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Lennard Davis

Lennard J. Davis is a Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences and teaches in the English Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he had also served as the department’s Head. In addition, he is a Professor of Disability and Human Development in the School of Applied Health Sciences of the University of Illinois at Chicago, as well as a Professor of Medical Education in the College of Medicine. He is also the director of Project Biocultures, a think-tank devoted to issues around the intersection of culture, medicine, disability, biotechnology and the biosphere.

Davis is the author of two works on the novel–Factual Fictions: The Origins of the English Novel (Columbia U. Press, 1983, rpt. University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996) and Resisting Novels: Fiction and Ideology (Routledge, 1987, rpt. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001) and co-editor of Left Politics and the Literary Profession.

His works on disability include Enforcing Normalcy: Disability, Deafness, and the Body (Verso, 1995), which won the 1996 Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights’ annual award for the best scholarship on the subject of intolerance in North America, and The Disability Studies Reader (4th Ed., Routledge, 2013). His memoir My Sense of Silence (University of Illinois Press, 2000), was chosen as the Editor’s Choice Book for the Chicago Tribune, selected for the National Book Award for 2000, and nominated for the Book Critics Circle Award for 2000. He has appeared on National Public Radio’s Fresh Air to discuss the memoir, which describes his childhood in a deaf family. Davis has also edited his parents’ correspondence Shall I Say a Kiss: The Courtship Letters of a Deaf Couple, 1936-38 (Gallaudet University Press, 1999). Davis is a co-founder of the Modern Language Association’s Committee on Disability Issues in the Profession, and he serves on the board of several academic journals.

Book Reviews