Date of Thesis

Spring 2021


In this thesis I examine the disability identity reflected in contemporary art history. This thesis utilizes theorists in disability studies to expose the lack of meaningful discourse regarding the disabled experience. By focusing on the need to dismantle the abled lens and highlighting disabled artists themselves, I bring to light the need for disability to be viewed as a social construct and not something to be fixed or eliminated. I highlight the importance of bringing disability to contemporary art as it fosters a space for the disabled narrative to come to light. I also highlight that the field of the disabled narrative is not solely reserved for disabled artists. Abled artists can partake and further the dialogue between abled bodied and disabled bodies but it must be a collaborative process in order to ensure an honest narrative is produced that does not preserve the ableist hegemony. This social view will hopefully lead to art history being part of the dialogue which fosters understanding and inclusivity.


ableist hegemony, abled eye, masquerade, cripping up, ablewashing, monospondence

Access Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Type

Bachelor of Arts


Art History

Minor, Emphasis, or Concentration

Arts Entrepreneurship

First Advisor

Roger Rothman

Second Advisor

Jeremy Chow

Third Advisor

Ken Eisenstein