Disability studies have long been the domain of medical and pedagogical academics. However, in recent years, the subject has outgrown its clinical origins. In Freaks of History, James MacDonald presents two dramatic explorations of disability within the wider themes of sexuality, gender, foreignness, and the Other. Originally directed by Martin Harvey and performed by undergraduate students at the University of Exeter, Wellclose Square and Unsex Me Here analyze cultural marginalization against the backdrop of infamous historical events.
MacDonald, who is cerebral palsied, recognizes that disability narratives are rarely written by and for disabled people. Therefore his plays, accompanied by critical essays and director’s notes, are a welcome addition to the emerging discourse of Crip theory, and essential reading for disability students and academics alike.