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Professor Publishes Book on Intellectual Disabilities

25 March 2013 | 11:53 am By:

College of Charleston Hispanic Studies Professor Benjamin Fraser has published the book Disability Studies and Spanish Culture: Films, Novels, the Comic and the Public Exhibition (2013) with Liverpool University Press.

Fraser says that his motivation comes from his brother in-law – also named Ben – who is an adult with Down syndrome. “We’re the same age, and we have the same name; being his brother has really opened my eyes to what disability studies is all about.”

“With this project, I really wanted to bring more attention to intellectual disabilities in particular,” Fraser says. “The book’s chapters use different cultural products as a way to talk more about the social realities of people with Down syndrome, autism, alexia, agnosia and more. These discussions are not just about Spain, instead they point more generally to the struggles that disabled populations have faced historically and still face on a daily basis regardless of country.”

One of the book’s major themes is a hallmark of disability studies – the difference between the medical model of disability and the social model of disability. In addition, the book also draws extensively from the work of disability theorists working the in United States, citing the College’s own Alison Piepmeier (director of the Women’s and Gender Studies program) and using Temple Grandin’s description of her own visual thinking to analyze a 2007 Spanish graphic novel.

Fraser also published another single-authored book last month titled Understanding Juan Benet: New Perspectives (University of South Carolina Press, 2013).

For more information, contact Ben Fraser at fraserbr@cofc.edu.

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