In many ways “narrative” has slipped away from its common association with strictly literary modes of communication. In popular media usage, for instance, the term has become increasingly synonymous with false forms of storytelling such as “spin” and the largely unsubstantiated claims of commodity marketing. Because narrative involves the production of stories that shape our lives and help determine possibilities for creating ways of living together, the understanding of narrative plays a crucial role in how we imagine social worlds. In the field of disability studies (DS), scholars have developed a variety of models for understanding how narrative operates in the creation of disability as a socially contested category.

In the earliest forms of writing (cuneiform tablets of ancient Sumer), the presence of narratives that interpret disability as portent helps demonstrate the force that physical, cognitive, and sensory differences exert on the development of cultural systems of meaning (for support …

This essay may be found on page 126 of the printed volume.

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