‘War on Autism’ awarded inaugural Tobin Siebers Prize for Disability Studies

by Charles Watkinson on January 30, 2016

Anne McGuire, assistant professor in equity studies at the University of Toronto, has won the 2015 Tobin Siebers Prize for Disability Studies in the Humanities, the University of Michigan Press has announced.

McGuire will receive a prize worth $5,000 for her manuscript, War on Autism: On the Cultural Logic of Normative Violence.

The award is sponsored by the U-M Press and the U-M Library in collaboration with the Department of English Language and Literature, where pioneering disability studies theorist Tobin Siebers spent much of his career.

Her manuscript will be published by the U-M Press, a leading publisher of books on disability studies, in their landmark series “Corporealities: Discourses of Disability.”

Anne McGuire, assistant professor in equity studies at the University of Toronto, Courtesy of New College, University of Toronto [Anne McGuire, assistant professor in equity studies at the University of Toronto, Courtesy of New College, University of Toronto]

“Among the submissions received for prize consideration, Anne McGuire’s manuscript promises to make the most lasting impact on the field of disability studies and to help bring cultural analyses of neuroatypical bodies into the fold of new scholarship in the field,” said David Mitchell, co-editor of the “Corporealities” series (with Sharon Snyder) and professor of English at George Washington University,

Melanie Yergeau, professor of English language and literature and an active advocate for autistic culture, said, “McGuire’s multipronged, critical analysis of modern-day autism advocacy will profoundly impact the field of disability studies and uproot (unfortunately) dearly held clinical and educational paradigms that dominate contemporary discourse on autism.”

David Porter, chair of the U-M Department of English Language and Literature, called the Tobin Siebers Prize an important contribution to U-M”s diversity initiatives. “We congratulate Anne McGuire on her achievement and welcome the chance this award provides to extend the legacy of one of our most cherished and forward-thinking colleagues,” he said.

James Hilton, U-M dean of libraries and university librarian, said the U-M Library is proud to support the inaugural Tobin Siebers Award. “In alignment with our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion it is also appropriate that this is one of the Press’ first titles to be intentionally developed as an accessible ebook,” he said.

“War on Autism: On the Cultural Logic of Normative Violence” will be published in May and is available for preorder. The book will be produced in an electronic format accessible to readers with print disabilities as well as in a print edition, following the accessibility policy announced by the press in fall 2015.

A call for submissions for the 2016 Tobin Siebers Prize is now open.

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