Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies

Disability, Giftedness, and Race in Cynthia Voigt's Tillerman Novels

Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies (2014), 8, (1), 49–66.

Abstract

Disproportionate disability diagnosis has often served as a mechanism to continue racial segregation by tying it to the segregation of disability, but this issue is rarely reflected in children's novels. Children's literature can, however, offer analyses of deeply rooted pedagogical approaches that erase both racial difference and disability in the push for normative achievement. The article proposes that Cynthia Voigt's Tillerman series offers one example within children's literature of how racist and ableist pedagogies are connected, and suggests that the novels envision new models of learning communities that value coalition-building and ethical, creative failure.

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Lesley, Naomi