Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of English

First Advisor

Karen Coats


Disabled individuals are the largest minority group in the United States and Disability scholarship is intricately connected to lived experiences and advocacy, but it too often remains overlooked even in conversations that intend to bring to light historically underrepresented groups. This dissertation provides an analysis of a broad range of children’s literature and its role in constructing literal and ideological images of disability. It offers a critical analysis of visuality in the following children’s texts: Wonder by R.J. Palacio, El Deafo by Cece Bell, Miss Little’s Gift by Douglas Wood, Thank You, Mr Falker by Patricia Polacco, A Boy and a Jaguar by Alan Rabinowitz, Kids Like Us by Hilary Reyl, and Accidents of Nature by Harriet McBryde Johnson. These selected texts illuminate how the abled gaze is created, reinforced, or challenged through visual representations. This multidisciplinary approach draws from visual rhetoric and children’s literature to reveal the affordances and limitations of different types of visual media, including picturebooks, graphic novels, middle grade and young adult novels, and films.


Imported from Lancrenon_ilstu_0092E_11878.pdf


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