Elizabeth (Betsy) Wheeler
I teach, research, and lead in the fields of disability studies, young adult and children's literature, comics studies, post-1945 U.S literature and popular culture, and community-based education. My book-in-progress, HandiLand: The Crippest Place on Earth, will appear with University of Michigan Press in 2018. The book explores the new public profile of young people with a wide variety of disabilities since the worldwide rights laws of the past 25 years. I explore the consequences of their entering public spaces like nature, school, and fan culture through disability portrayals in contemporary young adult and children's literature, comics, fantasy, blogs, popular culture, and interviews with families and individuals with disabilities. Support for my scholarship has come from the Children's Literature Association, Oregon Humanities Center, and the Center for the Study of Women in Society.
I am the Director of the University of Oregon Disability Studies Minor, housed in the English Department. To add the minor, click here:
I also direct the University of Oregon Literacy Initiative, a service learning program based in the English Department which pairs academic courses with internships at local schools and non-profit agencies.
I am the producer/teacher/playwright of Living Theater, a performance class which brings together UO students and adults with disabilities from the local community to tell each other stories, create a play, and perform it together. This work is funded by the Williams Foundation, the UO Fund for Community-Engaged Teaching, and a private anonymous donor. To see William Davenport's 20-minute documentary about us, "Life Stories," click here:
“Runoff: Afroaquanauts in Landscapes of Sacrifice.” Afrofuturism in Time and Space. Ed. Isiah Lavender and Lisa Yaszek. Columbus: Ohio State University Press (New Suns: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Speculative series), forthcoming, 2018.
"Moving Together Side by Side: Human-Animal Comparisons in Picture Books." Disability Studies and the Environmental Humanities. Eds. Sarah Jaquette Ray and J.C. Sibara. U Nebraska Press, 2017.
"No Monsters in This Fairy Tale: Wonder and the New Children's Literature. "Children's Literature Quarterly 38.3 (Fall 2013): 335- 350.
"Don't Climb Every Mountain." ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment 20.3 (Summer 2013): 553-573. http://isle.oxfordjournals.org/content/20/3/553.full.pdf+html
HandiLand: The Crippest Place on Earth. University of Michigan Press. Corporealities: Discourses of Disability series. 2018.