- The Oxford Handbook of Disability History
- The Perils and Promises of Disability Biography
- Disability History and Greco-Roman Antiquity
- Intellectual Disability in the European Middle Ages
- Disability in the Premodern Arab World
- Disability and the History of Eugenics
- Social History of Medicine and Disability History
- Material Culture, Technology, and the Body in Disability History
- Designing Objects and Spaces: A Modern Disability History
- Documents, Ethics, and the Disability Historian
- Disability and Work During the Industrial Revolution in Britain
- Disability and Work in South Asia and the United Kingdom
- Disability and Work in British West Africa
- Race, Work, and Disability in Progressive Era United States
- Organized Labor and Disability in Post–World War II United States
- Deaf-Blindness and the Institutionalization of Special Education in Nineteenth-Century Europe
- Disability and Madness in Colonial Asylum Records in Australia and New Zealand
- Madness, Transnationalism, and Emotions in Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century New Zealand
- Institutions for People with Disabilities in North America
- Picturing Disability in Eighteenth-Century England
- Disability, Race, and Gender on the Stage in Antebellum America
- Polio and Disability in Cold War Hungary
- Monstrous Births, Birth Defects, Unusual Anatomy, and Disability in Europe and North America
- Disability in Modern Chinese Cinema
- Transnational Interconnections in Nineteenth-Century Western Deaf Communities
- The Disability Rights Movement in the United States
- The Rise of Gay Rights and the Disavowal of Disability in the United States
- Disabled Veterans and the Wounds of War
Abstract and Keywords
Depictions of disability in Chinese-language films from China and Taiwan, once a rarity, have become mainstream since the 1980s and have shifted from critiquing national policies, historical accounts, and collective experiences to highlighting disabled people as complex characters and advocating for greater support for them. These films reveal how disability has become a positive source of identity in its own right. Films from the late 1980s and early 1990s such as Tian Zhuangzhuang’s The Blue Kite use disability to offer critiques of official policies or alternative accounts of historical events. Zhou Sun’s Breaking the Silence and Xue Xiaolu’s Ocean Heaven, which focus on caregiving parents and their disabled children, reveal the need for private, extragovernmental networks of support as well as greater government support for those with disabilities and their families. Finally, films such as Zhang Yimou’s Happy Times feature characters with impairments living rich and rewarding lives, countering stereotypes about disability.
Steven L. Riep is an associate professor of Chinese and comparative literature at Brigham Young University, where he teaches courses in modern and contemporary Chinese literature, cinema, culture, advanced business Chinese, and comparative literature. His research interests include disability studies; cultural production under authoritarian regimes; war, memory, and literature; and ecocriticism.
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