selected publications

Autistic Disturbances: Theorizing Autism Poetics from the DSM to Robinson Crusoe, foreword by Remi Yergeau, University of Michigan Press, 2018.

Autistic Disturbances book jacketAutistic Disturbances looks at the ways interpreters have failed to register the creative valence of autistic language and presents a theoretical framework for understanding the distinctive aesthetics of autistic rhetoric and semiotics. Reinterpreting characteristic autistic verbal practices, like repetition, in the context of a more widely respected literary canon, it argues that autistic language is an essential part of mainstream literary aesthetics, visible in poetry by Walt Whitman and Gertrude Stein, in novels by Charlotte Brontë and Daniel Defoe, in life writing by Andy Warhol, even in contemporary cultural texts like Martha Stewart Living and Andy Kaufman’s performance art.

“An incomparable book … brimming with ideas for how to reclaim autistic echoes …” —Remi Yergeau, author of Authoring Autism

A “clever and charming approach to autistic language … ” —Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, author of Extraordinary Bodies and Staring

“Replete with swerving insights, expostulations, and lists that … help us reimagine the full plentitude of the language of autism.” —Lennard Davis, author of Enforcing Normalcy and The Disability Studies Reader

“… upend[s] your entire English department … audacious …”—Michael Bérubé, “Autism Aesthetics,” Public Books

“Rodas compels us to recontextualize autistic rhetorics not as distinct to diagnosable bodies, but as fluid and transformative technologies of human language.”—Rua M. Williams, Canadian Journal of Disability Studies

“… an important book that makes significant contributions to the study of autistic language in the humanities … marvelously inventive and subtle readings …” —Ralph James Savarese, author of Reasonable People

“In this transhistorical, transgeneric examination of autistic poetics, Rodas invents an autistic literary history that sees disability as fundamental to the development of a Western tradition and canon.” —Travis Chi Wing Lau, Los Angeles Review of Books

“… anyone seriously interested in disability studies should have a copy of Autistic Disturbances on their shelf …”—Michael Northen, Wordgathering

“… Rodas has created the book of our dreams.”—Maxfield Sparrow, Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism

Listen to the interview with Olivia Moy (Lehman College/CUNY) from Indoor Voices.

The Madwoman and the Blindman: Jane Eyre, Discourse, Disability
Edited by David Bolt, Julia Miele Rodas, and Elizabeth J. Donaldson, foreword by Lennard J. Davis, The Ohio State University Press, 2012

Madwoman Blindman cover

This breakthrough volume of critical essays on Jane Eyre from a disability perspective provides fresh insight into Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel from a vantage point that is of growing academic and cultural importance. Contributors include many of the preeminent disability scholars publishing today, including a foreword by Lennard J. Davis.

* One of Choice’s Significant University Press Titles for Undergraduates, 2012–2013

The Madwoman and the Blindman engages, interrogates, and carries out disability studies scholarship and critical approaches to a singular and major literary text, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. To my knowledge, it is the only volume of its kind and it will be a much-discussed contribution to disability studies.” —Brenda Jo Brueggemann, author of Lend Me Your Ear and Deaf Subjects

“For anyone working on Victorian disability studies or Jane Eyre, this book is a must-read.”—Talia Schaffer, author of Novel Craft and Romance’s Rival


Disabling romanticism cover

“Narrative Architecture and Autistic Voice in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” addresses the rhetorical and narrative interstices of Frankenstein, looking at the ways in which the visible sutures of the novel defamiliarize intuitive language and social contact, bringing the reader into a complicit relationship with autism.

In Michael Bradshaw’s edited collection, Disabling Romanticism: Body, Mind, and Text (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016)

keywords cover

The entry for “Identity” discusses how disability is increasingly interlaced with ongoing social, political, and academic explorations to redress the early limits of critical disability studies and to expand and complicate emerging ideas of disability identity.

In Keywords for Disability Studies, edited by Rachel Adams, Benjamin Reiss, and David Serlin (New York University Press, 2015)

disability and mothering cover“Diagnosable: Mothering at the Threshold of Disability” addresses the question of how to locate, talk about, and live with ambiguous disability identity, arguing for the value of the undisciplined space, which rejects the confinement of diagnosis or the assertion of other explicit labeling.

In Disability and Mothering: Liminal Spaces of Embodied Knowledge, edited by Cynthia Lewiecki-Wilson and Jen Cellio (Syracuse Univ Press, 2011)


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