Announcing the Winner of the 2022 Tobin Siebers Prize for Disability Studies in the Humanities

By: Briana Johnson | Date: December 12, 2022 | Tags: Tobin Siebers Prize
Announcing the Winner of the 2022 Tobin Siebers Prize for Disability Studies in the Humanities

The University of Michigan Press is pleased to announce that Cripping Girlhood, by Anastasia Todd, has been chosen for the 2022 Tobin Siebers Prize for Disability Studies in the Humanities. This prize is awarded yearly for the best-proposed book-length manuscript on a topic of pressing urgency in the field.

Todd is Assistant Professor of Gender and Women's Studies at the University of Kentucky. Her research investigates the intersections of disability and affect from a feminist disability studies perspective. Her work has appeared in Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal and Transformations: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy .

Anastasia Todd's Cripping Girlhood offers a new dimension to disability studies with its focus on disabled girlhood. “The work attends to deepening methodological approaches to the difference that gendering disability makes through an intersectional studies framework,” said Corporealities: Discourses of Disability series editors David T. Mitchell and Sharon L. Snyder. “A key aspect of Todd's analysis is the diversification of approaches in the overly homogenous disability studies critique—particularly regarding able-bodied masculinity—as a crucial new direction. The awarding of the Tobin Siebers prize to Cripping Girlhood recognizes the importance of the ways scholarship can help to re-imagine disability worlds, methodologies, and representational nuances to the continued flourishing area of disability studies.”


About Cripping Girlhood

Cripping Girlhood considers the forms disabled girls take in the United States’ mediascape in the 2010s. Anastasia Todd contends that the hypervisibility of disabled girls is no longer limited to representations of risk, pathologization, and vulnerability and that disabled girls are now framed as figures to be listened to. She then investigates how representations and self-representations of disabled girls and girlhoodsareimbued with meaning and mobilized as spectacular representational symbolsthat are mobilized in the service of U. S. disability exceptionalism and as a resource to work out post-Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) anxieties.

Through analysis of a wide array of media, from TikTok videos to HBO documentaries, Todd asks “Why disabled girls, why now?” In attending to this question, she uncovers how the exceptional figure of the disabled girl emerges with frequency in media culture to serve as a resource to work through contemporary anxieties about the family, healthcare, labor, U. S. citizenship, and the precarity of the bodymind.

This book is set to publish by the University of Michigan Press Spring 2024.


The Tobin Siebers Prize for Disability Studies in the Humanities

The work of the late University of Michigan faculty member, Tobin Siebers , has influenced Disability Studies in field-shifting ways since the publication of his prize-winning essay “My Withered Limb” in 1998. His subsequent scholarly publications including the books Disability Theory (2008) and Disability Aesthetics (2010) as well as essays such as “A Sexual Culture for Disabled People” (2012) quickly became pivotal works in the field. Siebers’s work has galvanized new scholarship in relation to questions of representation, subjectivity, and the entry of non-normative bodies into public space, and made the study of disability a central component (alongside gender, race, sexuality, and class) in analyses of the culture wars and identity studies.

To honor this remarkable legacy, the University of Michigan Press and the University of Michigan Department of English Language and Literature established The Tobin Siebers Prize for Disability Studies in the Humanities, now going on its eighth year. Reflecting the scholar’s work the prize commemorates, the competition invites submissions on a wide range of topics, from literary and cultural studies, to trans-historical research, to contributions to disability theory such as work in crip/queer studies.


Previous Winners

2021 Susan Antebi, Embodied Archive: Disability in Post-Revolutionary Mexican Cultural Production

2019 Kateřina Kolářová, Rehabilitative Post-Socialism: Disability, Race, Gender, and Sexuality and the Limits of National Belonging

2018 Stephen Knadler, Vitality Politics: Health, Debility, and the Limits of Black Emancipation

2017 Elizabeth B. Bearden, Monstrous Kinds: Body, Space, and Narrative in Renaissance Representations of Disability

2016 Shelley L. Tremain, Foucault and Feminist Philosophy of Disability

2015 Anne McGuire, War on Autism: On the Cultural Logic of Normative Violence