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Performing Arts History & Criticism

Autism in Film and Television

On the Island

edited by Murray Pomerance & R. Barton Palmer

University of Texas Press
Initial publish date
Apr 2022
History & Criticism, History & Criticism, People with Disabilities
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2022
    List Price

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Global awareness of autism has skyrocketed since the 1980s, and popular culture has caught on, with film and television producers developing ever more material featuring autistic characters. Autism in Film and Television brings together more than a dozen essays on depictions of autism, exploring how autistic characters are signified in media and how the reception of these characters informs societal understandings of autism.

Editors Murray Pomerance and R. Barton Palmer have assembled a pioneering examination of autism’s portrayal in film and television. Contributors consider the various means by which autism has been expressed in films such as Phantom Thread, Mercury Rising, and Life Animated and in television and streaming programs including Atypical, Stranger Things, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Community. Across media, the figure of the brilliant, accomplished, and “quirky” autist has proven especially appealing. Film and television have thus staked out a progressive position on neurodiversity by insisting on screen time for autism but have done so while frequently ignoring the true diversity of autistic experience. As a result, this volume is a welcome celebration of nonjudgmental approaches to disability, albeit one that is still freighted with stereotypes and elisions.

About the authors

Murray Pomerance's profile page

R. Barton Palmer is Calhoun Lemon Professor of Literature emeritus at Clemson University, where he is the founding director of the World Cinema program. Palmer is the author or editor of more than fifty books on different subjects. He is also the editor of the South Atlantic Review, the Tennessee Williams Annual Review, and, soon, with Constantine Verevis, of World Cinema Traditions (Edinburgh UP). His latest film books are: (with Murray Pomerance), The Many Cinemas of Michael Curtiz (Texas UP) and (with Homer Pettey) French Literature on Screen (Manchester UP).

R. Barton Palmer's profile page

Other titles by Murray Pomerance

Other titles by R. Barton Palmer