Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of English

First Advisor

Ela Przybylo


This thesis investigates how disability communities are transforming disability representation in the mainstream by using social media and other intermedial platforms to push against stereotypes that portray the disability experience as pitiful or monstrous. People with disabilities, such as Alex Darcy and Shelby Lynch, are creating realistic, nuanced representation on Instagram and Tik Tok that does not shy away from discussing their grief or insidious trauma. Darcy and Lynch are grassroots activists who change how disabilities are perceived in the mainstream and create representative models that navigate disability, trauma, and grief in anti-ableist ways. This thesis also looks at how disability communities are using intermedial platforms, such as the Disability Visibility Project (DVP) to grieve as a collective and to critically mourn injustices and insidious trauma people with disabilities have endured. By putting grief, insidious trauma, and disability representation in conversation, this thesis aims to inform and transform disability studies and trauma theory’s relationship to one another and continues to create relatable sites of identification for ordinary disabled folks, like myself.


Imported from Sheperd_ilstu_0092N_12150.pdf


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