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ERIC Number: ED532502
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 301
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1094-3044-8
Art Education and Disability Studies Perspectives on Mental Illness Discourses
Derby, John K.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Ohio State University
This dissertation critically examines mental illness discourses through the intersecting disciplinary lenses of art education and disability studies. Research from multiple disciplines is compared and theorized to uncover the ways in which discourses, or language systems, have oppressively constructed and represented "mental illness." To establish interdisciplinary common ground, art education research on disability and disability studies research on art practices are reviewed and juxtaposed. Building on these reviews, art education and disability studies discourses are critically examined and elaborated to advance anti-oppressive scholarship on mental illness. In particular, I examine art education's adoption of special education language, and I explore the limited employment of art practices within disability studies. As an interdisciplinary example, I write about my experience of mental illness and some of the art processes I have used to make sense of mental illness as both a stigmatizing label and as a matter of complex embodiment. My research shows that oppressive, ableist discourses persist in such diverse forms as popular visual culture and special education legislation, while art education and disability studies are generally invested in challenging oppression. Such discourses reinforce stigma by misrepresenting mental illness and by excluding first-hand perspectives of people who experience mental illness and subsequent stigma. Disability studies scholars have used performance and writing to critically express self-revealing, self-disclosing, and therefore educative discourses. Other than performance and literature, however, there are few scholarly examples of using contemporary art practices to critically engage mental illness and other disabilities. As research, guided by my own embodied knowledge, I construct an example of how art education and disability studies practices can be integrated to construct critical disability discourses that challenge stigma and ableism. The dissertation suggests that interdisciplinary dialogue between art education and disability studies can effectively disrupt oppressive discourses through critical contemporary art practices and creative writing. Art educators can utilize disability studies scholarship to further divest ableist discourses and practices. Art educators can also contribute to disability studies by strategizing art practices that critically explore disability discourses in the many fields that comprise disability studies. Together, art education and disability studies can address the many areas where disability and art meet, socially, culturally, and pedagogically. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A