Volume 4 (Gottwald)

Claudia Gottwald: Laughing at the Other. A historical analysis of comic representations of disability

Bielefeld: transcript
2009, 330 p.
29,80 Euro
ISBN: 978-3-8376-1275-2

For centuries people have laughed about disability without any embarrassment. From the 18th century onwards, this laughter met more and more restrictions and prohibitions. Over the last three centuries, compassion rather than comedy has been the socially accepted reaction to disability. Today, in certain contexts, jokes and cartoons about physical and cognitive differences are again permissible.

What comic representations of disability are characteristic of different historical times? Claudia Gottwald uses numerous sources and documents to analyse comic representations and their discourses. Her book makes a valuable contribution to illuminating the contingency of disability.

Claudia Gottwald (Dr. phil.)  is lecturer in Theory of Rehabilitation and Disability in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Dortmund.