3–10. "Making Sense of Disease, Disability, and Trauma: Normative and Disruptive Stories." Unfitting Stories: Narrative Approaches to Disease, Disability, and Trauma 3 10 Google Scholar

Titchkosky, Tanya. Disability, Self, and Society. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2006. Disability, Self, and Society. Google Scholar

Titchkosky, Tanya. Reading & Writing Disability Differently: The Textured Life of Embodiment. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2007. Reading & Writing Disability Differently: The Textured Life of Embodiment. Google Scholar

Sellars, John. "An Ethics of an Event." Angelaki 11.3 (2006): 157–171. An Ethics of an Event. Angelaki 11 157 171 Google Scholar

Wendell, Susan. "Feminism, Disability, and Transcendence of the Body." Canadian Women's Studies 17.4 (1993): 116–122. Feminism, Disability, and Transcendence of the Body. Canadian Women's Studies 17 116 122 Google Scholar

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Overboe, James