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Authoring Autism: On Rhetoric and Neurological Queerness (Thought in the Act)

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In Authoring Autism Melanie Yergeau defines neurodivergence as an identity—neuroqueerness—quite than an impairment. The use of a queer theory framework, Yergeau notes the stereotypes that deny autistic folks their humanity and the danger to define themselves at the same time as also challenging cognitive studies scholarship and its reification of the neurological passivity of autistics. She also critiques early intensive behavioral interventions—which have much in commonplace with gay conversion therapy—and questions the ableist privileging of intentionality and diplomacy in rhetorical traditions. The use of storying as her method, she presents an alternative view of autistic rhetoricity by foregrounding the cunning rhetorical abilities of autistics and by framing autism as a narrative condition by which autistics are the most productive-equipped folks to define their enjoy. Contending that autism represents a queer way of being that concurrently embraces and rejects the rhetorical, Yergeau shows how autistic folks queer the lines of rhetoric, humanity, and agency. In so doing, she demonstrates how an autistic rhetoric requires the reconceptualization of rhetoric’s very essence.

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