Evan Chaloupka Has Article Forthcoming in “Disability & Society”


Ph.D. student Evan Chaloupka’s article, “‘Making Lovely Nonsense Out of Everything’: Individuated Receptions of Eugenic Theories of Cognitive Disability,” has officially been accepted to appear in a forthcoming issue of Disability & Society.

Chaloupka’s article examines the rhetorical strategies that parents of children with cognitive disabilities use in appeals to medical authority. A close reading of four sets of letters from the Henry Herbert Goddard Papers reveals that parents were often sophisticated rhetorical agents who internalized, critiqued, and reappropriated eugenic theories and ideas. This archival work explores the sites of eugenic thought’s reception, which are often overshadowed by scholarly attention to sites of production and dissemination.

Disability & Society is an international journal providing a focus for debate about such issues as human rights, discrimination, definitions, policy and practices. It appears against a background of change in the ways in which disability is viewed and responded to. Definitions of disability are more readily acknowledged to be relative; segregated approaches are seen as inadequate and unacceptable – placing greater emphasis on community care and inclusion. However, policy intentions may not have the desired effects on the realities of everyday practice and policy changes themselves may be merely cosmetic, or appropriate but unfounded.

The journal publishes articles that represent a wide range of perspectives including the importance of the voices of disabled people.