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Overcoming the overcoming story : critical disability studies informed geneologies of compulsory heroism DeVolder, Elizabeth 2017

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  OVERCOMING THE OVERCOMING STORY: CRITICAL DISABILITY INFORMED GENEALOGIES OF COMPULSORY HEROISM   by   Elizabeth DeVolder     A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF     DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY   in  THE COLLEGE OF GRADUATE STUDIES   (Interdisciplinary Studies)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA  (Okanagan Campus)   August 2017  ©Elizabeth DeVolder, 2017  ii The following individuals certify that they have read, and recommend to the College of Graduate Studies for acceptance, a thesis/dissertation entitled:   OVERCOMING THE OVERCOMING STORY: CRITICAL DISABILITY INFORMED GENEALOGIES OF COMPULSORY HEROISM   submitted by Elizabeth DeVolder in partial fulfillment of the requirements of   the degree of  Doctor of Philosophy.   Dr. Lawrence Berg (Community, Culture and Global Studies, UBC) Supervisor Dr. Rachelle Hole (School of Social Work, UBC) Supervisory Committee Member Dr. Ilya Parkins (Community, Culture and Global Studies, UBC) Supervisory Committee Member Dr. John Paul Catungal (Institute for Gender, Race and Social Justice, UBC) University Examiner Dr. Rob Wilton (School of Geography and Earth Sciences, McMaster University) External Examiner Additional Committee Members include: Dr. Pamela Moss (Faculty of Human and Social Development, University of Victoria) Supervisory Committee Member    iii Abstract The “overcomer”—the person who succeeds against all odds—has become a persistent cultural trope for persons with disability. Although it has been critiqued by the disability community for over twenty years, its employment in the media continues apace. This dissertation explores the changing and ongoing work of the overcoming narrative through a series of critical disability studies informed genealogies. Employing three analytical approaches (Genealogy as Analysis of Lines of Descent [GALD], Genealogy as Lines of Emergence [GALE], and Genealogy as Analysis of Counter-Memory [GACoM]) and three idiosyncratic styles of genealogy (Snapshot, Shifts in Historical Word Usage [SHWU], and Hotspot genealogies), I trace the course of overcoming narrative from its employment: as religious rhetoric in institutions for the blind and the deaf, as morality tales in the social reform of the Progressive Era, as propaganda in the reeducation of returning World War One soldiers, as success stories in the legitimization of rehabilitation as the third phase of medicine, and, in its most recent manifestation, as compulsory heroism in the context of the rise of the celebrity hero and large scale fundraising. I argue, extending Adrienne Rich’s compulsory heterosexuality (1994) and Rob McRuer’s compulsory able-bodiedness (2006), that, as an effect and strategy of normalization, compulsory heroism has become the only acceptable subject position made available to marginalized persons facing adversity of all kinds. Across genealogies, the wide reach of the overcoming narrative and the subject positions and subjectivities produced through three binaries become evident: the able-bodied/the-variously-other-classified, the helper/the needy, and the productive/the dependent citizen. Further, the work of overcoming narratives as tools of persuasion, devices of disavowal,   iv techniques of depoliticization, and instruments of homogenization becomes clearer. I maintain that overcoming stories are not uniquely or even fundamentally disability stories—they are redemption stories. As such, compulsory heroism has cultural purchase in the lives of all North Americans. 	  	   v Preface As per policy of UBC College of Graduate Studies, this preface gives a list of sections of this dissertation that have been published.  Sections of my thesis have been published in:   DeVolder, B. (2013). Overcoming the overcoming story: A case of “compulsory heroism”. Feminist Media Studies, 13(4), 746-754. I wrote the manuscript.	   Moss, P., Prince, M. J., DeVolder, B., Johnson, C. (2016). Placing Disability Politics: Uneven Sitings of Dissenting Bodies. In William K. Carroll and Kanchan Sarker (Eds.), A World to Win. Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press. (Book chapter). I contributed one section on compulsory heroism to the book chapter.  • The first three sentences on p. 1 are published as the introduction to my section in Moss et al., 2016. • The first paragraph on p. 3 beginning with “I have to confess” is taken from DeVolder, 2013. • I have merged pieces of both above articles in the section on Compulsory Heroism (p. 4- 9).  • “Three connections between the overcoming narrative and gender” (p. 84-85) is taken from DeVolder, 2013.  • A version of the paragraph on the homogenizing effects of compulsory heroism (p. 275) is in DeVolder, 2013. • The concluding paragraph of my dissertation (p. 284) also concludes my section in Moss et al., 2016. 	     vi Table of Contents  Abstract......................................................................................................................................... iii Preface............................................................................................................................................ v Table of Contents ......................................................................................................................... vi List of Figures............................................................................................................................... ix Acknowledgements ....................................................................................................................... x Dedication .................................................................................................................................... xii Introduction................................................................................................................................... 1 Compulsory Heroism................................................................................................................ 4 Chapter Overview................................................................................................................... 10 Part One: Conceptual and Theoretical Framework................................................................ 19 Chapter One: Critical Disability Theory.................................................................................. 19 Ableism..................................................................................................................................... 24 Disavowal ................................................................................................................................. 26 Genealogy and Categories of Difference............................................................................... 29 Summary.................................................................................................................................. 31 Chapter Two: Foucault and Genealogy.................................................................................... 32 Games of Truth ....................................................................................................................... 33 Relations of Power .................................................................................................................. 38 Forms of Relations to Oneself and Others............................................................................ 43 Implications for Critical Disability Studies .......................................................................... 45 Summary.................................................................................................................................. 48 Part Two: Methodologies, Analytic Approaches, and Styles of Genealogy........................... 49 Chapter Three: How I Took Up Foucauldian Genealogy....................................................... 49 Four Challenges of Genealogical Research .......................................................................... 50 Exploring The Historical Archive or Data Collection ......................................................... 53 Not an historiographical analysis.......................................................................................... 53 Following rabbit trails........................................................................................................... 55 Problems with rabbit trails. ................................................................................................... 57 Three Analytical Approaches to Genealogy ......................................................................... 58 Genealogy as analysis of lines of descent (GALD). ............................................................. 60 Genealogy as analysis of lines of emergence (GALE). ........................................................ 61 Genealogy as analysis of counter-memory (GACoM). ........................................................ 62 GALD, GALE and GACoM: Summary and application...................................................... 64    vii Three Styles of Genealogy ...................................................................................................... 66 Snapshot genealogy: The Courage to Come Back Awards. ................................................. 66 SHWU genealogy: Shifts in historic word usage. ................................................................ 69 Hotspot genealogy. ............................................................................................................... 71 Part Three: Genealogies ............................................................................................................. 75 Chapter Four: A Snapshot Genealogy of the Courage To Come Back Awards................... 75 Historical Context ................................................................................................................... 75 The Courage to Come Back Awards..................................................................................... 83 Contradictions or Tensions .................................................................................................... 88 The performance of an ostensibly authentic narrative. ......................................................... 89 Mandatory optimism............................................................................................................. 93 A fighting spirit that proves them wrong............................................................................ 103 Summary................................................................................................................................ 106 Chapter Five: A Historical Shifts in Word Usage (SHWU) Genealogy of  “Overcoming” + “Handicap”................................................................................................................................ 112 In Need of Redemption......................................................................................................... 112 Recovery of Health................................................................................................................ 115 From the Passive to an Active Construction ...................................................................... 115 Handicap................................................................................................................................ 118 Overcoming Handicap.......................................................................................................... 120 Summary................................................................................................................................ 121 Chapter Six: Institutions for the Education of the Afflicted Classes ................................... 127 Education for the Blind ........................................................................................................ 127 Contradictions or tensions................................................................................................... 133 An overcoming narrative. ................................................................................................... 135 Education for the Deaf.......................................................................................................... 137 An overcoming story........................................................................................................... 143 Education for the Feebleminded.......................................................................................... 144 Summary................................................................................................................................ 146 Chapter Seven: The Progressive Era and Reform of the Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Classes .................................................................................................................... 153 The New View of Poverty ..................................................................................................... 155 Reforming Charity—Scientific Philanthropy .................................................................... 156 Eugenics ................................................................................................................................. 161 Contradictions and Tensions ............................................................................................... 163 Overcoming Stories in Progressive Era America .............................................................. 164 Summary................................................................................................................................ 167      viii Chapter Eight: Reeducation of World War One Cripples ................................................... 173 Reconstruction in World War One America...................................................................... 175 Resistance. .......................................................................................................................... 180 Institutions for the education of the crippled. ..................................................................... 183 Overcoming stories in World War One America. .............................................................. 186 Reconstruction in World War One Canada....................................................................... 188 Overcoming and reeducation propaganda in Canada. ........................................................ 188 Overcoming in the Canadian newspaper archive................................................................ 193 Implications of the absence of overcoming stories in World War One Canada. ................ 198 Summary................................................................................................................................ 199 Chapter Nine: Rehabilitation of the Handicapped................................................................ 210 Rehabilitation and World War Two America ................................................................... 210 The stage is set. ................................................................................................................... 210 Three key advocates............................................................................................................ 214 Rehabilitation: The “Third Phase” of Medicine ................................................................ 218 Contradictions or Tensions .................................................................................................. 221 Overcoming, Categories of Difference, and the American Story ..................................... 226 Social Rehabilitation............................................................................................................. 229 Overcoming Stories in Post World War Two America..................................................... 232 Summary................................................................................................................................ 239 Chapter Ten: Philanthropy of Mass Giving, the Nonprofit Sector, and the Rise of Compulsory Heroism................................................................................................................ 251 Disability as Spectacle........................................................................................................... 251 Fundraising Growth and Innovation .................................................................................. 254 The March of Dimes ............................................................................................................. 257 Resistance............................................................................................................................... 270 Jerry’s orphans. ................................................................................................................... 270 “Survivor” movements........................................................................................................ 275 The Nonprofit Sector ............................................................................................................ 283 Overcoming Stories Become the Event ............................................................................... 285 Chapter Eleven: Discussion Across Genealogies ................................................................... 292 The Reach of the Overcoming Narrative............................................................................ 292 Three Binaries ....................................................................................................................... 293 The Overcoming Narrative as Tool or the Work it Accomplishes................................... 297 Summary................................................................................................................................ 300 Conclusion ................................................................................................................................. 301 Contributions ........................................................................................................................ 302 Implications: Micro and Macro........................................................................................... 304 References.................................................................................................................................. 309   ix List of Figures Figure 1   Styles of Genealogy ...............................................................................................p.   71 Figure 2   “Smiling Joe” .........................................................................................................p. 160 Figure 3  “What Every Disabled Soldier Should Know”......................................................p. 187 Figure 4  Examples of World War One Posters ....................................................................p. 250 Figure 5  NFIP 1942 Billboard..............................................................................................p. 256 Figure 6   Examples of Early March of Dimes Poster Child Posters .....................................p. 260   x Acknowledgements  This dissertation was researched and written on the traditional, unceded, and occupied SYILX (Okanagan), LKWUNGEN (Songhees), and WSÁNEĆ (Coast Salish) territories in the cities also known as Kelowna and Victoria, BC. I express my appreciation to and solidarity with these nations in their ongoing struggles for social, economic, and spatial justice.  I would like to thank my supervisor and thesis committee members for their support throughout my studies and the writing of this dissertation. I appreciate their kind patience, guidance, and the publishing and employment opportunities offered along the way. Dr. Berg, thank you especially for your practical support in navigating academia. Dr. Hole, thank you for being a steady cheerleader and significant role model. Dr. Parkins, thank you for having a way of honing in on important questions that I needed to address. Dr. Moss, thank you for welcoming me into a community of scholars at University of Victoria; I appreciate your generosity, insight, critique, and editor’s eye. I am honoured to have worked with you all.   I deeply appreciate all that I have learned from classmates, and the research communities at University of British Columbia, Okanagan (Centre for Social, Spatial and Economic Justice) and the University of Victoria (Critical Praxis Network and Centre for the Study of Religion and Society).   I offer special thanks to Aga (for facing Foucault with me), to Suzanne (for showing me it could be done), to Julie (for keeping me singing), to Michael (for being Michael), to my daughters, Chara and Elya, (for keeping me grounded), and to Dad (always).   My PhD has been completed with the support of the Social Sciences and Humanities   xi Research Council of Canada (Bombardier Doctoral Fellowship), the University of British Columbia (Graduate Fellowship, Tuition Awards, and Travel Grants), and the University of Victoria’s Centre for the Studies in Religion and Society (Non-stipendiary Visiting Scholarship).    xii Dedication  To Mom, I miss you       1 Introduction  We need new scripts. Scripts that break free from the tired old sentimentality—those stories of the tragic but brave victim of disability (Frazee, 2009).   Material practices can be changed by legislation (such as laws requiring wheelchair accessibility and the availability of telecommunications devices for deaf people and blind people), but attitudinal barriers require the revision of cultural images and meanings (Klages, 1999, p. 3).   The “overcomer”—the person who succeeds against all odds—has become a persistent cultural trope for persons with disability. The media are full of its endless iterations: from the blind man who scales mountain tops, to the smiling young girl in a wheelchair who inspires with her never-say-never attitude. While some maintain that such stories portray disability in a positive light1 (see, for example, Berger, 2008), in the overcoming narrative impairment is only ever portrayed as personal tragedy. This stands in contrast to the inner fortitude, courage, or perseverance of the individual who refuses to be vanquished and mounts a campaign to conquer the invading enemy. The story climaxes with “triumph over tragedy” as the individual graduates from victim to hero: a hero claiming “newfound wisdom in the face of adversity” (Blackman, 2007, p. 9). Clearly, the “overcomer” and the “tragic charity case” are flip sides of the same coin (Hevey, 1992). The message sent to the disabled Other is: “Respond. Respond well” (Titchkosky, 2007, p. 180).   It is interesting that while many able-bodied people find such stories to be inspirational, persons with disability often feel that they create prescriptive criteria for acceptance into society                                                 1 The first three sentences of this paragraph are published in Moss et al., 2016. See Preface.   2 that they cannot possibly meet (Morris, 1997; Wendell, 1996). Within disability circles, the star of the overcoming story is ironically referred to as the “Supercrip”:  Supercrips are those individuals whose inspirational stories of courage and dedication, and hard work prove that it can be done, that one can defy the odds and accomplish the impossible. The concern is that these stories of success will foster unrealistic expectations about what people with disabilities can achieve, what they should be able to achieve if only they tried hard enough. Society does not need to change. It is the myth of the self-made man (Berger, 2004, p. 798; as cited  in Howe, 2011, p. 877).    Critique of the overcoming narrative centers around four main issues. First, people in the disability rights movement reject “the notion that people with disabilities should be courageous or heroic super-achievers, since most disabled people are trying simply to lead normal lives, not inspire anyone” (Shapiro, 1994, p. 16). Second, disability scholars contend that, similar to “credit-to-the-race” attributions, overcoming stories “reinforce the superiority” of the normal, in this case nondisabled, body. They “rely upon the perception that disability and achievement contradict each other and that any disabled person who overcomes this contradiction is heroic” (Ware, 2002, p. 144). Third, overcoming stories “elide, cover over, and silence other stories”: the stories of the non-heroes, the stories of those “who are unable to affect their own self-transformation” (Blackman, 2007, pp. 9, 13). Fourth, they depoliticize disability by downshifting the responsibility to the individual, thereby leaving social barriers unchanged (Titchkosky, 2007).   The impetus behind my project grew out of the disconnect that I observed between the extensive literature critiquing the overcoming story for well over twenty years and the continued unabashed employment of the overcoming narrative in the media. I thought that in some way the critique must have been missing the mark, failing to reach key people, or been simply   3 disregarded. However, I began to realize that when a narrative is told and re-told, consumed and re-consumed, it is doing some kind of work, work that serves a variety of interests. My central research question, therefore, asks what work the overcoming story accomplishes.   I have to confess I did not see my own investment in the whole project of overcoming when I entitled my thesis “Overcoming the Overcoming Story.” My first response to the overcoming narrative was to try to overcome it! Colleagues have joked that my next paper should be called, “Overcoming the Overcoming of the Overcoming Story.” However, I have kept my original title, in a somewhat tongue-in-cheek fashion, but also to emphasize the continuing pull of the call to overcome2.  A contemporary site, The Courage to Come Back Awards held by Coast Mental Health, Vancouver, British Columbia, piqued my interest for several reasons. First of all, they enact well-known, current, best-of-the-best overcoming stories replete with the ambiguities regarding their impact on individuals. (For instance, it is an honour to be nominated.) Second, the Courage to Come Back website, and the documents linked to it, provides a wealth of contextual information, history, winner narratives, photographs, related media stories, and reader comments. Third, the Courage to Come Back Awards are thought-provoking because through them the overcoming narrative is projected onto a wide range of social and economic issues: poverty, homelessness, unemployment, addiction, health; as well as all kinds of trauma, discrimination, violence, and abuse. Applying a similar logic across issues, these diverse stories are collapsed into a single narrative arc—one of adversity as a personal challenge to be overcome. In this, they avoid confronting issues of systemic discrimination and injustice (for example, issues such as                                                 2 This paragraph is published in DeVolder, 2013. See Preface.   4 race, gender, hetero-normativity, or class).  Such elision calls for interrogation and points to the ways that the overcoming narrative has cultural purchase in all our lives not just in the lives of persons with disability.  In the pages to follow, I trace the course of overcoming narrative from its employment: as religious rhetoric in institutions for the blind and the deaf, as morality tales in the social reform of the Progressive Era, as propaganda in the reeducation of returning World War One soldiers, as success stories in the legitimization of rehabilitation as the third phase of medicine, and, in its present form, as compulsory heroism in the context of the rise of the celebrity hero and large scale fundraising.  Compulsory Heroism3  My argument, extending Adrienne Rich’s compulsory heterosexuality (1994) and Rob McRuer’s compulsory able-bodiedness (2006), is that the imperative to overcome can be viewed in our contemporary context as an effect and strategy of normalization—something I am calling compulsory heroism. I maintain that compulsory heroism is a recent arrival (the late 1980s) in the evolution of overcoming story and has become the principal acceptable subject position available for persons with disability as well as for other marginalized individuals facing “adversity” of all kinds. To flesh out what I mean by compulsory heroism, I suggest that the heroism bestowed by the overcoming narrative can be understood as compulsory in five ways: It cannot be refused, it resists critique, it performs and polices “the normal,” it displaces other stories, and there is, I venture, a certain compulsion to its iteration.                                                 3 This section on Compulsory Heroism has pieces that have been published in DeVolder (2013) and Moss et al., (2016). See Preface.   5  The first point that I would like to make concerning compulsory heroism is that the heroic mantle cannot be refused; heroism is bestowed regardless of protests to the contrary. Most people elevated to hero status for overcoming adversity do not see themselves as heroes. They say they simply do what they have to do. While this is repeatedly acknowledged in the narration of overcoming stories, it is either discounted or taken as evidence of further heroism (“See how humble she is?”). Joseph Shapiro writes, “Even disabled achievers who do not seek such veneration often have it thrust upon them by an adoring public and press” (1994, p. 17). My favourite illustration comes from the cheeky disabled humorist David Roche (in Klein, 2007). He says, “It’s hopeless because people are inspired no matter what you do. I could go out and take a dump, you know? And people will say, ‘Oh, you’re so courageous.’”   In the context of the Courage to Come Back Awards, refusing “heroization” becomes even more complex (Franco, Blau, & Zimbardo, 2011). It is an honour even to be nominated for an award, and there are undoubtedly personal benefits that accrue: a certain celebrity, career enhancement, and the promotion of awareness for various causes. Even more, when family, friends or colleagues are the nominators, the social pressure is undeniable. Also, the implication is that people are watching and are called to do this. Surveillance, in this way, becomes widespread in its coverage but up-close and personal in its scope.  However, by the term “compulsory,” I am not suggesting that compulsory heroism is uncontested. “Supercrip” critiques of the overcoming narrative indicate that disabled persons are very aware of what I am calling compulsory heroism. A large part of the (identity, body, and interpersonal) work of disability involves managing and negotiating its ongoing expectations. Moreover, individual responses to compulsory heroism are neither static (Peers, 2009;   6 Tollestrup, 2009) nor homogeneous (Berger, 2008; Hardin & Hardin, 2004); individuals navigate its imposition in various changing, ambiguous, and conflicting ways (Chrisman, 2011; Silva & Howe, 2012).  What is more, it is not simply a matter of grappling with discursive constructions circulating in the media; persons with disability are tasked with managing compulsory heroism in everyday encounters where heroic effort is expected and the badge of heroism is liberally bestowed. Tessa Goupil, editor of the disability rights magazine, We Are the People, offers a poignant example. She describes an incident when, while out with friends in a bar, a total stranger asked to shake her hand and launched into what she calls “the standard I-really-admire-you-people speech”:  My first reactions to the man’s comments were embarrassment and anger. Embarrassment because he singled me out in a public place to congratulate me for doing something that would be ordinary if someone else did it. But since I have a disability I must be “strong and brave.” Then came the anger because he just didn’t get it. He was saying, “What a shame,” as if physical perfection is the only thing worth a damn. Finally, after my initial rush of feelings, I felt sorry for the man. To him I really was a hero. He imagined that if he were in my situation, he just wouldn’t be able to go on (1997).    Second, heroism is compulsory in that it inherently resists critique. There is a “halo effect” allied with discourses of hope, heroism, and inspiration; as deeply valued and noble sentiments, they are so naturalized and assumed to be for the greater good that opportunity for critique is effectively foreclosed. To call them into question is tantamount to suggesting that the emperor has no clothes.  Audiences, individuals, and organizations are emotionally invested in the overcoming narrative. As disability scholar Eli Clare observes, “People get stuck at the point of inspiration. People can usually give pity up, but it’s inspiration that people just get stuck on. They get   7 hooked and they just cannot get themselves unhooked” (as cited  in Peers, 2015, p. 4). Overcoming stories are positioned as antidotes to bad news stories. Audiences and donors feel “nobly uplifted even ethically superior for ‘supporting’ a cause” (Riley, 2005, p. 71). They speak of individuals finding meaning and purpose in life. As fundraising tools in the volunteer sector, they foster a sense of community and civic engagement. They also raise a lot of money for organizations that could not maintain their services without charitable dollars. In other words, they do socially productive work. The question raised in response to critique of the overcoming narrative is this (Peers, 2015): Can something that does so much good and feels so worthwhile really be so bad?   Rehabilitation professionals are also heavily invested in the overcoming story. This will become clear in Chapter Nine of this dissertation; the production of overcoming individuals lies at the very heart of the whole rehabilitation complex and has since its inception. Moreover, rehabilitation was advanced and legitimized through the use of overcoming narratives.  For these reasons, critique of the overcoming narrative is largely dismissed. Nonetheless, there are effects of compulsory heroism that are not so benign. These also need to be acknowledged and addressed; that is one aim of this project. Following Samantha King, I hope to demonstrate that compulsory heroism relies upon, “the erasure of power relations that undergird charitable works” and, thus, “confront the deeply class-structured, racialized, and gendered deployment” of the overcoming story (King, 2006, p. xxx).  Third, heroism is compulsory because it is an effect and strategy of normalization. While at first this may seem contradictory (Aren’t heroes supposed to be extraordinary?), it reveals the contradiction inherent in positioning individuals as “everyday”  “heroes.” In essence, a person is   8 deemed heroic “by virtue of his or her ability to perform feats normally not considered possible for people [like them] or by virtue of the person living a ‘regular’ life in spite of [their disability, gender, class, race] (Silva & Howe, 2012, p. 175; substitutions mine).  Heroism is compulsory in the sense that there is only an illusion of choice:  Nearly everyone, it seems, wants to be normal. And who can blame them, if the alternative is being abnormal, or deviant, or not being one of the rest of us? Put in those terms, there doesn’t seem to be a choice at all (Warner, 1999, p. 53; as cited  in McRuer, 2006, p. 7).   Compulsory heroism, then, like compulsory heterosexism and compulsory able-bodiedness, is intimately related to the construction of the “normal.” However, emphasis on the compulsory nature of normalization shifts attention away from individuals who depart from the norm (the “abnormal”) and on to the normative violence of enforced sameness. Disability advocates and scholars have long understood the normalizing effects of the overcoming story:  The more energy and time we spend on over-achieving and compensatory activity that imitates as closely as possible ‘normal’ standards, the more people are reassured that ‘normal’ equals right. If we succumb to their temptations, they will reward us with their admiration and praise. At first sight this will seem preferable to their pity or being written off as an invalid. But all we will achieve is the status of a performing sea-lion and not (re)admittance to their ranks (as cited  in Morris, 1997, p. 28).   I understand compulsory heroism as the main social role available not only to persons with disability, but also to anyone facing “adversity.” As such, it serves as a standard, a dividing practice that determines who has the courage to come “back” and who, by extension, remains outside. This has implications for us all.   Fourth, compulsory heroism as the climax of the overcoming narrative displaces other stories. Leigh Gilmore’s comments regarding neoconfessional memoires are germane here:    9  Embedded within the neoconfessional form is an inegalitarian if dynamic relation of judgment that limits redemption to specific storylines, and thereby powerfully norms the voices that currently crowd the public sphere despite the appearance of diversity and multiplicity (2010, p. 660).   I want to underline that I understand discourse as a site of struggle (Mills, 1997) and norms as ever-contested ground (Butler, 1993). Yet, there are two issues that remain in tension: one concerns the effects of homogenization (when stories are squeezed to fit the form and the norm) and the other addresses points of eruption (when individual stories in their complexity simply cannot be contained and overflow the normative narrative template). I want to stress that, despite the pressure to keep to form, instances of contestation, complexity, and diversity seep out. While homogenization is at work, it is not always or completely successful. The effects of homogenization will be discussed in Chapter Eleven.   Fifth, there is a sense in which compulsory heroism can be considered compulsive heroism—we need to tell the story over and over again. Since the norm is always in danger of being disrupted, it has to be continually established, performed, and policed (Butler, 1993; McRuer, 2006). Complexity, lack of closure, and fear of the unknown evoke crisis and personal and/or cultural anxiety (Blackman, 2010; Hughes, 2009; Shildrick, 2005). The compulsive repetition of the overcoming narrative props up the beleaguered norm and relieves the social anxiety stirred up by threats to its operation.  Genealogy, a history of the present, offers a way to interrupt and disrupt the call of compulsory heroism. Through the retrieval of forgotten struggles, genealogy can counter the halo effect by revealing its underside. By denaturalizing the taken-for-granted, genealogy reveals the conditions of possibility under which certain employments of the overcoming narrative “came   10 into being, how they come to seem coherent and rational, and how they change” (Walters, 2012, pp. 131, 118). Moreover, genealogy illuminates the web of knowledge/power relationships surrounding the narration of overcoming stories; it shows up the kinds of knowledge and practices, subjects and subject positions, and social and material realties produced and maintained by them.   Additionally, disability scholars call for textually based analyses to counter the over-use of disabled subjects in research practice: One of the primary tasks of disability studies is to cultivate media and textual critics, in the therapies as well as the humanities, who can intervene in the cultural images of disability that influence our responses and ways of imagining human difference (Mitchell & Snyder, 1997, p. 202).   Shelley Tremain contends, “Theorists and researchers in disability studies should adopt [a] genealogical approach to their work” (2006, p. 33). My dissertation is a response to these calls. I take up critical disability studies informed genealogy to explore the work of the overcoming narrative. I hope to open up space for an influx of stories, knowledges, and ways of being that we have only begun to imagine.  Chapter Overview  In Part One of my thesis (Chapters One and Two), I present my theoretical framework. Chapter One outlines the contributions of critical disability studies to my project. I position critical disability studies within the disability studies literature and explore how the concepts of ableism, disavowal, and social embodiment can inform an understanding of the work of the overcoming narrative. I then review the ways critical disability scholars have taken up Foucauldian theory and genealogy.    11  In Chapter Two, I turn to Foucauldian theory as a lens through which I can interrogate overcoming narrative. There are three overlapping discussions that I take up instrumentally, these concern: games of truth, relations of power, and forms of relations to the self and other. Concerning games of truth, I adapt Foucault’s reasoning for my project and argue that in acquiring knowledge about disability amidst a web of power relations, we (people in Western societies) have come to know illness-deformity-disability while constituting ourselves as able-bodied subjects. The ways the overcoming narrative has been caught up in the production of knowledge about disability and the constitution of “normate” (Garland-Thomson, 1997) subjects and subjectivity is a central theme of this thesis. In discussing relations of power, I review the Foucauldian concepts of disciplinary power and bio-power and underline Foucault’s emphasis on the productive nature of power, that is, the effects it produces. The work of disciplinary power, such as hierarchical observation–surveillance, normalization, and the examination, and bio-power, such as objectification through classification, dividing processes, processes of subjectification, and normalization, (Foucault, 1977) are narrative threads that run throughout my dissertation. Further, I maintain the body that is called to heroic overcoming is necessarily a “docile” body, one that can be continually “subjected, used, transformed, and improved” (Foucault, 1977, p. 136). In this way, the overcoming narrative functions as a technique or “micro-mechanism” of power. Finally, concerning relations to the self and other, I explore the way compulsive heroism can be considered a technology of the self, that is, as an internalized micro-mechanism of power that “responsibilizes” the individual (Lemke, 2001). Throughout the discussion, I address the particular concerns Foucauldian theory raises for feminist and critical   12 disability theorists, in particular: its pessimism towards social change and the concern that the knowledge and experience of disabled persons might be de-legitimized.  In Part Two (Chapter Three), I present a descriptive account of how I took up Foucauldian genealogy. I begin by highlighting four characteristics of genealogy that are important to understand, namely, that genealogy is experimental, incomplete, disruptive, and multiple. I then describe my strategy for data collection (following rabbit trails) and three helpful analytical approaches to genealogy (Genealogy As Analysis of Lines of Descent [GALD], Genealogy As Analysis of Lines of Emergence [GALE], and Genealogy As Analysis of Counter-Memory [GACoM]). I conclude the chapter by outlining the three styles of genealogy that I came to employ, these include: Snapshot genealogy, Genealogy of Shifts in Historical Word Usage (SHWU), and Hotspot genealogy.   Part Three of my thesis (Genealogies) contains eight empirical chapters (Chapters Four-Eleven). In Chapter Four, I present a Snapshot genealogy of the Courage to Come Back Awards (CTCB). I position the CTCB Awards in the context of other inspirational-award-type fundraisers that have emerged in Canada since the early 1990s. I provide thick description of the awards and then explore three interrelated tensions or contradictions that illuminate the work of compulsory heroism: (a) The stories are publicly presented as transparent, first person narratives (for example, “Lori’s story”) but are, in fact, heavily mediated accounts; (b) the narratives recount and rely upon a series of decidedly negative life events at the same time that they demand their central characters to remain positive (mandatory optimism); and (c) the narratives are characterized by an ambiguous relationship to medical authority and expertise (the fighting spirit proves them wrong).    13  Chapter Five offers a look at the shifts in historical word usage of both components of the expression “overcoming” + “handicap.” I chart four shifts in word usage. In the Progressive Era, there is, first, a shift away from Protestant religious connotations of redemption in the word overcoming and, second, a shift towards the recovery of health meaning of overcoming. Third, moving through the twentieth century, there is increasing use of the active construction of overcoming and decreasing use of its passive construction. Fourth, with the growth of rehabilitation post World War Two, the term handicap shifts away from an emphasis on an equal playing field towards handicap being equated with disadvantage. These four shifts point towards sites for further exploration. In addition, they suggest connotations (or traces of past meanings) that continue to haunt the expression.   In Chapter Six, my first Hotspot genealogy, I employ the concepts of classification–differentiation and normalization–reeducation to explore how overcoming rhetoric is taken up differentially in the institutional literature for the blind, the deaf, and the feebleminded. Capitalizing on the conceptual inventiveness characteristic of GALD, I employ fabricated labels  (the abled blind, the ignoble deaf, and the educable idiot) to characterize the way that the educators in the literature I surveyed position their respective students. Further, in this positioning, I observe that the appeal to overcoming is not ubiquitous: It is plentiful for the blind, sparse and conflicted for the deaf, and non-existent for the feebleminded. Throughout the discussion, I examine the tensions and contradictions evident in the literature, specifically: the tensions involved in simultaneously portraying disabled students as pitiable and capable and as not us (a separate class) and yet (like) us. I suggest that the overcoming stories found in the newspapers at the turn of the twentieth century highlight the potential of the abled blind,   14 emphasize the success of hearing educators of the ignoble deaf, and that, regarding the educable idiot, they remain silent.   Chapter Seven explores the two-fold significance of overcoming for Progressive Era reform: the foundational belief that social problems could and would be overcome and the central metaphor under which all social problems began to be framed—one of pathology and cure (the recovery from illness meaning of the verb to overcome). I argue that the medicalization of poverty allowed for a wide range of marginalized individuals to be classified (and targeted for reform) under one broad umbrella: the “defective, dependent, and delinquent” classes. In this, disability served as both a focus of reform and as a metaphor for the social and economic problems of the industrial poor. I examine two Progressive Era movements that depended upon classification of disability for their persuasive power: scientific philanthropy and eugenics. I trace how the medicalization of poverty and assumptions about disability (social disqualification) worked together to enable reformers to move from a focus on cure, to prevention, and finally to elimination. I then turn to a discussion of the contradiction between sympathy and loathing or between compassion and fear at the very heart of Progressive Era reform. I maintain that the overcoming stories featuring persons with disability that appear in the newspapers during the Progressive Era are explicit morality tales aimed at disciplining the industrial poor and depoliticizing social reform. I close the chapter with three poignant examples.  In Chapter Eight, I discuss the importance of overcoming rhetoric and narratives in the massive propaganda campaign brought to bear on “the problem” of returning World War One soldiers. I argue that the scope and sheer volume of propaganda reflects the level of anxiety that existed among government and military officials about whether or not these veterans would be   15 able to reintegrate peaceably and productively into society. I contend, therefore, that overcoming stories were widely published in the American reconstruction literature in order to encourage compliance with the reconstruction agenda. Overcoming the “handicap of disability” was envisioned as the both motivation for and the triumphant ends of reeducation. Overcoming was lifted up as the rehabilitative ideal and was described in terms of useful, worthy, and manly citizenship. Without the aid of reeducation, the fate of these soldiers was starkly imagined; they were or would become “dependent” “burdens” in the social “waste pile.” This effectively positioned veterans (in their un-rehabilitated state) as social burdens. However, reformers boasted that “handicap of disability” could be overcome, “discounted,” or “neutralized” by reeducation. By way of the buoyant language of overcoming such as this, I argue that the human and economic costs of war could be seemingly erased. As counter-history, I contrast the optimistic rhetoric of overcoming in the propaganda with the ultimate and enormous failure of the reconstruction program. I look, in particular, at the collective and individual resistance of World War One veterans and the League of the Physically Handicapped. I, then, forward that two kinds of overcoming narratives emerged in post World War One America: “cheer up” stories directed at motivating wounded soldiers and “cover up” stories directed at reassuring an anxious American public. Last, I contrast the Canadian reconstruction literature with the American to illustrate the uneven uptake of the overcoming narrative, the particular traction overcoming exerted in the American imagination, and the specific role it played in covering up the human and economic costs of an unpopular war.   In Chapter Nine, I argue that the overcoming narrative was central to establishing the legitimacy of rehabilitation in medical practice in post World War Two America. I begin the   16 chapter with a discussion of three matters (the passing of the G.I. Bill of Rights, intense public interest in the returning soldiers, and the employment of disabled citizens during the war), three men (Dr. Frank Krusen, Dr. Henry Kessler, and Dr. Howard A. Rusk), and three social arenas (war, politics, and philanthropy) (Verville, 2009) that set the stage for rehabilitation science to flourish following the second World War. I then turn the discussion towards the man of most interest to my project and most instrumental in promoting rehabilitation as the third phase of medicine—Dr. Howard Rusk. I forward that rehabilitation advocates, such as Rusk, relied upon three ideas to advance their cause: a new concept of disability (a focus on ability), a new theory of rehabilitation (the whole man theory), and their application to a much broader population of potential patients. I argue that overcoming stories, presented as rehabilitation’s success stories, supported all three ideas: They demonstrated the abilities of persons with disability; they highlighted the importance of psychological factors (particularly will and motivation) to successful rehabilitation; and, with the inspiring possibilities they presented, they helped to create a demand for rehabilitation as an essential component of medical care. Next, I examine the long-standing tension in the literature between understandings of disability that consider the problem of disability (and its solutions) as located either within the individual (rehabilitation) or within society (legislation and attitude change). I contend that this tension increased amidst the growing civil unrest and the civil rights movements of the 1950s and 1960s. In those years, the overcoming narrative extended its scope to cover the handicaps of poverty and race and became overtly linked to the American Story. Social Rehabilitation, the application of techniques of rehabilitation to “social, educational, cultural and economic” handicaps, as part of Lyndon Johnson’s “war on poverty,” was promoted as peaceable means to restore civil order (Switzer,   17 1968). I maintain that overcoming rhetoric and narratives were employed to depoliticize social issues by reframing them as problems of the individual. I close the chapter with a discussion of the expanding uptake of overcoming stories in the American media and argue that overcoming narratives in post World War Two America begin to differ from their predecessors in five significant ways: They become increasing naturalized, they appeal to science for legitimacy, they extend heroic status to their main characters, their characters reach out to help others, and their characters begin to be lifted up as symbols of hope and inspiration.  In Chapter Ten, I complete my genealogical inquiry. My question here concerns the conditions of possibility that allowed for compulsory heroism to gain force at the end of the twentieth century. I argue that, although there is neither a single event (time or place) that one can point to as the beginning of compulsory heroism, nor a complete accounting for its emergence that is possible, we can pull out strands from a tangle of social forces, practices, and events that can inform our understanding. The focus of this chapter is the overcoming narrative as it became employed in the developing philanthropy of the everyday citizen, that is, as a peoples’ philanthropy of mass giving. First, I frame my argument with a discussion of disability as spectacle: its history, work, and relationship to the rise of the celebrity hero. Second, I trace the philanthropy of mass giving through its emergence, growing professionalization, and employment in the March of Dimes, an organization that would change the face of charity in North America. The innovation of March of Dimes fundraisers, the army of volunteers (both everyday and famous) it recruited, and the apparatus for ground-breaking medical research it established would not only become the model other health-related organizations would emulate but would also cultivate a lasting symbiosis between charity–philanthropy and the state. Third, I   18 examine two related streams of resistance that rose up against the pity produced through charitable fundraising and its medical model assumptions (Jerry’s Orphans and survivor movements) and I discuss Terry Fox, one cancer activist who would become Canada’s star “overcomer” and “Greatest Hero.”  Fourth, I take a closer look at the relationship between charity and the state as it came to be understood by economists as the nonprofit sector. More specifically, I consider the challenges the nonprofit sector faces in Canada as a result of government retrenchment. Fifth, I consider one kind of event that grew out this tangle of social forces and practices, an event where compulsory heroism displays itself and where overcoming stories become the main attraction—the inspiration-award-type gala fundraiser.   In Chapter Eleven, I return to the key concepts from critical disability studies and Foucauldian theory that inform my project and direct my analysis across genealogies. All my observations in Chapter Eleven concern the knowledge/power effects of the overcoming narrative whose reach runs deep and has spread wide. I argue that, across genealogies, it becomes clear that the overcoming narrative maintains three binaries: the able-bodied versus the dis-labeled bodied, the helper versus the needy and the productive versus the dependent citizen. I then present the work of overcoming narratives as tools of persuasion, devices of disavowal, techniques of depoliticization, and instruments of homogenization.     19 Part One: Conceptual and Theoretical Framework Chapter One: Critical Disability Theory  We need a theory of disability for the liberation of both disabled and able-bodied people since the theory of disability is also the theory of the oppression of the body by a society and its culture (Wendell, 1996, p. 78).   I don’t like defining disability. It reifies disability, thing-afies disability, makes disability seem, you know, well-defined. Well-definable. Tanya Titchkosky (2007) tries to avoid objectifying disability by broadly defining it as “a process of meaning-making that is done somewhere by someone” (p. 12). While this definition is too vague for me, I appreciate what Titchkosky is trying to get at: that the meaning of disability is in ongoing negotiation and is enacted in different ways in different places by different people. Margrit Shildrick agrees, “On the simplest level, what counts as disabling anomaly varies greatly according to the socio-historical context and, even were the inquiry limited to a westernized location in our own time, the category remains slippery, fluid, heterogeneous, and deeply intersectional” (2007, p. 223).   Further, defining disability is not a simple matter because as soon as you attempt to clarify your terms you find yourself in the midst of a theoretical debate (Abberley, 1998) or, from a discourse theory point of view, in the arena of competing discourses. In large part, the definition of disability depends on who is defining it and for what purposes. For instance, Statistics Canada’s census surveys consider participation and activity limitations as indicators of disability (2010), while social assistance (HRSDC, 2009) defines disability in terms of employability. In the 1970s, disability activists began to claim for themselves the right to define disability. Mike Oliver, one of the early disability scholars, states, “How disability is defined is   20 critical to persons with disability as it directly affects how they are treated” (1990). Eli Clare (1999) says it powerfully, These forces are taking freakdom back, declaring that disabled people will be at the center of defining disability, defining their lives, defining who we are and who we want to be. We are declaring that doctors and their pathology, rubes and their money, anthropologists and their theories, gawkers and their so-called innocuous intentions, bullies and their violence, showmen and their hype, Jerry Lewis and his telethon, government bureaucrats and their rules will no longer define us (p. 106).  Thus, the politics of knowledge is deeply implicated in disability studies. In the genealogical analysis of this paper, it will become evident that the power to categorize, define, and legitimize knowledge about disability has had profound social, material, and psychological effects on persons with disability as well as other marginalized individuals.   For my purposes, I will define disability descriptively and loosely as the signifier that is necessary to in order to define its binary other—ability. This is a tautological definition. That is my point. It is central to my discussion of ableism below.   In the last thirty years, disability studies has grown into an interdisciplinary and international field of study. It is informed by scholarship from the humanities and the social sciences and has begun to affect the research agendas in such diverse disciplines as: history, sociology, psychology, education, literature, political science, law, policy studies, cultural studies, anthropology, human geography, philosophy, queer studies, women’s studies, health studies, social work, communications and media studies, and the arts. While still largely framed by the global north, more recently, disability scholars (C. Barker, 2014; Goodley, 2011; Meekosha & Shuttleworth, 2009) have turned towards the issues, concerns, and scholarship voiced from the global south or majority world. Disability studies has grown into an academic   21 discipline in its own right, comparable to gender studies, critical queer studies, black (white) studies, or indigenous studies (Meekosha & Shuttleworth, 2009).  The burgeoning of disability studies has resulted in a profusion of models of disability including: the social model, the minority group model, the cultural model, the economic model, the affirmation model, the biopsychosocial model, the relational model, and the axiological model4. The main point of broad consensus in disability studies is the contestation of the hegemony of what disability scholars have dubbed the “medical model.” Other terms used interchangeably with “medical model” are “such descriptors as: traditional, individualist, impairment, rehabilitation, biomedical, personal tragedy, and personal deficit approaches to disability” (DeVolder, 2009). The medical model approaches disability as an intrinsic problem of the individual; its main concern is the “detection, avoidance, elimination, treatment and classification of impairment” (Thomas, 2002, p. 40; as cited in DeVolder, 2009).   Two models of disability, the British social model and the North American minority group model5, have grown out of “the experiences of persons with disability and their frustration                                                 4  The economic model is employed by social welfare agencies such as Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC, 2009) and defines disability in terms of employability. Universal models, such as the affirmation model (Swain & French, 2000) and the World Health Organization (WHO) biopsychosocial model, stress that “disablement is an intrinsic feature of the human condition, not a difference that essentially marks one subpopulation off from another” (Bickenbach, Chatterji, Badley, & Üstün, 1999, p. 1184). The ICF biopsychosocial model of disability is an attempt to bring together the medical and social models. Thus, “A person’s functioning and disability is conceived as a dynamic interaction between health conditions (diseases, disorders, injuries, traumas etc.) and contextual factors (personal and environmental factors)” ("International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF)," 2001, p. 8). Similarly, the Nordic relational model holds that disability is created from “mismatch” between an individual’s body/mind (biological need) and the environment (Goodley, 2011). The axiological lens also sees a “disjuncture” between the person and their environment but, in addition, employs explanatory legitimacy theory (DePoy & Gilson, 2012). 5 The major difference between them is that the British social model distinguishes between impairment and disability. Impairment refers to the functional limitation(s) caused by the biomedical condition of the person; while disability is defined as the social barriers and discrimination faced by disabled persons resulting from a non-inclusive society (Morris, 2003; Oliver, 1990). Harlan Hahn describes the minority group position, “The problems faced by disabled citizens are essentially similar to the difficulties encountered by other minorities. The basic issues are prejudice and discrimination evoked by visible or labeled human differences” (Hahn, 2002, p. 171).    22 with what they saw as the pathologizing, objectifying, deterministic, and marginalizing nature of the medical model” (DeVolder, 2009). Both models emerged from disability activism, view disability as social discrimination, and, instead of focusing “on ‘fixing’ people with disabilities, direct attention to the disabling effects of a normalizing society” (DeVolder, 2009). Inclusion, human rights, accessibility, accommodation, and barrier removal are key themes for social and political change (Morris, 2003).  It is interesting to note how the trajectory of disability studies, in many ways, parallels that of other civil rights or minority group discourses (L. J. Davis, 2006). American anthropologists in the mid 1900s rejected the biological determinism inherent in the medical approach and proposed a radical theoretical distinction between “race” and “culture.” In the battle for civil rights, “Culture became important in anthropology as a conceptual means of avoiding or denying the relevance of biologically defined ‘race’ in the explanation of human behaviour” (Turner, 2007, p. 22). Feminists argued along similar lines when they articulated the contrast between “sex” (as biological) and “gender” (as the social construction of masculinity and femininity) (K. Davis, 2007; Witz, 2000). Then, in the 1980s, disability theorists followed suit with social model of disability that set apart “impairment” (the medical condition) and “disability” (the barriers, discrimination, and social oppression that disable persons with impairment) (Thomas, 2007). What is interesting is that all three actively promoted social justice by rejecting the belief that “biology is destiny,” that a person’s life and identity are determined by his–her biology  (distinctions of nature) (Hughes, 2002). Further, in each case, the theoretical focus turned away from the corporeal body towards the study of the social and socio-political. While the biology versus culture based dichotomies above had practical and political value for   23 furthering the rights of minority groups, the distinctions drawn began to be criticized for relying on an essentialist and dualistic approach, for reproducing the structures that they attempted to challenge, for leaving the biology side of the dualism untheorized, and for defining collective identity so narrowly that it neglected and excluded difference within the group (Corker, 1999; K. Davis, 2007; Thomas, 2007; Tremain, 2006).  In recent years, critical disability studies has emerged in response to these concerns. Critical disability theory engages with critical theory6, assumes a post structuralist de-centered subject position, and argues for more complex understandings of disability oppression.  Meekosha and Shuttleworth (2009) explain, “The terms of engagement in disability studies have changed . . . the struggle for social justice and diversity continues on another plane of development—one that is not simply social, economic and political, but also psychological, cultural, discursive and carnal” (p. 50). Further, critical disability theory recognizes the complexity of social embodiment, the inextricable tangle of discursive-material bodies. In a disability context, Raewyn Connell describes social embodiment as: The collective, reflexive process that embroils bodies in social dynamics, and social dynamics in bodies. . . . Social embodiment is not just a reflection, not just a reproduction, not just a citation. It is a process that generates, at every moment, new historical realities: new embodied possibilities, experiences, limitations and vulnerabilities for the people involved. So we need to understand disability as emerging through time. Disabled people are indeed, involved in a political process of rediscovering their own histories (2011, pp. 1370, 1371).                                                    6 I use the term broadly to “refer to a whole range of theories which take a critical view of society and the human sciences or which seek to explain the emergence of their objects of knowledge” (Macey, 2000, p. 74).   24  There are four contributions of critical disability theory that I draw upon for this dissertation, ideas concerning: ableism, disavowal, Foucauldian theory as taken up by disability theorists, and categories of difference (intersectionality) from a genealogical point of view. Ableism  An important contribution of critical disability theory for my project is that it changes the focus of investigation from the disabled body to its constitutive other—the able body. Fiona Campbell (2008) argues that instead of continuing to interrogate disability, our inquiry should refocus on the non-disabled identity, the “normality-which-is-to-be-assumed,” or what she calls “The Ableist Project.” This move is similar to considering the unacknowledged and naturalized place of “whiteness” in the question of race (Bell, 2006). In the past 30 years, disability studies has raised awareness of the disableism in society. Disableism can be defined as “a set of assumptions (conscious or unconscious) and practices that promote the differential or unequal treatment of people because of actual or presumed disabilities” (Campbell, 2008, p. 1). However, Campbell argues that a focus on disableism “reinscribes an able-bodied voice–lens towards disability” where disability “continues to be examined and taught from the perspective of the Other” (p. 1).   Shifting the spotlight to ableism, however, underlines the normative and compulsory preference for the “ideal” body and, therefore, the devaluation of bodies that do not match this ideal (McRuer, 2006). Rosemarie Garland-Thompson created the neologism “normate” to describe this idealized body (1997): a body that is out of the reach of every body and for that reason needs to be continually repeated, performed, and reestablished. Rob McRuer explains, “Everyone is virtually disabled, both in the sense that able-bodied norms are intrinsically   25 impossible to embody fully and in the sense that able-bodied status is always temporary, disability being the one identity category that all people will embody if they live long enough” (2006, pp. 95-96).   Further, critical disability theorists argue that ableism functions to inaugurate the norm:  Ableism sets up a binary dynamic which is not simply comparative but rather co-relationally constitutive. This formulation of ableism not only problematizes the signifier disability but points to the fact that the essential core of ableism is the formation of a naturalized understanding of being fully human” (Campbell, 2008, p. 2).   The disabled body, then, is not mis-placed or dis-placed matter: “The disabled body has a place, a place in liminality to secure the performative enactment of the normal” (Campbell, 2008, p. 5). Or following Tanya Titchkosky, “The notion of disability functions as a discursive mechanism in service of normal society” (2007, p. 151).   Adrienne Rich coined the phrase “white solipsism” to describe the way persons located in the unmarked category of “whiteness” can think, imagine, and speak “as if whiteness described the world” (as cited  in West & Fenstermaker, 1995, p. 10). I submit that “able-bodied solipsism” operates in a similar way, projecting an able-bodied only worldview. As Fiona Campbell remarks, “Ableist normativity results in compulsive passing, wherein there is a failure to ask about difference, to imagine human being-ness differently” (2008, p. 1). I argue that the overcoming narrative reflects, reiterates, and reinforces able-bodied solipsism.  Erving Goffman, in his influential work Stigma: Notes of the Management of Spoiled Identity (1963) observes, “Norms breed deviations as well as conformance” (1963, p. 129). This is the weakness of the norm. Judith Butler argues that the very site of possible resistance can be found here, amidst the requisite repetition and reproduction of social norms (Butler, 1993). The   26 compulsive reiteration of the overcoming narrative, therefore, is one such site where we can exploit “the iterability of discursive norms in order to unveil them for the politically loaded dynamics that they are,” so that, “new identities, new subjectivities will become possible” (Cahill & Hansen, 2004, p. 26). Disavowal   A second contribution of critical disability theory to my project is the aspect of psychoanalytic theory it brings back into the discussion, in particular, the concept of disavowal (Goodley, 2010; Hughes, 2009; Shildrick, 2005). I do not take up disavowal as part of a universalizing “grand theory,” but rather, following post structuralist feminist scholars, such as Margrit Shildrick (2005), as an heuristic device to complicate the boundaries of normative subjectivity and its illusions of control and invulnerability. Tom Shakespeare defines disavowal as  “an operation whereby qualities, feelings, wishes, or even objects, which the subject refuses to recognize or rejects in himself, are expelled from the self and located in another person or thing” (1994, p. 283). There are two aspects of disavowal: “Othering” (separating the self from the marginalized Other) and denial (disowning threatening items by projecting them onto the Other). As “the tear in our being,” disability hides in our subconscious mind as the unthinkable, the uncontrollable, and the inevitable (Stiker, 1999, p. 10). Bill Hughes writes,  Ironically, the ontological insecurity of non-disabled identity is the original sin that pushes disabled people to the margins of the human community. Disability is not an outcome of the infraction of social norms about ‘normalcy’ but a product of the failure of carnal normalcy to take proper account of itself, to indulge in ‘bad faith’ and delude itself into thinking that it is exempt from the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. The problem rests with the normative body that does not want to be reminded of its own vulnerability or to admit that abjection and death is its fate (2007, p. 681).     27 The vulnerable, disabled body “exposes the illusion of autonomy, self-government, and self-determination that underpins the fantasy of absolute able-bodiedness” (Garland-Thomson, 1997, p. 45). Hevey explains even more directly, What is happening is that non-disabled people are getting rid of their fear about their mortality, their fear about the loss of labour power and other elements in narcissism. The point I am making is that disabled people are the dustbin for that disavowal (Hevey, 1992, p. 34).   However, a point I would like to stress is what the disability theorists above do not state, that is, that persons with disability are not exempt from disavowal. In order to illustrate this, I will discuss the concept of “Othering” in more detail.  I am not sure who first described the process of “Othering”; names such as Hegel, Husserl, Sartre, De Beauvoir, Levinas, Lacan, Derrida, Kristeva, and Said often get mentioned (Pickering, 2001). While he does not use the expression, Erving Goffman (1963) describes it in distressing detail. “Othering” is invoked at three levels that are entangled: as a mainstay of identity formation, as a way of ordering or categorizing our social world, and as the out working of social hierarchies. Bob Mullaly asserts, “The creation of [the] binary opposite (that “alien” to the normal) by privileged groups is known as Othering” (Mullaly, 2010, p. 295).   An interesting thing about Othering is that no matter where people find themselves in this social ranking, they seem to be able to find another “Other”—the real “Other”—against which to position themselves. Like Chinese nesting dolls, we find hierarchies within hierarchies. One example is what has been called the “poor man’s snobbery,” for instance, when the working poor denigrate the non-working poor (Mullaly, 2010, p. 39). In the news a few years ago, in the state of Florida, 98% of welfare applicants passed mandatory drug testing (Desmond-Harris, 2011). (Of course, an important issue is that of surveillance.) Nevertheless, it was emphatically asserted   28 (my emphasis), “You see!  We’re not drug addicts.” This is disavowal: “Thank god, I’m not like them!”  In this unconscious process, persons with disability are also complicit. This will become clearer at different points in my analysis. It highlights for me the importance of understanding our own positioning within relationships of power so that we can “struggle for social justice and diversity” (Meekosha & Shuttleworth, 2009) in more collaborative ways.   For my project, the concept of disavowal also allows me to bring the possible unconscious work of compulsory heroism into the discussion.  Critical Disability Theory Meets Foucault  Critical disability theorists have begun to explore the contributions that Foucauldian analyses can bring to disability studies. In this respect, Shelley Tremain’s (2005) edited volume, Foucault and the Government of Disability, has been hugely influential. Foucault’s ideas concerning bio-power, normalization, the docile body, and the carceral network have been taken up to discuss the ways that individuals are constituted as “disabled subjects” in contexts such: as rehabilitation centers (Sullivan, 2005); care services (Drinkwater, 2005; Levinson, 2005; Yates, 2005); law (Campbell, 2005); special education (Allan, 1996, 2005; Simons & Masschelein, 2005); and a wide range of institutions, for instance, institutions for the deaf and blind (Snyder & Mitchell, 2006), mentally handicapped (Carlson, 2001, 2005; Corker, 2002), and mentally ill (Parr, 1999).   Furthermore, there is a growing number of genealogies of disability (both explicit and those drawing upon genealogical analysis) tracing, for example, histories of: disability as a category in social policy (Stone, 1986); mental retardation (Trent Jr, 1994); the statistical norm (L. J. Davis, 1995); literary representations of disability (Garland-Thomson, 1997); Western   29 “mentalités” towards disability (Stiker, 1999); the classification of impairment (Corker, 2002; Tremain, 2002); the disabled identity (Galvin, 2004); the “irreducible différence of the disabled body” (Shildrick, 2005); research practices involving persons with disability (Snyder & Mitchell, 2006); disability and immigration (Galusca, 2009); rehabilitation (Kumar, 2011); “inspirational, physically fit, disabled subjectivity” (Peers, 2015), and “the production of traumatized soldiers as ill” (Moss & Prince, 2014). The contributions of Foucauldian genealogy as a methodology for my project will be discussed in greater detail in the chapter to follow.  Genealogy and Categories of Difference  As I began to analyze the CTCB Awards, the winner narratives, and historical sources, I was continually struck by the complex interweaving of issues concerning social inequality that all became lumped together (at different times) and narrated as problems to be overcome. While, my interest in the CTCB Awards grew of out of the disability studies literature, I began to see that the overcoming story is not just a disability story.  Social inequality is a central concern in both disability studies and intersectional-type theorizing. The assumption is that poverty, unequal opportunities, exclusionary practices, disparate living conditions, inequitable access to services, and differential treatment are social problems that need to be ameliorated (Mullaly, 2010). However, if we look at this assumption with a genealogical lens, following Foucault (1988a), it becomes “curious” and a different set of question come to the fore. How is it that, in its naissance, social science took up a view of society as something that could be improved, perfected, and perhaps even engineered? How is it that certain people became experts who could define the “social problems” as well as generate solutions for them?  Against these questions what comes into relief is the progress narrative of   30 Enlightenment rationality: a belief in the objectivity and efficacy of science, a view of social development as linear with Western civilization at the highest point, and an epistemology that tightly bound what counted as knowledge. Critical race, post colonial, and feminist post structural theories have taken Enlightenment rationality and subjectivity as the focus of their critique (Hekman, 2013; L. T. Smith, 1999; Strega, 2005; Thobani, 2007). The genealogy of compulsive heroism I trace is fundamentally entangled with these questions.   Moreover, the genealogical roots of categories of difference are also entwined with Enlightenment rationality (Strega, 2005; I. M. Young, 1990). Bob Mullaly writes, “Whatever genealogical account of oppression is presented, there is agreement in the anti-oppression literature, especially among feminist writers, that oppression today was most influenced by post Renaissance ‘man,’ his science, and his theories” (Mullaly, 2010, p. 49). The “categorical, dichotomous, hierarchical logic” of the Enlightenment is deeply implicated in modern, Western conceptualizations of difference (Lugones, 2010, p. 742). Susan Strega asserts, “Enlightenment epistemology inscribes a hierarchical dualism that inevitably positions women and other marginalized peoples as inferior. The ascription of inferiority lies at the core of the justification of racial subjugation, violence, and structural inequalities” (2005, p. 210).  It became very clear to me throughout my analysis that the production of categories of difference is deeply implicated in the production of the overcoming narrative. With a Foucauldian and post structural feminist bent, I have begun to understand the production of categories of difference in terms of social embodiment, that is, in terms of material-discursive bodies embroiled in relationships of power in a complex tangle (or “mangle”) (Hekman, 2013). Therefore, where the production of categories of difference is evident in the sources that I   31 examined, I try to highlight them with the understanding that these efforts may contribute to other genealogical projects and intersectional-type7 analyses. Summary  Critical disability studies, then, provides a lens though which I can interrogate the overcoming story. Social embodiment, ableism, and disavowal are key concepts that frame my understanding of the mutual constitution of discourse and embodiment, social practices and subjectivities, and macro and micro processes. Further, critical disability studies points towards a productive methodology for research. In the next chapter, I will discuss how I take up Foucauldian genealogy in order to explore the work of the overcoming narrative.                                                 7 Since there is a great deal of discussion on how to envision the entangling of categories of difference (e.g. intersections, interlocking oppressions, interference etc.) and each is problematic, I use the expression “intersectional-type” theory as a broad term to acknowledge both the contributions and challenges of various approaches.     32 Chapter Two: Foucault and Genealogy  Genealogy uses historical knowledge to reveal that who and what we are is not fixed . . . but a series of contingent becomings. Dis-inevitable-izing ourselves: an ugly term but perhaps it captures the kind of politics which genealogy shows up (Walters, 2012).    Foucault is challenging for a number of reasons. He does not offer, in fact he resists, presenting a unified theory (Foucault, 2000, pp. 223-224). He purposefully defies disciplinary, theoretical, and political classification. Moreover, his works are diverse and presented in various forms (books, lectures, essays, interviews) and his ideas evolve over the course of his career. Therefore, as Margo Huxley observes, “There are multiple ‘Foucaults’ present in these polymorphous works, and their geographical and disciplinary dispersal, coupled with the uneven rate of publication and translation, makes coherent summary difficult” (2009, p. 3). Foucault’s emphasis is neither on “grand theory” nor theoretical purity, but rather, on experimentation, play or inversion (Walters, 2012). Any synopsis of his work that attempts to tightly pin him down, therefore, does him a great disservice.  Foucault emphasizes that he views his theory as a kind of “toolkit” (Foucault, 1980, p. 145). The implications of this metaphor, according to Jana Sawicki (2005, p. 380), are twofold. First of all, Sawicki argues that Foucault intends his ideas to be taken up “insofar as they seem helpful to the critical task at hand.” Second, Sawicki asserts that it is important to recognize Foucault’s “meta-theoretical impulse,” that is, his concern lies “in problematizing theories rather than in producing them.” Foucault states that a toolkit view of theory is one that does not approach theory as a formal “system” per se, but rather, as an instrument and an investigation. Concerning theory as an instrument, what is critical for Foucault is the “logic of the specificity of   33 power relations and the struggles around them” (1980, p. 145). Concerning theory as an investigation, Foucault emphasizes intensive, context specific, historical reflection. This chapter will explore Foucauldian theory as an instrument for inquiry. The next chapter will discuss Foucauldian theory in terms of investigation as inquiry.   In keeping with Foucault’s own “toolkit” approach research, I want to reiterate that I approach Foucault instrumentally. I take up genealogy, as a tool, because I expect it to be a fruitful and useful methodology to answer my research questions, a different way to dig at a long-standing issue. Further, in the process, I take up those Foucauldian concepts that I find helpful to the task at hand. These revolve around a triad of overlapping discussions or domains of genealogy: games of truth, relations of power, and forms of relations to self and other. Games of Truth  Foucault asserts, “Truth itself has a history” (Foucault, 2000, p. 118). Foucault moves to shake the “false self-evidence” of truth, to demonstrate its “precariousness,” and to illustrate that what we come to understand as “truth” is the result of complex and multiple historical events and processes (2000, p. 225). Foucault proposes that what we have come to believe is the truth about ourselves, what we take as the self-evident truth about human beings, what he calls the “constituent subject” also has a history. Genealogy, writes Foucault, is “a form of history that can account for the constitution of knowledges, discourses, domains of objects, and so on,” and “can account for the constitution of the subject within a historical framework” (2000, p. 118). In a 1978 interview with D. Trombadori, Foucault explains, Everything I’ve been concerned with up to now has to do basically with the way men in Western societies have produced these experiences—fundamental ones, no doubt—which consist in engagement in a process of acquiring knowledge of a   34 domain of objects while at the same time they are constituting themselves as subjects with a fixed and determinate status. For example, knowing madness while constituting oneself as a rational subject; knowing illness while constituting oneself as living subject; or the economy, while constituting oneself as a laboring subject. So there is always this involvement with oneself within one’s savoir (emphasis mine; Foucault, 2000, p. 257).    With respect to my project, to paraphrase Foucault loosely, my argument is this: In acquiring knowledge about disability amidst a web of power relations, we (people in Western societies) have come to know illness-deformity-disability while constituting ourselves as an able-bodied subject. The ways the overcoming narrative has been caught up in the production of knowledge about disability and the constitution of able-bodied subjects and subjectivity is a central theme of my project.  Further, Foucault says that he came to consider discourse not simply as a matter of linguistics or semiotics, but rather as a game of truth involving strategies “of action and reaction, question and answer, domination and evasion, as well as struggle” (Foucault, 2000, p. 2). In short, he began to think about discourse in terms of “truth” and “power.” The following extended passage from the History of Sexuality raises a number of points that I would like to highlight: It is in discourse that power and knowledge are joined together. And for this very reason, we must conceive discourse as a series of discontinuous segments whose tactical function is neither uniform nor stable. To be more precise, we must not imagine a world of discourse divided between accepted discourse and excluded discourse, or between the dominant discourse and the dominated one; but as a multiplicity of discursive elements that can come into play in various strategies. It is this distribution that we must reconstruct, with the things said and those concealed, the enunciations required and those forbidden, that it comprises; with the variants and different effects—according to who is speaking, his position of power, the institutional context in which he happens to be situated—that it implies; and with the shifts and reutilizations of identical formulas for contrary objectives that it also includes. Discourses are not once and for all subservient to power or raised up against it, any more than silences are. We must make allowance for the complex and unstable process whereby discourse can be both an instrument and an effect of power, but also a hindrance, a stumbling-block, a   35 point of resistance and a starting point for an opposing strategy. Discourse transmits and produces power; it reinforces it, but also undermines and exposes it, renders it fragile and makes it possible to thwart it (Foucault, 1990, pp. 100-101).    My first point here is that discourse, as Foucault comes to define it, involves both knowledge and power. It is something of a tightly bound knot. Foucault writes, “There can be no possible exercise of power without a certain economy of discourses of truth . . . We are subjected to the production of truth through power and we cannot exercise power except through the production of truth” (Foucault, 1980, p. 93). Thus, with respect to the focus of genealogy, “It is really against the effects of the power of a discourse that is considered to be [true] scientific that the genealogy must wage its struggle” (emphasis mine; Foucault, 1980, p. 84).  Second, I would like to emphasize that discourses are discontinuous, segmented, heterogeneous, and unstable. They involve multiple elements and multiple strategies. They are competing, contestable, and contingent. In “The Order of Discourse” Foucault states, “As history constantly teaches us, discourse is not simply that which translates struggles or systems of domination, but is the thing for which and by which there is struggle, discourse is the power which is to be seized” (1981, pp. 52-53). Discourse, in other words, is a site of multiple ongoing struggles. Excavating these struggles is a large part of the task of genealogy. The struggles themselves point to the work that the discourse is accomplishing.  Third, I would like to emphasize that for Foucault discourse is a two-edged sword. It cuts both ways. It is both an instrument and an effect of power and an instrument and an effect of resistance. Moreover, Foucault sees this relationship between power versus resistance as inherent in the very nature of power. He states, “In relations of power, there is necessarily a possibility of resistance, because if there were no possibility of resistance—of a violent resistance, of flight, of   36 ruse, of strategies that invert the situation, there would be no power relations at all” (Dits et ecrits, p. 720; as cited  in Racevskis, 2005, p. 91).   One of the most widespread critiques of Foucault is his pessimism (some even say nihilistic determinism) with respect to possibilities for social change (Said, 1983). Certainly, Foucault is reluctant to set an overall agenda. However, Foucault states that he is “astounded” by such criticism because his intentions are exactly the opposite, that is, to show the contingency of relations of power: “These power relations are mobile relations, that is, they may become modified, they are not given once and for all’ (Dits et ecrits, p. 693, 720; Racevskis, 2005, p. 91).   Nevertheless, reading Foucault is unsettling and, in large part, that was his goal. He disrupts taken-for-granted assumptions about knowledge, power, and self that are embedded in historical materialist emancipatory projects such as the Disabled Persons Movement. This necessitates more complex understandings of social reform. Foucault offers, But, it seems to me that “what is to be done” ought not to be determined from above by reformers, be they prophetic or legislative, but by a long work of comings and goings, of exchanges, reflections, trials, different analyses.  Critique doesn’t have to be the premise of a deduction that concludes, “This, then, is what needs to be done.” It should be an instrument for those who fight, those who resist and refuse what is. Its use should be in processes of conflict and confrontation, essays in refusal. It doesn’t have to lay down the law for the law. It isn’t a stage in a programming. It is a challenge directed to what is.   If prisons and punitive mechanisms are transformed, it won’t be because a plan of reform has found its way into the heads of the social workers, it will be when those who have a stake in that reality, all those people, have come into collision with each other and with themselves, run into dead ends, problems, and impossibilities, been through conflicts and confrontations—when critique has been played out in the real, not when reformers have realized their ideas (Foucault, 2000, pp. 235-236).    37  I love the story Foucault tells in his 1978 interview with D. Trombadori (Foucault, 2000, p. 245). Trombadori describes the responses of different readers, such as correctional officers and social workers, to Discipline and Punish; they said that even if the book contained some correct observations, that it was anaesthetizing and prevented them from carrying on with their jobs. Foucault’s reply is: This very reaction proves that the work was successful, that it functioned just as I intended. It shows that people read it as an experience that changed them, that prevented them from always being the same or from having the same relation with things, with others, that they had before reading it.  In another interview Foucault is even more explicit about his intentions: But my project is precisely to bring it about that they “no longer know what to do,” so that the acts, gestures, discourses that up until then had seemed to go without saying become problematic, difficult, dangerous. This effect is intentional (1991, p. 235).  Foucault’s intention is to bring about “a transformation of the relationship we have with ourselves and with the world . . . in short, a transformation of the relationship we have with our knowledge” (2000, p. 244). Walters (2012) calls such transformational moments “critical encounters” and others call it “the Foucault effect” (Foucault, 1991). My goal, similarly, in undertaking a Foucauldian genealogical analysis of the overcoming narrative is to “interrogate an existing discourse and practice, aiming to open up a space to think and act differently” (Reed & Saukko, 2010, p. 17). In other words, as Foucault offers, “The work of the intellectual is to show that what is does not have to be what is” (1989, p. 359).      38 Relations of Power The longer I continue, the more it seems to me that the formation of discourses and the genealogy of knowledge needs to be analyzed, not in terms of types of consciousness, modes of perception and forms of ideology, but in terms of tactics and strategies of power (Foucault, 1980, p. 77).    A significant contribution of Foucault to my project can be found in his evolving conceptualization of power or, more aptly, power/knowledge relations. Foucault’s premise is that “between techniques of knowledge and strategies of power, there is no exteriority” (1981, p. 351). Foucault argues that towards the end of the seventeenth century two problems came to the fore: the problem of the accumulation of men and the problem of extracting the maximum capacity possible from each member of the population. Thus, a form of political power emerged whose target was life itself and whose function was to administer, optimize, and increase the health, strength, survival, and well-being of the population. This “power over life” or “bio-power,” Foucault maintains, developed along two poles: disciplinary power over the bodies of individuals (“an anatomo-politics of the human body”) and regulatory power over the population (“a bio-politics of the population”) (1990, p. 139).  In Discipline and Punish, Foucault traces disciplinary power as it emerged through institutions such as armies, barracks, universities, schools, workshops, manufacturing spaces, and prisons. The target of disciplinary power is “the body as machine: its disciplining, the optimization of its capabilities, the extortion of its forces, the parallel increase of its usefulness and its docility, its integration into systems of efficient and economic controls” (1977, p. 139). The goal of disciplinary power, Foucault argues, is the formation of the useful and intelligible body, the manipulable and analyzable body, or, in his words, the “docile” body: one “that may be subjected, used, transformed, and improved” (1977, p. 136). Consequently, “a whole set of   39 techniques, a whole corpus of methods and knowledge, descriptions, plans, and data” developed as means for “the control and use of men” (1977, p. 141). The three main instruments of disciplinary power Foucault outlines are: hierarchical observation (surveillance), normalization, and the examination (the formal combination of observation and normalizing judgment that produces a written record or “a case”) (1977, p. 170). The work of disciplinary power is an analytical strand that runs throughout this paper. I will describe its work in institutions for the blind and deaf, in the development of poverty knowledge in the Progressive Era, in reeducation propaganda, in rehabilitation discourse, and in fundraising efforts for health-related charities. Moreover, the overcoming body can be considered a “docile” body—it is a body that is “subjected, used, transformed, and improved.”  The second pole of bio-power concerns the regulatory control and administration of populations. Bio-politics, the “calculated management of life” (Foucault, 1977, p. 140), emerged with the rise of statistics and demography and originally took up such issues as: fertility, birth and mortality rates, life expectancy, and migration. In a brief synopsis of the growth of bio-politics, Foucault states that in the early twentieth century, out of various strands of charity and philanthropy, “people appear who make it their business to involve themselves in other people’s lives, health, nutrition, housing; then, out of this confused set of functions there emerge certain personages, institutions, forms of knowledge: public hygiene, inspectors, social workers, psychologists” (1980, p. 62). The main instruments of bio-political power Foucault discusses are: objectification (through, for example, classification, dividing processes, and processes of subjectification) and normalization (2000, p. 326). The way the overcoming narrative is   40 implicated in the emergence and maintenance of bio-politics in North America is another analytical strand in this thesis.  Taken together, the two poles of bio-power have far-reaching implications for my project. As Shelley Tremain emphasizes, The importance of critical work on bio-power (bio-politics) to analyses of disability cannot be overstated. For during the past two centuries, in particular, a vast apparatus, erected to secure the well being of the general population, has caused the contemporary disabled subject to emerge into discourse and social existence. Among the items that have comprised the expansive apparatus are asylums, income support programs, quality of life assessments, worker’s compensation benefits, special education programs, regimes of rehabilitation, parallel transit systems, prostheses, home care services, telethons, sheltered workshops, poster child campaigns, and prenatal diagnosis. These (and a host of other) practices, procedures and policies have created, classified, codified, managed, and controlled social anomalies through which some people have been divided from others and objectivized as (for instance) physically impaired, insane, handicapped, mentally ill, retarded and deaf (2005, p. 6).   It is also significant to my present study to note that the principal instrument of bio-power (operating in both disciplinary and bio-political power) is normalization. Foucault writes, But a power whose task is to take charge of life needs continuous regulatory and corrective mechanisms. It is no longer a matter of bringing death into play in the field of sovereignty, but of distributing the living in the domain of value and utility. Such a power has to qualify, measure, appraise, and hierarchize, rather than display itself in its murderous splendor; it does not have to draw the line that separates the enemies of the sovereign from his obedient subjects; it affects distributions around the norm . . . A normalizing society is the historical outcome of a technology of power centered on life (1977, p. 144).   For Foucault, the normalizing elements of the “human sciences” (sociology, anthropology, psychology, psychoanalysis, psychiatry, criminology, education, social work, public health etc.,) are all forms of knowledge that emerged entangled with “the problems and practices of power, social government and the management of individuals” (Gordon, 1994, p. xvi). I want to emphasize that at issue, for Foucault, is not whether this knowledge is true or   41 false, right or wrong, or even good or bad. His point is “that everything is dangerous” (Foucault, 1984a, p. 343). He is drawing our attention to the effects of power/knowledge relations. He is reminding us that these are always power relationships; that institutions, practices and policies exercise real power over real people; that, as a result, the effects, of even well intentioned practices, are not always benign. I believe this is becoming increasingly clear as more and more “survivors” of many different institutional and bureaucratic systems begin to speak out.   Returning to the question of power, more generally, Foucault presents a view of power as an inescapable web woven into the very fabric of social life. Throughout his writings, Foucault sketches out his ideas concerning power by contrasting them with what he believes power is not and he frames these as methodological precautions. For instance, in contrast to repressive power (power “as a force that says no”), Foucault emphasizes the productive nature of power. Foucault maintains that power produces things: pleasure, knowledge, discourses, practices, technologies, subjects, and subjectivities (2000, p. 120). Methodologically, Foucault wants to move analyses of power away from those that view power in terms of obedience to a sovereign power (legal questions of legitimacy, right, abuses of power, relationships of contract or oppression) towards a schema that considers power in terms of techniques of subjugation and dominance enacted in practices, materialized in institutions, and embodied by human subjects (1980, pp. 90-97). At issue for Foucault are not questions regarding who has the power and what their conscious intentions are but, rather, questions concerning where power “installs itself and produces its real effects.” He writes,      42 Let us not, therefore, ask why certain people want to dominate, what they seek, what is their overall strategy. Let us ask instead, how things work at the level of on-going subjugation, at the level of those continuous and uninterrupted processes which subject our bodies, govern our gestures, dictate our behaviours etc. (1980, p. 97).   In contrast to a top down view of power that involves one class exercising power over another (questions of who has power and who does not), Foucault suggests that we think about power as a capillary network of human relationships in which we are all implicated “simultaneously undergoing and exercising power” (1980, p. 98). Analysis of power, then, Foucault argues, need not always proceed from the top down (descending) but also can proceed from bottom up (ascending), starting from its micro-mechanisms: “that is, from its infinitesimal mechanisms, which each have their own history, their own trajectory, their own techniques and tactics” (1980, p. 99). In my genealogical project, I argue that the overcoming narrative functions as such a technique or “micro-mechanism” of power.   What emerges throughout Foucault’s work, then, is a view of power as a diffuse network bound up with the production of knowledge that produces micro effects (in the everyday life and bodies of individuals) and macro effects (for example, in the state, discourse and institutions). The effects of power are both discursive (evident, for instance, in rationalities such as neoliberalism, organizational structures, discourses of the human sciences, and so on) and material (for example, evident in practices, architecture, spatial organization, and the comportment of human bodies). It is significant that Foucault reformulated his earlier work on discourse in order to emphasize the material effects of power (1980, pp. 97-98). Broadly speaking, historically, sovereign power gives way to bio-power (although it is not completely replaced by it). This disciplinary and regulatory power employs an even more general power—  43 that of the norm (1989, p. 197). This is “the point where power reaches into the very grain of individuals, touches their bodies and inserts itself into their actions and attitudes, their discourses, learning processes and everyday lives” (1980, p. 139). This is the point where power reaches into our relationships with ourselves and with others. Forms of Relations to Oneself and Others  I think that if one wants to analyze the genealogy of the subject in Western societies, one has to take into account not only techniques of domination but also techniques of the self. Let’s say one has to take into account the interaction of these two types of techniques (Foucault, 1980; as cited  in Barry, Osborne, & Rose, 1996, p. 20).   The first two discussions above concern games of truth and the connections between the production of knowledge and power relations. This final issue follows from and logically extends the first two.   Foucault asks the question: How can subjects tell the truth about themselves? He began to answer it in The History of Sexuality: Volumes 1-3 and continued his explorations in a public seminar entitled “Technologies of the Self” (Foucault, 1988b). Foucault answers his question in this way: “The subject was able to tell the truth about his insanity [for example], because the structures of the Other allowed him to” (1989, p. 360). Power/knowledge relations and bio-power in this instance, then, create the very conditions for self-recognition.  This form of power that applies itself to immediate everyday life categorizes the individual, marks him by his own individuality, attaches him to his own identity, imposes a law of truth on him that he must recognize and others have to recognize in him. It is a form of power that makes individuals subjects. There are two meanings of the word “subject”: subject to someone else by control and dependence, and tied to his own identity by a conscience of self-knowledge. Both meanings suggest a form of power that subjugates and makes subject to (Foucault, 2000, p. 331).    44 Shelley Tremain puts in this way: “The ‘great complex of normality’ has become the means through which to identify subjects and to make them identify themselves in order to make them governable” (Rajchman, 1991; as cited  in Tremain, 2005, p. 6).  However, with respect to relationship to the self, we arrive at what Foucault describes as “a kind of problematization.” There is an inherent tension that exists between regulation and freedom, between control and autonomy, between power and resistance (Foucault, 1989, p. 420). The problem, as summarized by Nikolas Rose, is: “How free individuals can be governed such that they enact their freedom appropriately” (N. Rose, 1996, p. 138). This is where Foucault brings the question of technologies of the self into the discussion. Some examples Foucault offers are: care of the self and techniques for developing self-knowledge, such as writing, examination of conscience, confession, penance, and self-renunciation (Foucault et al., 1988b). There is a large and growing body of scholarship that examines contemporary examples of technologies of the self, such as the self-esteem discourse (Cruikshank, 1999), narratives of and on the body (Tamboukou, 2008), and the multiple discourses and practices that govern the female body (Reed & Saukko, 2010). These are variously tied to the responsibilization demanded from neo-liberal rationality. Thomas Lemke explains, The strategy of rendering individual subjects ‘responsible’ (and also collectives, such as families, associations, etc.) entails shifting the responsibility for social risks such as illness, unemployment, poverty, etc., and for life in society into the domain for which the individual is responsible and transforming it into a problem of ‘self-care’ (2001, p. 201).   In this way, compulsory heroism can also be understood as a technology of the self, that is, as an internalized micro-mechanism of power that shifts responsibility onto the individual.   45 Implications for Critical Disability Studies   According to Foucault, subjects can tell the truth about themselves largely because there are mechanisms in place that allow them to make sense of themselves and to be recognized by others. Games of truth, relations of power, and technologies of the self regulate what “truth” we are able to speak about ourselves. This means that only certain “truths” spoken from certain individuals can or will be heard or brought into discussion. It also means that our own self-understanding is influenced by these games of truth. We run up against two sides of an ongoing debate and both are important for critical disability studies. The one side validates subjugated knowledges and the other complicates the question of lived experience.   Foucault discusses subjugated knowledges in Lecture One of Two Lectures presented in January 1976 (Foucault, 1980). He is reflecting upon the intellectual climate of the previous 15-20 years and identifies an emerging characteristic of critical thought: what he describes as “an insurrection of subjugated knowledges” (1980, p. 81). By this, Foucault means two things: “the historical contents that have been buried and disguised in a functionalist coherence or formal systemization” and “a whole set of knowledges that have been disqualified” (1980, pp. 81-82); in other words, erudite knowledges that were glossed over and local, popular knowledges that were discounted. The examples Foucault offers of the latter “low-ranking knowledges” include: “that of the psychiatric patient, the ill person, of the nurse, of the doctor . . . of the delinquent etc.,” (1980, p. 82). It is upon these kinds of subjugated knowledges that Foucault bases one definition of genealogy:  Let us give the term genealogy to the union of erudite knowledge and local memories which allows us to establish a historical knowledge of struggles and to make use of this knowledge tactically today (1980, p. 83).     46  Similar to standpoint feminists, within disability studies, there is a strong emphasis on the importance of acknowledging the subjective aspects of oppression, of understanding what it is that people with disability experience as disabling, and of recognizing disability “as a site of embodied revelation” (Hughes, 2007; Snyder & Mitchell, 2006, p. 10; Titchkosky, 2007). Foucault’s concept of subjugated knowledges validates the strategic role that knowledge from the disabled body can play in pointing out the places of struggle and in revealing the sites and effects of power relations. For instance, Foucault explains the benefits of his early scholarship in phenomenological psychiatry. He says that “superb descriptions of madness as unique and incomparable fundamental experiences were important” and that “existential analysis helped us get a grasp on what was heavy and oppressive in the gaze and the knowledge apparatus of academic psychiatry” (2000, pp. 257-258).  Nevertheless, Foucault’s project complicates subjectivity. He asks how it is that we come to understand and govern ourselves in certain ways. For Foucault, our knowledge about our experience and ourselves is contingent and relies upon socially constructed norms, institutions, and a whole web of social practices. Foucault’s point is that “because they [knowledge/power relations] are made, they can be unmade—of course, assuming we know how they were made” (Foucault, 1989, p. 359). The goal of his critique (“the art of not being governed quite so much”) is “de-subjugation” (Foucault, 1997, p. 45). Foucault project is toward opening up a space to be different as a very practice of freedom. As Martin Saar writes, Genealogies in general can be thought of as drastic narratives of the emergence and transformations of forms of subjectivity related to power, told with the intention to induce doubt and self-reflection in exactly those readers whose (collective) history is narrated (Saar, 2002, p. 295).    47  Drawing on feminist critique of experience as site of embodied knowledge, such as that of Joan Scott (1991), Lisa Diedrich notes that experience, for the most part, has been inadequately problematized within disability studies (2005). At issue here, for example, is concern that accounts of the experience of disability, such as memoirs or autobiographies, reproduce games of truth, relations of power, and techniques for governing the self and other. An important ethical dilemma arises; disability scholars caution us that problematizing experience could result in de-legitimizing the knowledge and experience of persons with disability (Hughes, 2005). For me, understanding that we are all situated in this web of power relations, underscores how interconnected we are. It reminds me that all of our theorizing produces real power effects and that the disability movement has not been immune to these (see, for example, Bell, 2006; Corker, 2002). These need to be carefully considered. Building on Foucault, Judith Butler sees our irreducible relationality as part and parcel of the “social conditions of embodiment,” as a state of “primary vulnerability,” of being exposed, of being “given over from the start to the world of others” (Butler, 2004). For me, this is an important foundation for ethics.   With respect to articulating the work the overcoming narrative accomplishes, I am very aware that critique of the overcoming narrative can be read as criticism of those individuals who are inspired by it or who narrate their own experience though it; this would perform an unmistakable violence to those individuals. However, it also must be recognized that the overcoming narrative, itself, does violence. We are all caught in this inescapable web. We are all implicated. We are in it together.     48 Summary   In taking up Foucauldian theory as an instrument for inquiry, I turn to three overlapping domains of genealogy, Foucault’s knowledge-power-subject triad. Regarding games of truth, as an extension of Foucault’s argument, I submit that we have come to know illness-deformity-disability while constituting ourselves as able-bodied subjects. Concerning relations of power, I take up the concepts of disciplinary and biopower and Foucault’s view of power as a web of relationships that produces micro, macro, discursive, and material effects. I argue that the overcoming narrative operates as a micro technology of power producing a “docile” body. Finally, concerning relations to the self and other, I maintain that the overcoming narrative and compulsive heroism can be considered a technology of the self, that is, as an internalized micro-mechanism of power.  In the next chapter, I turn to consider Foucauldian theory in terms of investigation as inquiry.    49 Part Two: Methodologies, Analytic Approaches, and Styles of Genealogy Chapter Three: How I Took Up Foucauldian Genealogy  In the previous chapter, following Foucault’s toolkit view of theory, I discussed Foucauldian theory as an instrument. I examined the kinds of questions Foucault explored in three interconnected domains of genealogy: games of truth, relations of power, and forms of relations to oneself and others. Together, this knowledge/power/subject triad provides a theoretical lens with which to approach genealogy. In this chapter, I turn to the second aspect of Foucault’s toolkit metaphor: theory as an investigation. Concerning theory as an investigation, what Foucault emphasizes is intensive, context specific, historical reflection. Foucault proposes, “What emerges out of this is something one might call a genealogy, or rather a multiplicity of genealogical researches, a painstaking rediscovery of struggles together with the rude memory of their conflicts” (1980, p. 83). The aim of the present chapter is to describe in detail how I took up genealogy. It is not a prescriptive endeavor, but merely a descriptive one to make my process as transparent as possible, to lay bare the limitations of the present study, and to serve as an aid to future researchers.   I begin this chapter with a discussion of four challenges of genealogical research that cannot be under emphasized, specifically, that genealogical research is experimental, incomplete, self-disrupting, and multiple. I then present my approach to data collection (following rabbit trails), outline three analytical approaches to genealogy (Genealogy as Analysis of Lines of Descent [GALD], Genealogy as Analysis of Lines of Emergence [GALE], and Genealogy as   50 Analysis of Counter-Memory [GACoM]), and three styles of genealogy that I employ using these approaches (Snapshot genealogy, SHWU genealogy, and Hotspot genealogies).  Four Challenges of Genealogical Research   The first characteristic of genealogy that is important to understand is that it is exploratory. Foucault viewed his genealogies as a collection of experiments with the dusty grey details found in the historical archive (Tamboukou, 2008). He states, “My work takes place between unfinished abutments and anticipatory strings of dots. I like to open up a space of research, try it out, and then if it doesn’t work, try again somewhere else (Foucault, 2000, p. 223). Martin Saar stresses that genealogical studies are “by their very nature experimental” (Saar, 2008, p. 308). William Walters describes genealogical research as “promiscuous” and exhibiting “a certain creative latitude” (Walters, 2012, p. 123). Research and analysis in genealogy is an iterative process—that is, “a dynamic process of interpretation and reinterpretation” (Carabine, 2001, p. 285). It is an ongoing visiting and revisiting of data, analysis, and theory. I view my genealogical research, both the exploration of the historical archive and analyses, as a series of experiments, as a series of attempts at “uncovering layers” (Tamboukou, 2008) of understanding of the conditions of possibility that allowed the overcoming narrative to be employed in various ways at various sites and with various effects.   That I consider this project to be an experimental series of kicks-at-the-genealogical-can (so to speak) may lead the reader to question whether or not I knew what I was doing! What I discovered about genealogical research is that talking about it (understanding what it is and what it does) and actually doing it are two very different things. Like learning how to swim, it is impossible to learn how to do it by reading books; you have get out there and jump right in. In   51 this paper, then, I share not only what I learned about the changing and ongoing work of the overcoming narrative, but also what I learned about genealogical research. I believe that this is an important methodological contribution that I can make.   Second, genealogies are never completed projects; they always remain unfinished. Maria Tamboukou describes them as “archaeological journeys with no final destinations” (Tamboukou, 2008). This clearly raises questions regarding the scope of any genealogical project. Foucault refers to each of his studies as “fragments” and readily acknowledges that the “corpus of source data” he analyzes is impossible to define exactly (1980, pp. 79, 38). For this reason, Foucault’s critics accuse him of arbitrarily selecting “odd and incomplete” sources and playing “fast and loose” with historical evidence (Poster, 1984 & Megill, 1979; as cited  in Allan, 1996, p. 229). While “cherry picking” is a valid concern (Carabine, 2001), it is important to note that, for Foucault, the purposes of genealogy are very different from those of history. Rather than a search for origins, Foucault emphasizes,  It [genealogy] must record the singularity of events outside of any monotonous finality; it must seek them in the most unpromising places, in what we tend to feel is without history—in sentiments, love, conscience, instincts; it must be sensitive to their recurrence, not in order to trace the gradual curve of their evolution but to isolate the different scenes where they engaged in different roles. Finally, genealogy must define even those instances when they are absent, the moment when they remained unrealized (Foucault, 1984b, p. 76).   Given the vast scope and wide variety of sources that genealogical research requires, genealogies can only ever be partial and incomplete, small pieces of a very large puzzle.   A further difficulty with genealogy, as Margrit Shildrick reminds us, “is not simply that the past can only be known selectively, dependent on what is recorded and preserved, but that we read it through our own representations, our own beliefs and value systems” (2005, p. 758). In   52 challenging the taken-for-granted, genealogy bites back; it shakes up some of the researcher’s own foundations. It is the difficulty researchers face in attempting to analyze discourses while they are fully immersed in them. The “Foucault Effect” (where we no longer know what to do) is unsettling. Critical reflexivity and the value of solid support system cannot be underemphasized.  Fourth, extending the first two points, there is no single, simple way to take up genealogy. Saar asserts,   For Foucault himself, it seems, genealogy comprises several conceptual elements, and it includes various theoretical and practical gestures, and he seemed not to be embarrassed about this fact. So, whatever genealogy turns out to “really” be, it seems to be a multiple or differentiated concept or a multi-layered conceptual practice (Saar, 2002, pp. 231-232).   When it comes down to the actual doing of genealogy, there are no hard-and-fast rules (Carabine, 2001); Foucauldian genealogy is more of a methodological lens than it is a method per se. Indeed, William Walters warns of “the perils of applicationism,” that is, approaching genealogy “as a fixed set of concepts and tools that one simply applies to empirical projects” (Walters, 2012, pp. 110-111). Nevertheless, given the multiple ways genealogy is taken up by researchers, often with little detail of how analysis actually proceeded (possibly to avoid such “applicationism”), as a first-time genealogist, I have found it helpful to categorize my analysis according to the analytical approaches and style of genealogy I employed. One danger I run lays in oversimplifying genealogical analysis. It must be kept in mind that the analytical approaches and styles I describe are only metaphors to help conceptualize and guide analysis. However, the opposite danger lays in leaving analysis in genealogy so messy that it is hard to make your way through it. A balance needs to be walked between these two poles. Before I discuss these   53 metaphors, I would like to provide an overview of my strategy for exploring the historical archive. Exploring The Historical Archive or Data Collection Genealogy as a Nietzschean concept redeployed in Foucault’s work is, put very simply, the art of archival research, the patience to work meticulously with grey dusty documents, looking for insignificant details, bringing into light unthought-of contours of various ways, discourses and practices that human beings have used to make sense of themselves and the world (Tamboukou, 2010, p. 5).  Not an historiographical analysis.    From the outset, I want to underline that, methodologically, for the most part, I treat North America as a unit of analysis because much of the same academic and/or intellectual discourses inform the professional practices of both countries at the specific sites I consider, namely: institutions for education of the deaf and the blind, social work, vocational rehabilitation, medical rehabilitation and charity. My choices of sites reflect the dominance of particular professional discourses/practices at certain times, and I chose examples that I felt best illustrated these discourses/practices.   More specifically, at these historical sites, it should be noted that Canadian professional literatures relied extensively on American literatures. In Canadian histories of the emerging social sciences, such as education, social work, vocational rehabilitation, and medical rehabilitation, as well as Canadian histories of charity and philanthropy, American ideas and personalities figure prominently. While the borders between Canada and the United States resulted in different political and social climates, physical borders were not a barrier to the exchange of intellectual and academic ideas. Canadian reformers and emerging professionals drew heavily from American (and British) initiatives. In other instances, as I will demonstrate,   54 Americans drew upon Canadian initiatives. Marianna Valverde writes, “It is very difficult if not impossible to make any general statements about the specificity of Canadian social reform movements; all that can be said is that the well-educated urban English Canadians who led these movements were definitely learning from English and, increasingly, American sources” (Valverde, 2008, p. 16). Canadian histories, like those mentioned above, took me directly to their American counter-parts.   American historical newspapers provided an initial entry point for investigation because those were the newspapers that were available through the ProQuest database when I began my project six years ago. Methodologically, I was exploring. However, while I began with American newspapers, I did not end there. American newspapers were a launching point. I also explored the Canadian historical newspaper archive, notably: The Toronto Star (TS) and The Globe and Mail (GAM). What I was able to get a glimpse of by examining Canadian newspapers along side the American archive is something of the uneven uptake of the overcoming narrative in North America, more specifically: some of those places where it is absent, those scenes where the overcoming narrative is engaged in different roles, and the conditions of possibility that allowed overcoming stories to emerge in different roles at different sites. I use this comparative example to nuance my analysis and also to illustrate the limitations involved in approaching North America as whole.   Therefore, I want to emphasize that I do not attempt an historiographical analysis of the Canadian experience. My research question is not historiographical. Its central concern is not about the differences between Canada and the United States, in the same way that it cannot speak to regional differences within these countries (all newspapers I survey are from major, urban,   55 English-speaking cities). It also cannot say anything about the overcoming narrative in other parts of the world. This is a clear limitation of the present study. Future research will be necessary to make any historiographical claims. My emphasis is on the changing and ongoing work of the overcoming narrative. Methodologically, in taking up genealogy, my focus is on demonstrating that the overcoming narrative has a history, and that it has been employed in various ways at different times for various ends with differing effects. Following rabbit trails.  The strategy I adopted to explore the historical archive I call “following rabbit trails8.” Other researchers, such as Danielle Peers, describe the strategy more eloquently as “following archival leads” (2015). However, I like the Foucault inspired metaphor. Foucault comments,  “Still I could claim that after all, these were only trails to be followed, it mattered little where they led; indeed it was important that they did not have a predetermined starting point and destination” (Foucault, 1980, p. 79, emphasis mine). The metaphor points towards the experimental nature as well as the challenges of this approach, as I shall discuss shortly.  The scope of my historical survey runs from the mid 1800s to the present. An historian would note that this is hardly a narrow purview. However, my research is exploratory. Therefore, I decided to cast a very wide net. The exploratory nature of my inquiry speaks to one limitation of my study; I approached it like a mining company that takes “samples” of ore in various places in order to decide where to dig deeper. This certainly affects the kinds of claims that I can make and the degree of confidence with which I can make them. My observations are “suggestions,” possibilities that will need further research to confirm, refine or refute.                                                  8 I use this metaphor to emphasize the multiple trails I follow with uncertain ends.   56   I initiated my genealogical inquiry into the overcoming story with ProQuest’s Historical Newspapers online database. I began with historical newspapers for three reasons. First, I reasoned that newspapers would provide a record of events that were considered important (newsworthy) at the time. As a non-historian, I needed a place to start that might also point me in potentially fruitful directions. Second, present-day media has a fondness for the overcoming narrative. I wondered if I might be able to find out something about how and when that attachment developed by exploring early media—newspapers. Third, in terms of the scope of my study, the newspaper archive provides documents that span the entire range of my project.   The newspapers included in the ProQuest database at the time were The New York Times (NYT), The Washington Post (WP), and The Christian Science Monitor (CSM). I employed the following search words to initiate my explorations:   “overcom*”, “overcom* AND handicap” and “overcom* AND disabilit*”  I looked, specifically, for two things: overcoming rhetoric and overcoming narratives. I reasoned that overcoming rhetoric necessarily explicitly uses the language of “overcoming.” Furthermore, while there are undoubtedly redemption stories that do not use the exact expression “overcoming,” I wanted to find stories that unambiguously made use of overcoming rhetoric. While all overcoming stories are redemption stories, not all redemption stories take up the rhetoric of overcoming. Another limitation of my study, then, is that it describes overcoming stories as they expressly take up the term “overcoming.” This strategy certainly leaves historical gaps and may miss important absences or silences in the historical record.     57  Using the results gained from my initial explorations, I extended my inquiry in multiple promising directions. Foucault maintains that genealogy “depends on a vast accumulation of source material” (1984b, p. 76). In describing discourse analysis, Gillian Rose (2007) underlines the importance of widening the “range of archives and sites” after examining preliminary sources. Rose notes a “seeming eclecticism” in the selection of sources, but argues, “This eclecticism is demanded by the intertextuality of discourse” (p. 149). Therefore, as my research progressed, my sources expanded. From items found searching the historical newspapers with the above search words, I followed other leads on the Internet. Those led to new leads and so on. I searched for further information about various prominent people, institutions, organizations, and events. In particular, I looked for original sources (historical documents) and academic references (histories). In these, I continued to search for overcoming rhetoric and overcoming narratives. I stress again, my process was experimental and iterative. I noticed different things on different sweeps through the various sources. I followed hunches, back-tracked to look for answers to questions that arose, and chased the archival trails left by other historians. I recorded references to newspaper items and the trails I followed in word documents as well as in six research journals.  Problems with rabbit trails.  There are two major problems with the “following rabbit trails” strategy. The first is that rabbit trails often do not lead anywhere. The second lies in knowing when to stop. Regarding the former, while some of my explorations undoubtedly led me off on various tangents, I believe that they served a purpose—they helped fill in details of historical context. However, knowing when to stop proved a more difficult problem particularly in an interdisciplinary and exploratory   58 project. Catching a “scent” or sense of a possible lead, curiosity, and the excitement of discovery kept those rabbit trails ever-calling. Moreover, as emphasized earlier, genealogies are never finished projects. William Walters describes them as proceeding with “progressive, but incomplete saturation” (2012, p. 123). Given the parameters of a Ph.D. project, I feel both that I carried out way too much research and, ironically, not enough. After a great deal of wrestling with the matter, I have settled for a breadth of scope, perhaps at the detriment of a deeper or more nuanced analysis. Such is the nature of genealogy; Walters likens it to pointillism in art (2012). I reiterate, future research taken together with many other existing genealogies will be necessary to fill in and/or refine the picture. Moreover, the subjective aspect of following rabbit trails cannot be denied. I followed items that intrigued, confused and seemed promising to me; these cannot help but reflect my own interests and theoretical orientations.    Following the recommendation of Ingólfur Jóhannesson (2010), to aid future researchers, and to unabashedly display the extent and limit of my explorations, at the end of each of my empirical chapters, I will provide a detailed reference list of the historical source material that I drew upon for that chapter. In order to do this, after written correspondence with APA style experts and in consultation with my supervisors, I am adopting an unorthodox mixed reference style. I will use footnotes, for example [1], to indicate references to data (primary) sources and parentheses, for example (So-and-so, 2000), to indicate references to academic studies and all other sources. Three Analytical Approaches to Genealogy  In analyzing the historical documents I found, I employed three analytical approaches to genealogy borrowed from William Walters (2012). In trying to clarify what it is we do when we   59 are doing genealogy, Walters (2012) forwards three complementary “styles” of genealogy, what he calls: GI-Family Tree, Lines of Descent; GII-Counter Memory and Reserialization; and GIII-Retrieval of Forgotten Struggles and Subjugated Knowledges, Lines of Emergence. While fully acknowledging the multiplicity and promiscuity of genealogical research, Walters is attempting to provide a fluid framework for guiding genealogical inquiry.  I have found what Walters calls “styles” of genealogy to be helpful as overall “approaches” for conceptualizing genealogical research and analysis. Therefore, I want to re-name them as such, as analytical “approaches.” Although I do not want to draw too bold a line here, I will use the term “styles” of genealogy to indicate, in more concrete terms, the particular ways that I experimented with genealogy (Snapshot, SHWU and Hotspot genealogies). I will explain these in more detail shortly. Within these “styles” of genealogy, I employ Walters’ analytical “approaches” to one degree or another.  In order to better understand Walters’ approaches, I turn to the sources that undergird his study. Walters draws his ideas concerning GI-Family Tree, Lines of Descent and GIII-Retrieval of Forgotten Struggles and Subjugated Knowledges, Lines of Emergence from Foucault’s essay, “Nietzsche, Genealogy, History” (1984b). Chauncey Colwell’s (1997) article, “Deleuze and Foucault: Series, Event, Genealogy,” informs Walters’ understanding of GII-Counter Memory and Reserialization. As much as I found Walters’ framework to be helpful, I found the serial category names, GI, GII and GIII, to be cumbersome. I kept mixing them up and having to go back to review which approach was which. Further, the numerical category names suggest that there is a particular order in which genealogical analysis should proceed. This is not the case. Therefore, I simplify the category names, give them acronyms as a memory aid, and re-order   60 them for discussion to: Genealogy as Analysis of Lines of Descent (GALD), Genealogy as Analysis of Lines of Emergence (GALE), and Genealogy as Analysis of Counter-Memory (GACoM). Genealogy as analysis of lines of descent (GALD).  In Foucault’s essay, “Nietzsche, Genealogy, History” (1984b), he differentiates two approaches to genealogy (Herkunft–descent and Entstehung–emergence) in order to clarify “the true objective of genealogy” (p. 80). Herkunft expresses the idea of genetic descent (as in lineage, or breeding stock) and, therefore, has been translated in English as “family tree.” As an approach to genealogy, Foucault describes Herkunft (descent) as comparable to the search for, identification of, and sorting out of various “traits,” along with their “accidents,” “minute deviations,” and “complete reversals” (p. 81). Therefore, I have come to understand Foucault’s metaphor to be more like DNA analysis than it is like a family tree; “It seeks the subtle, singular and subindividual marks that might possibly intersect in them to form a network that is difficult to unravel” (Foucault, 1984b, p. 81). Running with the DNA metaphor, genealogy “as an analysis of lines of descent” searches out and indentifies those genes (traits or components) that are not necessarily apparent, traces them to their progenitors, and shows up where they missed a generation, mutated and/or re-emerged in different ways at different times. Concerning genealogy conceptualized as lines of descent, Foucault stresses two points: descent opposes “the erecting of foundations” and “descent attaches itself to the body” (p. 82).   Foucault’s first point draws attention to the role of genealogy as a tool of critique. Rather than envisioning knowledge, practice, or subjectivity as being built-up into a solid foundation, genealogy is an attempt to break up, to shake up, or to challenge those very foundations.   61 Foucault writes, “It disturbs what was previously considered immobile, it fragments what was thought unified; it shows the heterogeneity of what was imagined consistent with itself” (p. 82). Todd May interprets the aim of Herkunft  (descent) without the genetic metaphor as “seeking the separate, dispersed events that have come together in a contingent way to form a particular practice” (2006, p. 66). Rather than consolidating a body of knowledge, a practice, or identity, genealogy as an analysis of lines of descent “denaturalizes what is given to us by analytically decomposing it and exploring through careful descriptive accounts the little lines” that pass through it (Walters, 2012, p. 125).   Foucault’s second point, again holding to the genetic metaphor, is that genealogy as lines of descent reveals itself and is materialized in the body. Foucault affirms, The body—and everything that touches it: diet, climate and soil—is the domain of the Herkunft . . . The body is the inscribed surface of events (traced by language and dissolved by ideas) . . . Genealogy, as an analysis of descent, is thus situated within the articulation of the body and history. Its task is to expose a body totally imprinted by history (1984b, p. 83).  An analysis using GALD, then, investigates the effects of knowledge/power practices on human bodies.  Genealogy as analysis of lines of emergence (GALE).  Foucault defines Entstehung (emergence) in contrast to Herfkunft (descent). I interpret Foucault as suggesting, in a play of words, that if we conceptualize Herfkunft (descent) directionally as downward lines ⇓⇓⇓, we can understand Entstehung (emergence) as “moments of arising” ⇑⇑⇑. The key characteristic of Entstehung (emergence) that Foucault highlights is that these “moments of arising” are places of struggle. Likened to the emergence of a new species, as well as to a collective “uprising,” Entstehung (emergence) involves “the entry of   62 forces,” “the play of dominations,” and places of confrontation. Genealogy as analysis of lines of emergence, then, identifies points of struggle, tension, contradiction, and resistance. It makes discontinuities visible. As Walters (2012) maintains, it is the retrieval of forgotten struggles and subjugated knowledges.   It is noteworthy that Foucault applies genealogy as analysis of lines of emergence to certain sites in particular: to morals, ideals, and metaphysical concepts like “liberty.” Foucault insists that such absolutes “must be made to appear as events on the stage of historical process” (1984b, p. 86). Walters explains, “Whereas metaphysics might insist on the intrinsic virtue (or evil) of the identity, practice or value in question, genealogy as struggle always looks to the underside of these things that appear to us as worthy, valuable and dignified” (p. 133). Walters furthers, “If practices appear to fulfill social functions we should not search for some overarching social logic for explanation, but ask what struggles, what play of domination might have led to such an outcome” (p. 139). This is Genealogy as Analysis of Lines of Emergence (GALE). Genealogy as analysis of counter-memory (GACoM).  In “Nietzsche, Genealogy, History” (1984b), Foucault compares Herkunft–descent and Entstehung–emergence in order to explain how genealogy has very different objectives than history. Similarly, in “Deleuze and Foucault: Series, Event, Genealogy,” Colwell (1997) tries to clarify what genealogy does by contrasting it with the effects of history. Following Said, Colwell argues that memory (and, therefore, history) is political because it determines “what is actively remembered” and “what is effaced or forgotten.” Colwell maintains that history, by repeating “the Same” (that which is purposefully remembered), displaces and covers up other events,   63 knowledges, and perspectives (that which is forcefully forgotten); in doing this, history can be said to solidify power relations. Colwell summarizes this view: History, as opposed to genealogy, is the ordering of events in a single series that repeats those events within narrowly defined limits; it is for all intents and purposes the repetition of the Same. History is a narrative that reduces the problematic nature of the events it addresses to problems that have solutions; solutions that are also repetitions of the Same; solutions that re-impose or attempt to re-impose the values imbedded in a long history of errors. History is the reproduction of a social memory that reproduces the tradition and imbeds it in our psyches, our social relations and our institutions. History actualizes, materializes that tradition (1997, para. 23).   In contrast to history, genealogy pays particular attention to that which is not usually remembered. It looks for that which is forcefully forgotten: the overlooked, discarded or hidden details. Recall that Foucault’s describes subjugated knowledges in much the same way as “the historical contents that have been buried and disguised in a functionalist coherence or formal systemization” and “a whole set of knowledges that have been disqualified” (pp. 81-82). Colwell argues, “If history is the collective memory of a particular social group then genealogy is a counter-memory” (Colwell, 1997, par 2). Genealogy as an analytical strategy of counter-memory can be described as: The attempt to counter-actualize the event, to return, in one form or another, to the virtual structure of the event in order to re-problematize the event. The goal is not to find a new solution, to ‘fix’ history, to offer a better or truer history or account of the past. The goal is to make the problem problematic, to make it a real problem once again, a problem we no longer know the answer to but for which we are compelled to find solutions (1997; par 24).   There is a sense in which all genealogies can be considered strategies of counter-memory. As Walters emphasizes, these three analytic approaches are neither discrete nor systematic. Rather, they are complementary and, in practice, often overlap. They are simply ways of   64 conceptualizing genealogical research and analysis. The following summarizes how I have come to understand and differentiate the three approaches and to employ them in my project.  GALD, GALE and GACoM: Summary and application.  All three analytical approaches attempt to denaturalize taken for granted knowledge and practice, subjects and subjectivities.    Genealogy as an Analysis of Lines of Descent (GALD) does this by tracing the multiple, separate elements that contingently come together to make up “the given.” In this way, that which was thought unified is analytically decomposed. GALD pays particular attention to the effects of assumptions, ideals, and practices on the comportment, discipline, and improvement of human bodies. GALD analysis results in the identification of multiple lines of inquiry (strands, filaments, or fragments) that can be explored further. Each strand can continue to be unwound revealing other strands. The first level of strands I tease out, I explore through my experiments with three styles of genealogy: Snapshot, SHWU and Hotspot genealogies. I will describe these styles in more detail below, but for now I will outline what they are.  First, in the Courage To Come Back Awards, I explore a contemporary manifestation of the overcoming story that I am calling compulsory heroism (Snapshot genealogy). I start in the present in order to develop a detailed picture of the “beast” that has emerged as compulsory heroism. To use the genetic metaphor of GALD, compulsory heroism is the animal whose DNA I am attempting to unravel.  Second, at the level of the words themselves (“overcoming” and “handicap”), I consider how their usage has changed over time. Identifying Shifts in Historical Word Usage (SHWU genealogy) allows me to paint broad brushstrokes that point towards the changing work of   65 overcoming rhetoric and the overcoming narrative. SHWU also reveals traces of past usages (connotations) that continue to exert an influence on their use in the present.  Third, in the newspaper archives, I found clusters of overcoming rhetoric and narratives around certain events, initiatives towards, and characterizations of disability. For lack of a better word, I call these Hotspot genealogies because the number of search results found at each site signaled to me that these were hotspots for further investigation. I consider each hotspot to be another strand in a GALD genealogy. The strands I identify are: early educational institutions for the blind and the deaf, scientific philanthropy in the Progressive Era, reeducation for the returning World War One soldiers, rehabilitation for the returning World War Two soldiers, and large scale fund raising and the rise of the celebrity hero.  Genealogy as Analysis of Lines of Emergence (GALE) challenges the taken for granted by revealing that “the given” was not always “given.” It historicizes knowledge, practice, and subjects by illustrating how they emerged in the very midst of contestation. GALE looks for sites of struggle, tension, contradiction, and resistance. I use the headings “Contradictions or Tensions” and “Resistance” to highlight GALE throughout the analysis in my empirical chapters.   Genealogy as an Analysis of Counter-Memory (GACoM) endeavors to make problems problematic again “by connecting [them] to historical fields that exist outside a particular regime of collective historical memory” (Colwell, 1997). GACoM complements GALE by unearthing subjugated knowledges. However, the main characteristic of GACom is that its focus lies in looking for those sites where problems were made to appear as problems. GACoM is, perhaps, best understood as the overall strategy of my genealogical research. All of my Hotspot genealogies explore social problems as they came to be defined as social problems as well as the   66 knowledge, institutions, and technologies of power that were created in order to address those problems. Chapter Six examines early (pre-1900) institutions for the education of the “afflicted classes”; Chapter Seven looks at Progressive Era reforms for the “defective, dependent and delinquent classes”; Chapter Eight investigates the reeducation of “war cripples”; Chapter Nine considers rehabilitation for “the handicapped”; and Chapter Ten explores the philanthropy of mass giving as it emerged in response to the problems of the previous chapters and culminated in the figure of the overcoming hero (compulsory heroism). In each strand, I look at the changing and ongoing work of overcoming rhetoric and the overcoming narrative in defining and addressing these problems.  I will now discuss the styles of genealogy that I employed in greater detail. Three Styles of Genealogy  GALD, GALE and GACoM, as detailed above, are approaches that help me to conceptualize genealogical analysis. They provide a very fluid analytical framework. The styles I outline here are the names that I give my genealogical experiments. They reflect my own “style” and, perhaps even, the idiosyncrasy of this work. Each can be considered as a separate line of inquiry (a strand using the GALD metaphor) and each puts a name to the mental pictures that I worked from. The three styles of genealogy I employ are: Snapshot, SHWU and Hotspot genealogies.  Snapshot genealogy: The Courage to Come Back Awards.  I borrow the idea of  “Snapshot” genealogy from Jean Carabine (2001). She states that she takes up Foucauldian genealogical analyses on two levels: “tracing the history” of a discourse and as a “snapshot of a particular moment” (Carabine, 2001, p. 280). The first level,   67 Carabine acknowledges, “is nearer to Foucault’s original intentions for genealogy”; that is, it traces struggles, strategies, tactics, power/knowledge relationships, continuities, or discontinuities over a certain period of time. At issue is not a search for origins, but rather, questions about how certain concepts or subjects come to be constituted in various ways and with various effects. The second level, Snapshot genealogy, asks the same questions but concerning a specific issue at a particular time and location. Then, broadening the inquiry, historical research is used along side the Snapshot approach. Carabine notes that Snapshot genealogies can serve as stand alone projects and/or they can inform historical genealogies that are much broader in scope. Carabine employs “Snapshot” genealogies to examine the British Parliament’s 1884 New Poor Law and, in a more contemporary context, the “constructions of teenage pregnancy” in the British government’s 1999 “Social Exclusion Report on Teenage Pregnancy” (Carabine, 2001, p. 280).  When I began this project, I considered the Courage to Come Back Awards, the contemporary site that had sparked my interest in examining the work of the overcoming narrative, to be my primary research site. I set out to undertake a Snapshot genealogy of the awards and I understood historical research as mainly providing context for analysis for the contemporary “Snapshot” site. However, my historical explorations quickly led me to de-centre the contemporary site. Instead of seeing the Courage to Come Back Awards as the focus of my project, I began to understand the overcoming narratives generated by the Courage to Come Back Awards as more recent manifestations of the overcoming narrative amidst a very long line of incarnations. In essence, I experienced the Foucault Effect, that monumental shift when the present is bumped into genealogical perspective.    68  Returning to the metaphor of Snapshot genealogy, I found the visual image of a camera taking a photograph to be helpful. Departing slightly from Carabine, I employ the snapshot metaphor to suggest the capturing of a more contemporary picture using more current source material. Snapshot genealogy allows me to present a detailed picture of a present-day manifestation of the overcoming narrative (compulsory heroism) at a particular site (inspiration-based fund raisers) within a particular historical context. Although Snapshot genealogy begins with thick description, it continues analysis posing the same questions and using the same analytical approaches used in genealogies with a much wider scope. Snapshot genealogy builds up a picture of a particular location at a particular time (in this case, the most current site among Foucault’s “anticipatory string of dots”). As a point of comparison, this detailed picture can be used to identify traits passed on in lines of descent; to search for struggles, contradiction, or tension that point to lines of emergence; and to re-problematize problems in order to generate counter-memory. Again, analysis is iterative. Some of the “traits” only become clear after analysis of other sites, that is, in looking across the “anticipatory string of dots.”  I will pick up some of these strands for discussion in Chapter Eleven.  Nevertheless, GALE and GACoM analysis within this Snapshot genealogy led me to identify three central tensions or contradictions that illustrate the work of compulsory heroism. First, personal stories are made public and presented as transparent, first person narratives (for example, “Lori’s story) but, are, in fact, heavily mediated accounts. The presentation of narratives as transparent accounts obscures their work as fund raising tools, essentially, as a manipulative means to get people to open up their checkbooks. At this very practical level, the problem the overcoming narrative ameliorates is a shortage of operating funds.   69  Second, the narratives recount and rely upon a series of decidedly negative life events at the same time that they demand their central characters to remain positive (“mandatory optimism”). From this perspective, the problem overcoming stories address is that of social disadvantage and inequity. The mandatory optimism central to compulsory heroism keeps the onus for social change on the individual. This depoliticizes the issues and operates as a micro technology of power disciplining individuals and normalizing difference.  Third, the narratives are characterized by an ambiguous relationship to medical authority and expertise. From this angle, the problem the overcoming narrative relieves is more of an existential one. As a dividing practice, the overcoming narrative separates “us” from “them.” This process of disavowal allows “us” to reaffirm “our” able-bodied status and cast the specter of human vulnerability onto the “Other.” SHWU genealogy: Shifts in historic word usage.  If snapshot genealogy helps to create a detailed picture of a contemporary site (the most recent in a string of dots), SHWU genealogy can be understood as painting broad brushstrokes that help sketch out or “anticipate” other dots in the string.   I drew the idea of SHWU genealogy from Nancy Fraser and Linda Gordon’s (1994) genealogy of dependency. They state their rationale in this way: “By charting some major historical shifts in the usage of this term, we will excavate some of the tacit assumptions and connotations that it still carries today but that usually go without saying” (p. 310). As a mnemonic device, I give this style of genealogy the acronym SHWU (Shifts in Historic Word Usage). “By contrasting present meanings [of dependency] with past meanings,” Fraser and   70 Gordon aimed “to defamiliarize taken-for-granted beliefs in order to render them susceptible to critique and to illuminate present-day conflicts” (pp. 310-311).  For me, SHWU genealogy served as a preliminary line of inquiry at the level of the words themselves. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is a historical dictionary devoted to cataloguing examples of the changing meanings and uses of word over time. Using the OED as a point of reference and examining the search results for the keywords “overcoming handicap” or “overcoming disability” in the historical archive, I was able to chart four key shifts in word usage of the expression “overcoming handicap.”   First, the term “overcoming” moved away from its entanglement with Protestant Christianity and connotations of being in need of redemption. Second, the usage of “overcoming” to mean recovery of health has largely been lost today, but was significant in the early 1900s. Third, over the years, there is decreasing usage of “overcoming” as a passive construction (to be overcome by or with something) and increasing usage of “overcoming” as an active construction (to overcome something). Fourth, usage of the term “handicap” has made a dramatic shift away from the idea of creating an even playing field toward that of handicap being equated with disadvantage.    Shifts in word usage may reflect larger shifts in the social and intellectual fabric of society. They may suggest places of struggle, or highlight problems that are coming to the fore. SHWU genealogy seeks to identify major shifts in word usage and then asks if these shifts point towards something deeper. Indeed, the literature of early institutions for the blind, in particular, can be characterized by their usage of the term “overcoming” entangled with the religious reasoning of Protestant Christianity. In the Progressive Era, however, the religious meanings   71 largely fade and are replaced with the recovery of health meaning of “overcoming.” This shift mirrors the move, in the Progressive Era, away from charity and towards scientific philanthropy. Recognizing this shift, early in my analysis, helped me to narrow in on the Progressive Era as a site for further inquiry. Similarly, the shift in the usage of the term handicap at the very time that rehabilitation was emerging drew my attention towards rehabilitation. The shift towards the more active use of “overcoming” suggested to me, that “overcoming” was becoming more and more not only an achievable goal, but also an active duty or expectation. This shift became more apparent as rehabilitation gained status prompting me to ask what different kinds of work overcoming rhetoric and narratives were doing in the rehabilitation literature.  I turn now to a discussion of hotspot genealogy. Hotspot genealogy.  While Snapshot genealogy helps capture a detailed picture of a contemporary site and SHWU genealogy suggests possible sites for further inquiry, Hotspot genealogy, perhaps the most idiosyncratic of the three, describes a way to identify genealogical strands for further exploration (see Figure 1). “Hotspots” are how I describe the clusters of search results that I found in the historical newspaper archive around certain events and initiatives towards and characterizations of disability. Each cluster pointed toward a “hotspot” for exploration. To reiterate these hotspots, they are: pre-1900 (educational institutions for the blind and the deaf, “the afflicted”), the Progressive Era (scientific philanthropy, “the defective, dependent and delinquent classes”), the returning World War One soldiers (“reeducation,” the war and industrial “cripples”), the returning World War Two soldiers (rehabilitation, “the handicapped”) and, more recently, the rise of the celebrity hero (large scale fund raising, “the overcomer”).    72  For each of these hotspots, I launched into a more directed exploration of the historical archive. One result of genealogical research covering a span of over 150 years is that my analysis is far from even. I followed uneven archival trails from many sources (historical newspapers, academic histories, and internet sources: archival and contemporary), and I chose those items that most puzzled and intrigued me. I explored. I looked for overcoming rhetoric and overcoming narratives. I asked what were the conditions of possibility that allowed these stories to emerge in different roles at different times. By comparing various sites and sources, I looked for absences and silences. I looked for the work the overcoming narrative accomplished by way of its implicit and explicit tensions and contradictions. I looked for resistance and struggle. I asked what kinds of problems, what kinds of knowledge and practices, subjects and subjectivies, and/or social and material conditions were being produced. I did not find answers for all of these for every chapter. Many times I discovered things that I did not anticipate. For instance, I was surprised by certain absences of overcoming rhetoric as well as abundances, by connections that I had not considered before, and by conflicts and struggles that I had not realized had such long histories.   Before, I conclude this chapter, I want to emphasize, as Margrit Shildrick warns, that the division between these events, initiative towards and characterizations of disability are not “clear-cut and unambiguous”: It is, rather, as Foucault might have put it, a history of mentalities, in which there have been multiple shifts and reversals in how disability is defined and perceived. But where Foucault has been read as over determining the discontinuities between paradigms, it is important to acknowledge that successive trends do not simply supersede what has gone before. Although significant developments and transformations occur in the dominant discourse itself, there is never a single discourse at work, but, as Foucault recognized, a complex mix of interwoven ideas and beliefs that belies the notion of periodization (2005, pp. 757-758).    73 Indeed much of the tension and conflict I examine arises because ideas and beliefs from previous paradigms continue even though a different set of ideas and beliefs are propagated.                                                                                                                                                                                              Figure 1.  Styles of Genealogy  SHWU Genealogy: level of WORDS, points to possible lines of inquiry  Hotspot Genealogy: one way to identify strands for further GALD, GALE  and GACoM analysis. Snapshot Genealogy: a contemporary site, thick description, plus GALD, GALE and GACoM for iterative analysis.   74  Eight empirical chapters make up the next section of my thesis. In Chapters Four and Five, I present Snapshot and SHWU genealogies respectively. In Chapters Six through Ten, my Hotspot genealogies, I explore how institutions for persons with disability, Progressive Era reformers, emerging rehabilitation professionals and fund raising collectives have come to employ overcoming in different ways: as religious rhetoric, as morality tales, as tools of persuasion, as success stories and, finally, in its present form as compulsory heroism. In Chapter Eleven, I return to the concepts that inform my project in critical disability studies and Foucauldian theory to direct my analysis across genealogies.      75 Part Three: Genealogies Chapter Four: A Snapshot Genealogy of the Courage To Come Back Awards  Snapshot genealogy is the name I give my examination of the Courage to Come Back Awards—a contemporary manifestation of the overcoming narrative. To provide context for analysis of the contemporary site, this chapter begins with a brief overview of awards presented to persons with disability for overcoming in the historical newspaper archive. I then consider the range of gala inspirational awards fundraising events that have emerged in Canada over the last twenty years. I contrast the Coast Mental Health Foundation’s Courage to Come Back Awards (Vancouver) with their progenitor, the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health’s Courage to Come Back Awards (Toronto). I provide thick description of mediations of the CTCB Awards and identify three central tensions or contradictions that the Courage to Come Back stories mobilize. I discuss these tensions and explore how they illuminate the work of compulsory heroism.  Historical Context  The first reference I found in the historical newspaper archive to an award given to a person with disability for overcoming is in a 1931 New York Times article (April 16, 1931, p. 16)[1]. The piece offers a brief history of the American Red Cross Institute for the Crippled and Disabled (an organization that I will discuss again in Chapter Eight) and reports on the institute’s annual graduation exercises. The tone for the day was set by one Dr. Wilbur in his address to graduating students: “Dr. Wilbur praised the students because ‘[they had] learned to work instead of whine,’ and said that educators had found that more and more the ‘spirit back of the whole   76 thing is what counts.’” Among the awards presented, the Henry Pomeroy Davison Memorial Prize, for “the pupil who has shown unusual courage and persistence in overcoming his handicap,” was awarded to John McTigue “in recognition of his manly efforts to overcome the effects of early neglect.” For more than twenty-five years thereafter, awards presented by the Red Cross Institute would continue to be reported in The New York Times. Future awards (all named after men) would include: the John H. Finley Memorial Prize, “for courage and perseverance displayed in overcoming the handicap of severe motor disability and learning to walk”; the John Magee Ellsworth Memorial Prize, “for courage and carry-on spirit in overcoming handicaps and difficulties”; the Louis Morris Starr Memorial Prize, for an individual “who has overcome severe handicaps, physical and otherwise, and has thus opened the pathway toward self-support and a broader life” (NYT, April 29, 1944, p. 16)[2]; and the Col. Howard A. Rusk Prize, “for courage and perseverance displayed by a veteran of World War II in overcoming the handicap of severe motor disability” (NYT, May 28, 1947, p. 10)[3]. The Men’s League in Aid of Crippled Children followed the Red Cross Institute’s example in 1941 creating the Alfred E. Smith Scholarship designed to “encourage all crippled persons to greater achievement” (NYT, June 10, 1942, p. 23)[4]. As I will demonstrate in later chapters, awards such as these articulated the rehabilitative ideal, encouraged and rewarded compliance, shaped behaviour, and imbued certain traits above others (courage and perseverance) with particular value. The publication of award ceremonies in newspapers reinforced these ideals in the broader public.  The President’s Committee on Employment of the Handicapped (PCEH) established a noteworthy award in 1951: The President’s Trophy. Since then, in conjunction with the PCEH   77 annual meeting, the trophy is presented to the “Handicapped American of the Year.” The New York Times reports that Vice President Humphrey “bestowed” the award in 1966. Humphrey lauds “handicapped Americans for overcoming obstacles” (Apr 29, p. 26)[5].  The first inspirational-awards-type benefit dinner that I found in The New York Times was held in 1981: the first annual Tikvah Award Benefit for the Tikvah Institute for Childhood Learning Disabilities (July 22, 1981, B20)[6]. “Tikvah” means hope in Hebrew. The Overcomer Award was presented to track and field star Bruce Jenner who “displayed the same determined effort in overcoming his reading problems as he had in honing his athletic prowess.” Organizers of the benefit hoped that Jenner would “serve as an inspiration to adult philanthropists as well as to children with learning problems.” The article reports that the event was being held to raise enough funds for the small school to stay afloat.  In my research journal, I had noted that the overcoming narrative might have resonances with Horatio Alger’s rags-to-riches juvenile fiction books that were widely popular towards the end of the nineteenth century. I was intrigued, then, to find reference to the Alger Awards sponsored by the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans (NYT, Jan 16, 1992, B7)[7]. The by-line reads: “Honoring Dr. King’s memory by Celebrating Excellence. Alger Awards will Recognize 10 People Who Have Realized the American Dream.” The awards were established “to motivate young people to strive against adversity.” The article continues, “This year’s winners have overcome tremendous adversity, providing living proof that our free-enterprise system still offers opportunity to all.” The article fascinates me: “Overcoming adversity” is expressly tied to the free market and the American Dream, and it employs the same logical fallacy (faulty generalization) that I discuss with respect to the success stories post World   78 War Two. Further, the association of “overcoming adversity” with Martin Luther King Junior’s fight against racial injustice, casts systemic racism as adversity to be overcome by the individual. Clearly, the Alger Awards support a neoliberal view of the economy and depoliticize the struggle against racism.  The Horatio Alger Association of Canada (affiliated with the American Association) was founded in 2009 and is “dedicated to the belief that hard work, honesty, and determination can conquer all obstacles” (Horatio Alger Association Canada, 2016). The association awards $650,000 in scholarships annually. Notable members include: Wayne Gretzky, the Right Honorable Brian Mulroney, and Jim Pattison, the richest man in Canada. The Horatio Alger Jim Pattison British Columbia Scholarship Program began in 2013 and annually awards twenty $5,000 scholarships to graduating high school students who “demonstrate financial need, have overcome adversity, and are involved in their communities.”  The first inspirational-awards-type gala fundraiser that I found reference to in Canada is the Transforming Lives Awards: one of three fundraising events held bi-annually by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Foundation in Toronto, Ontario. At their inception in 1993, these awards were originally also called the Courage to Come Back Awards. The name was changed in 2008 to the Transforming Lives Awards as part of an ambitious campaign to raise $100 million for a new Queen Street mental health facility. Three years later, a CAMH Transforming Lives campaign report celebrates the extraordinary achievement of that goal [8]. CAMH Foundation chair and president enthuse, “the Transforming Lives Campaign remains, to the best of our knowledge, the largest hospital fundraising campaign for mental illness and addiction in the world.” The financial success of the original Courage to Come Back Awards in a   79 climate of deep cuts in government funding inspired other Canadian mental health related organizations to launch similar campaigns including: the Courage to Come Back Awards (Coast Mental Health Foundation in 1999)[9]; the Inspiration Awards (Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health in 2004)[10]; and the Hero, Hope and Heart Inspiration Awards (Mood Disorders Association of Ontario in 2006)[11].   In the last twenty years, across Canada, many other organizations have established their own inspirational awards fundraising galas. Some examples include: the Indspire Awards celebrating aboriginal achievement (1993)[12]; the AccolAIDS Awards celebrating heroes in the BC HIV or AIDS movement (2002)[13]; the LGBTQ community of Toronto’s Inspire Awards (2011)[14]; Albert Human Services’ Inspiration Awards “celebrating remarkable Albertans who have dedicated their time and energy to ending family violence, sexual violence, child sexual abuse and bullying” (2012)[15]; and FamilySOS Halifax’ Courage to Give Back Awards (2014)[16].   There are two notable differences between the Transforming Lives Awards and the Coast Mental Health Foundation Courage to Come Back Awards (CTCB). First, the Transforming Lives Awards have kept their focus on mental health; they are presented to people with mental illness and addiction, or to individuals who have made significant contributions to the cause in research, in volunteer activity, or in the political arena. However, the Coast Mental Health Foundation CTCB Awards include the following categories: Mental Health, Addiction, Medical, Physical Rehabilitation, Social Adversity, and Youth. In part, this reflects a major goal of the CTCB campaign: “to increase understanding that mental illness is just that, an illness, and that those who suffer from it should be treated with no less respect than people who suffer an   80 accident or a more obvious disease” (On the Coast, Summer, 2004, p.1)[17].   In this regard, it is noteworthy that the CTCB award categories are neither discrete nor mutually exclusive. Mental Health, Addiction and Social Adversity related issues can often be concurrent or overlapping and mental health concerns are relevant in any category. Those classified in the Medical category may need physical rehabilitation and those placed in the Physical Rehabilitation category undoubtedly require medical care. Individuals in the Youth category could be placed in any of the above if they were under the age of 22.   Nevertheless, I consider two categories particularly problematic: Youth and Social Adversity. I believe both of these categories point towards the social and political work of the CTCB Awards. The 2012 nomination brochure describes them this way [18]: Youth: A young person, under the age of 22 years as of December 31, 2012, who has demonstrated inspirational achievements overcoming illness, injury, addiction, or social adversity, and who has given back to his or her community.  Social Adversity: A person who has demonstrated inspirational achievements in the face of discrimination, abuse, poverty, or other significant adversity, and who has given back to his or her community. (In the case of new British Columbians, it may be the result of political upheaval or war experienced before settling here.)   The Youth category was an afterthought added for the second CTCB Awards in 2000. It is not a stretch to assume that the rationale was to stimulate donations; the use of children has proved to be a reliable fund raising strategy. Although the category includes youth up to 22, only two (2007 and 2012) out of all of the winners in the Youth category had reached the age of majority in British Columbia at the time they received the awards. The youngest winners were still in public school (2006 and 2010).   The Social Adversity category began as “Economic Adversity” in 1999, was changed to “Social and Economic Adversity” in 2002, and became “Social Adversity” in 2006. In terms of   81 descriptive statistics, 67% of award winners overall are women. However, the Economic or Social Adversity category features a disproportionate number of women (92%). From 1999-2012, there are twelve award winners in this category, only one of which is male. A closer look at award winners in the Social Adversity category reveals an even more troubling picture. In the twelve award winner narratives, all of them describe physical and/or sexual abuse. Eight individuals are identified by race (five aboriginal, two East Asian and one as ‘migrant’); and six have experienced some kind of institutionalization (Woodlands, Alberta Institute for Girls, Residential School or prison). Six are described as having drug or alcohol addiction, three as having a medical condition, and one as a person with an intellectual disability (“labeled a low moron”). Nine are characterized as having grown up in “poverty” or “extreme poverty” and eight raised their children as single mothers. These are narratives of abuse, institutionalization, addiction, disability, and poverty. Clearly, the category “social adversity” glosses over very complex social issues. There are times that even the words choices seem glib. Consider for example, this regarding the 2003 winner (emphasis mine): “As for the whole residential school thing, it’s made her who she is, and she’s proud of who she is.”   The second way the Transforming Lives Awards differ from the Coast Mental Health Foundation CTCB Awards is that the language used to describe the Transforming Lives Awards changes over the years to reflect an awareness of the politics of language and the concerns of mental health consumers. Not only has the problematic name of the awards been changed9, but consider the ongoing refinement in statements describing the awards (my emphases):                                                 9 “The expression “come back” is problematic in a number of ways. It implies that someone has left. This positions geographies of rehabilitation “outside” of “normal life” (much like prisons do). Moreover, one can never go “back”; there is only forward. Nostalgia for an earlier time in life can hinder the process of carrying on in new ways.” (DeVolder, 2013)   82 2008 Inspiring Canadians honoured for overcoming mental illness or addiction  and using their experiences to help others [19].  2010 Honoured five remarkable individuals who are courageously living with  mental illness and/or addiction, and who now serve as models of hope and  inspiration to others [20].  2011 Highlight the achievements of extraordinary people living with mental  illness or addictions who now serve as models of hope and inspiration to  others. [Honouring] . . . individuals for their courage and strength in  overcoming serious mental health challenges [21].  2012 Honours extraordinary people who have overcome or are overcoming the  challenges of living with mental illness and/or addiction and now serve as  models of hope and inspiration to others [22].  2014 Honoured extraordinary individuals, who face their personal mental  illness and addiction challenges with dignity and perseverance. By sharing  their stories—their own remarkable personal breakthroughs—with the  community, award winners and nominees alike help break down the  stigma that surrounds mental illness and addiction. By celebrating their  courage, we join them in this effort [23].  2016 Celebrated five extraordinary people who face mental illness and  addiction with dignity and perseverance. We heard personal stories of  triumph and were motivated to become agents of social change [24].  Although the distinctions may seem small between honouring or celebrating “Canadians,” “individuals,” “people,” or “the achievements of people” (a shift from collective national identity, to the atomistic individual, to an emphasis on personhood, to the accomplishments of that person) who are inspiring and who “have overcome,” “courageously live with,” “are overcoming,” or “face” (a shift from a completed state, to an ongoing internal process, to an ongoing process somewhat removed from the person) mental illness and/or its “challenges” (a shift that hints, perhaps, that there may be elements of mental illness that are not negative or challenging), they indicate that the organization is wrestling with the politics of language and its effects upon the people they serve. Overall, there is a shift from the language of inspiration to   83 one of motivation for social change. Moreover, the CAMH has attempted to move away from overcoming rhetoric. For instance, in the 2016 Transforming Lives Award stories, overcoming rhetoric is largely absent. In contrast, over the years Coast Mental Health has redesigned the look of the CTCB website, but its language has remained the same. Their 2016 website states that each year Coast Mental Health: Hosts this coveted awards gala, an inspirational evening to recognize six truly remarkable British Columbians—their courage to overcome serious adversity, change their lives for the better, and move forward to help others do the same. The Courage to Come Back Awards  The Courage to Come Back Awards is one of two yearly events held by the Coast Mental Health Foundation—a registered charity and the fund raising arm of Coast Mental Health situated in the greater Vancouver region of British Columbia. While planning for the first Courage to Come Back Awards event began in 1997 and the first awards dinner was held in 1999, “aggressive fundraising efforts” by Coast Mental Health did not begin until 2000 (Annual Report, 2000, p. 8)[26]. The crisis of “inadequate government funding” led the Board of Directors to seek outside expertise and to employ the services of Compton International Fundraising. The CTCB Awards gala was forwarded as one of four “Courage”-themed fundraising initiatives including: the Circle of Courage (Annual Fund Campaign), the Legacy of Courage (Endowment Fund Campaign), the Foundation of Courage (Capital Campaign for the Mental Health Resource Centre), and the Courage To Come Back Awards dinner. Other fundraising efforts included the sale of Holiday Cards and the publication of the Courage to Come Back stories in the book Heroes Next Door.    84  In 2000, four goals for the CTCB Awards were forwarded: “(a) to celebrate the success of people who have the courage to come back from adversity and to publicize their accomplishment; (b) to raise the profile of the excellent work that Coast and its staff engage in; (c) to make friends with influential people; and (d) to generate funds” (Coast, AR, 2000, p. 11)[27]. The following year, item (c) was removed from the list. In 2001, the Coast Mental Health Foundation was founded to take on fundraising in earnest. The 2003 Annual Report summarizes the achievements of the CTCB Awards: This high profile public awareness and fundraising campaign has successfully linked Coast to key members of the corporate and philanthropic community. Through these linkages Coast has achieved an enhanced status in British Columbia and has received increased revenue generation (p. 3)[28].  From 2004-2016, each successive CTCB Awards dinner was reported to be the more successful than previous years.   The first gala event was held in 1999 raising $14,000 with 200 people in attendance. The most recent took place on May 16, 2017 raising a record $1.63 million with an audience of over 1,500. For the past 19 years, a growing number of the Who’s-Who of the business, media, and political elite of British Columbia, Canada have participated including: Olympic athlete Silken Laumann; Global TV’s Deborah Hope and Jill Krop; past mayor of Vancouver, Sam Sullivan; past premier of British Columbia, Gordon Campbell; Minister of Housing and Social Development, Rich Coleman; and Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, the Honourable Judith Guichon. At last year’s 2016 event, Minister of Health, Terry Lake created a newsworthy moment “donating $100,000 from the Province on behalf of Premier Christy Clark and Minister of Finance, Mike de Jong” (CMH, 2016)[29]. Corporate, media and government partners and sponsors over the years include: Scotiabank, Wimbleton Financial Services, Weyerhaeuser,   85 Great-West Life Assurance Company, Hub International, Richie Brothers, Global Television, The Province, News 1130, Fairchild Media Group, Grey Worldwide Northwest, BC Housing, and BC Business.   The sheer number of individuals or parties involved in the production, reproduction, and reception of the Courage to Come Back Awards is important to note. There are: the individuals who receive the award, the hundreds of nominees each year, the nominators (family, friends, colleagues), the people serving on the Awards Committees, corporate sponsors, public officials, charitable donors, audience members, volunteers, media representatives, media consumers, the Coast Mental Health Foundation board, the Coast Mental Health staff and administration, and the individuals who receive services from Coast Mental Health. Each individual or party involved has their own interests and investments in the awards. They serve in many roles, for instance as: projects for promoting awareness, “fund-raising ventures, marketing enterprises, sites of consumption, collective experience, pedagogical tools and technologies of power” (King, 2010, p. 89). The following are examples of statements made by variety of participants:  Award Winner I experienced something very powerful, magical, and uplifting on Thursday May 17th, when I was presented with The Courage to Come Back Award in the physical rehabilitation category. This award gives me the drive, focus, determination, to give 120% to my rehab, whether it be improving my speech, or improving my walking ability, step by step, so that I may return to a more “normal” way of life amongst my family, my children. I am so proud to receive this award [30].  Corporate Sponsor Our organization is as much about giving back to the communities we operate in as it is in ensuring a healthy financial performance. It is part of our corporate DNA. However, we don’t have the type of adversity to contend with that these very brave individuals have overcome. They show the best of the human spirit and inspire all of us. Coast Mental Health is to be commended for the tremendous work that they do—the organization is inspirational in itself in how it helps so   86 many people whom society isn’t always willing to acknowledge or help. It was our privilege to recognize their great work in our community (On the Coast, Summer, 2010, p. 3)[31].  Donor Coast is the perfect example of a rare but effective public or private partnership in health care (On the Coast, Fall, 2005, p. 1)[32].  Audience Member Everyone should attend the Courage To Come Back Awards as a requirement of being human (CMH, 2016)[33].  Volunteer on Nomination Committee This was an incredibly moving experience for me and I felt very privileged to be able to read the stories of the nominees, understand the nature of their hardships and witness how they had triumphed over such unfathomable challenges. The experience was inspirational and reinforced the power of the human spirit, the capacity to overcome adversity and bring meaning to one’s life through giving back to others even in the face of unbelievable odds. It also reinforced to me how lucky my family and I had been and how we have a responsibility to give back because of that good fortune particularly when others who have been much less fortunate, have given back so much (On the Coast, Summer, 2010, p. 3)[34].  Mental Health Consumer  During the presentation I couldn’t help tears coming to my eyes. As two young girls from a Coast apartment at our table kept wiping their eyes so much, someone offered those Kleenexes. While we were getting ready to go home, a friend said, “I feel so ashamed of myself for complaining often! Compared with those Award winners, I’m so fortunate. I have nothing to complain about.” It was the exact sentiment I felt. Everyone else who was present felt the same way I am sure. One of the staff mentioned, “I won’t be able to sleep for a long time tonight as I think back on what I just witnessed.” Although my lot is so much easier and lighter, I’m compelled to follow the 2003 Awards winners’ footsteps of conquering setbacks, climbing higher and higher, achieving, still achieving without complaints but with cheerfulness and resolution (On the Coast, Spring, 2003, p. 8)[35].  Award winners gain recognition and cultural capital; corporate sponsors gain a positive reputation in the community; donors and volunteers develop a sense of community and feel that they are making a contribution to society; and participants, overall, gain a deeper recognition of   87 their own good fortune. (I will speak to this later, but note how pervasive a “we/them” opposition is established in the statements.)  Further, as part of this discussion concerning the various interests served by the CTCB Awards, I would like to briefly highlight three significant connections between the overcoming narrative and gender10.   First, while it may surprise many today, it is not that long ago that womanhood itself was explicitly framed as a disability to be overcome. Feminist disability scholars, such as Rosemary Garland-Thomson, point out the multiple ways that characterizations of femininity and disability have been, historically, entwined (2001). Consider this comment from The New York Times (Jan 5, 1928)[36]: “The resource which a determined and robust woman can display in overcoming the disabilities of sex is instanced strikingly by the career of Christian Davies.” It is important to note that the phrase “disabilities of sex” is not being used metaphorically here. It describes a disadvantage or an uneven playing field. A similar construction can be found for race (“disabilities suffered by the colored race”) (NYT, April 13, 1882)[37].  Second, in Western disability histories, two broad institutions feature prominently: charity and rehabilitation (Longmore & Umansky, 2001; Stiker, 1999). Women are implicated in both. As Chapter Seven illustrates, the philanthropic volunteerism of women paved the way for their entrance into public and political arenas (see, for example, McCarthy, 2003). Further, it was through the subsequent professionalization of these helping activities that women gained unprecedented access to the labour market (James, 2001; Maurutto, 2004). Beverley Skeggs (2004) and Anne McClintock (1995), among others (see, for example, Thobani, 2007), contend                                                 10 The following three paragraphs were published in DeVolder, 2013. See Preface.   88 that the upward mobility and respectability of middle-class women was obtained by positioning themselves as the benevolent helpers of marginalized Others. The overcoming narrative as taken up in the context of the CTCB Awards, a charitable fundraiser for a rehabilitation-oriented organization, is fundamentally entangled in this history. Not only are the majority of CTCB volunteers women, but the majority of the award winners are also women.   Third, in the CTCB Awards, overcoming status is achieved by the performance (and, perhaps even, hyper-performance) of “normal” gender and social roles. For women winners, this can be described as “the tightly controlled performance of able-bodied middle-class respectable femininity”—an ableist, raced, classed, heteronormative, and gendered position (Soldatic & Meekosha, 2012, p. 148). Contradictions or Tensions   One way the work of the overcoming narrative can be examined is through the contradictions, tensions and paradoxes within the stories themselves. Lisa Blackman asserts, “discourses are inherently dilemmatic . . . speaking to each other most visibly at their moments of disavowal or denial” (2010, p. 25). I identify three essential and interrelated contradictions that reflect the work accomplished by compulsory heroism. First, in a requisite spectacle, the stories are forwarded as the public presentation of transparent, first hand narratives (for example, “Lori’s story”), but are, in fact, heavily mediated accounts. Second, the narratives recount and rely upon a series of decidedly negative life events at the same time that they demand their central characters to remain positive (“mandatory optimism”). Third, the narratives are characterized by an ambiguous relationship to medical authority and expertise.    89 The performance of an ostensibly authentic narrative.  The winner narratives in the CTCB Awards are promoted as personal accounts that testify both that overcoming is possible (“I am living proof”) and that overcoming is within the reach of everyone (“If I can do it anybody can”). An individual’s sharing of their story is framed as a voluntary, courageous, and generous act that is personally empowering (gives voice and brings meaning to life), socially beneficial (helps others), and politically charged (for instance, “breaks the silence” and “raises awareness”). In sum, the truth they present is that of a significant, transparent, and authentic personal narrative. Individuals facing adversity of all kinds are charged with the duty and are directed through the nomination process to publically share their stories.   However, the CTCB winner stories are constructed, highly mediated, and selective accounts. This becomes clear when considering questions of authorship, the various re-tellings of the stories for different media, the overall script they follow, their omissions, and the selection process from which they emerge.  First, while the stories are lauded as first hand accounts, their actual authorship is unclear. In (2016), on the Courage to Come Back website, the stories are attributed to “CTCB.” We do not know whether one person or a group of individuals were involved in writing the articles. Neither do we know the role of the recipients in the process. In their production, the role of the writer is effaced (S. Smith & Watson, 2010).  Further, there are a number different authors and re-tellings of the winner narratives for different media: newspapers, radio, television, newsletters, reports and for videos produced to introduce award winners at the gala event. It is only in the newspaper articles that authorship is   90 explicit. Understandably, there are variations in the accounts. There are differences in language (awareness of disability protocol), in emphasis (fundraising goals, the work of Coast, or the inspirational nature of the account), in specific details mentioned, and in tone among the different media items.   At the same time, the overall consistency of the narrative arc of the scripts speaks to their formulaic nature. The narratives are generally structured following five main plot points (as illustrated by the 2009 Medical category winner):  1. Set-up or back story (e.g., born with spina bifida, lived “normal” life, got married, had kids);  2. Crisis (e.g., unsuccessful surgeries, in wheel chair, pain, had to relearn life skills);  3. Downward spiral or set-backs (e.g., “depressed, she just wanted to forget about life”);  4. Turning point (e.g., saw struggles of people in an outpatient rehab and wanted to make a difference);   5. Successful overcoming (e.g., “she got involved . . . unselfishly focusing her passion and energy to make her community more inclusive to people with disabilities . . . she is always helping others, going out of her way to engage and encourage people one-on-one, wherever she goes”).  As with any narrative, there is process involved in determining what details should be included in the narrative. In the case of CTCB winner narratives, details are selected to adhere to the cultural script.   The selection process also involves excluding certain details from the narratives. The most apparent example concerns Myrna Cranmer, winner of the Social Adversity Category in   91 2010. In 2007, she was nominated by the Positive Living Society of BC for the AccolAIDS “Kevin Brown Person With Aids Hero Award”: an award “presented to an individual living with HIV/AIDS who is regarded with great admiration and respect for his/her contributions to the AIDS movement” [38]. The CTCB account makes no mention of this, and this exclusion is particularly glaring considering that winner narratives regularly cite other honours extended to award recipients and tend to include mention of ongoing medical problems. Another example of an exclusion concerns Freda Ens, winner in the 2001 Economic Adversity category. In 1999, the First Nations Drum published an on-line article about Ens describing her “triumph over racism and victimization.” In the article, Ens speaks openly about the impact of residential schools on her family: As much as I despise what happened to me and what I went through, I had to stop and realize that, when you look at our communities and our native people, many of them are the product of residential schools. My dad went to a residential school. He was a victim; my mom was a victim. The same thing with my uncles and cousins [39].  In the 2001 CTCB account, however, the emphasis is placed on Ens “breaking the generational cycle of violence and despair.”  The selection process for the award winners is also important to emphasize. Each year award winners are selected from hundreds of nominations. “Each nomination is reviewed by a panel of volunteers and a short list is sent to the Final Selection Panel. The Final Selection Panel then reviews the short-listed names and one person is selected as a recipient in each category” (On The Coast, 2008, Winter, p. 7)[40]. In 2004, there were six separate nomination committees. Only a few (an estimated 1.5%) of these already selective stories are chosen. In this light, the statements “I am living proof” and “If I can do it anybody can” become much less convincing.   92 These stories are accounts of “extra” “ordinary” individuals—they recount stories about the exceptions, the statistical outliers.  The point I am stressing here is not that the CTCB stories are made-up or “untrue,” but rather, they are stories told through a homogenizing process. Only certain stories are told in certain ways. While award recipients are quoted, they neither write nor narrate the accounts. Yet, they are promoted as first hand narratives. Consider the following statement from the nominator for the award winner in the 2012 Mental Health category: “Nothing is more effective against stigma than a person with lived experience who can tell her personal story in a public forum.”   In this contradiction, the presumed authenticity of the narratives “functions precisely to sustain the ‘truth’ and the power relations” undergirding the narrative (Goggin & Newell, 2004). “A sleight of hand takes place. Accounts that could bear witness to histories and continuities of deep-seated structural violence, without many of us noticing, are transformed into tales of individual hardship and redemption. Thus, questions regarding social inequity are effectively erased” (DeVolder, 2013, p. 1). The social and political work the narratives are accomplishing is masked. Their express purpose as tools of persuasion, to stir a strong emotional response in audience members in order to stimulate giving, is removed from center stage. Their political work in reinforcing the funding of social services, such as housing, as a matter for charity rather than government is eclipsed. Moreover, their disciplinary role as a micro-mechanism of power and self-government is veiled. Compulsory heroism requires the public performance of ostensibly authentic, but highly constructed, mediated and homogenized stories.   93  Mandatory optimism.  A second driving tension and component of compulsory heroism in the Courage to Come Back stories concerns the imperative to always be positive or what Barbara Ehrenreich (2013) refers to as “mandatory optimism”11.  The following are examples from the CTCB award winner narratives: 2001, Patrick, Youth:  Patrick sees only positives in his experience: “I’m a better person for having had cancer,” he says. “Surviving it has made me want to help others get through it. I really appreciate life and it’s given me a great desire to do lots of things.”  2003, Blanch, Social and Economic Adversity:  “There’s always hope, through all the troubles,” she said. “Just stay in the light, be positive rather than negative. Light is stronger than darkness.”  2005, Haldor, Inspirational Achievement Award:  Try everything. Do not listen to the naysayers. There will always be people who will say you can’t do it. Surround yourself with positive, encouraging and creative people.  2008, John, Physical Rehabilitation:  You might be asking yourself, ‘Why did this happen to me?’ Do not allow yourself to focus on the negative . . . allow yourself to be open to positive change for the better and focusing on a future time when you will have overcome your adversities.    It almost seems counterintuitive to critique positive thinking: How could making an effort to remain positive be anything but positive? Yet, we need to acknowledge that there is an underlying suspicion inherent in the discourse of mandatory optimism that only a negative person (surely a very gloomy, troubled person) would even consider such an analysis. And that,                                                 11 I discovered Ehreinrich’s 2009 book Bright-Sided: How Positive Thinking is Undermining America after writing my 2013 article on “compulsory heroism” for Feminist Media Studies. The resonances between this and “mandatory optimism” were immediately evident. While Ehreinrich uses the expression “mandatory optimism” almost in passing in her TEDTalk, I employ it here conceptually to refer to the social expectation to always be positive.   94 as they say, is the catch. Anything and anyone perceived as bearing the slightest trace of the “negative” (unexpected news, realistic outcomes, or critique) is shushed or even shunned. For this reason, Sara Ahmed states that her aim in writing The Promise of Happiness is “to give the killjoy back her voice” (2010, p. 20).   However, the paradox is that the CTCB stories themselves enfold as a series of selective and undeniably negative events. The overcoming narrative requires this. Indeed, there are times it seems as if part of the winner selection criteria must have been to find the most tragic among tragic stories. Take for instance, John in the 2007 Medical category: Diagnosed with diabetes as a child and not knowing how to manage the condition, he had to have one leg amputated. Then, just as he was learning to walk on one leg, he went blind. Twenty-three years later he lost the second leg. After that, there was another “setback”: He fell down the stairs “rendering him a paraplegic.” I could cite story after story in the CTCB award narratives where negative event is piled upon negative event. The following are a few summaries to give the reader a sense of the extent to which this occurs: Cheryl, 2002: 1970s, rheumatoid arthritis, hospitalization, surgery; 1993, stage III ovarian cancer, eight reoccurrences, metastasis to brain.    Randy, 2002: hit by a pick-up truck in 1985, stabbed with a screwdriver in 1987, rare  form of cancer in 1998.    Hardeep, 2003: born with no spleen, at nine months “lost both hands and parts of each  foot to amputation,” at two “another loss” her father died.    Florence, 2004: chronic lung disease as a child, almost died, poverty, abuse, teenage  pregnancy.    Jessica, 2009: Crouzon Syndrome (a genetic disorder of bones in the mid-face and skull),  scoliosis, over two-dozen surgeries, stroke “left her with slight paralysis on her left side.”      95 Perhaps the most extreme example among these selectively tragic stories is that of Kamal, winner in the 2012 Social Adversity category. The following is an excerpt from her story as told on the CTCB website:  Kamal’s husband had other plans: for nearly 12 years, through the births of their 4 children, he verbally, sexually, mentally and physically abused her with such violence and regularity she came close to death several times. He wanted her to kill herself, once dousing her with kerosene and handing her a box of matches. Beatings, rape and sodomy were common place. He hanged her, electrocuted her, and tried to drown her off a pier, stomping on her knuckles and breaking one as she clung desperately to the edge . . . The physical torture Kamal endured has resulted in many reconstructive operations. Her jaw was broken so severely she has metal implants that cause her great pain and must be replaced every five years. She lives with constant pain: temporomandibular disorder, fibromyalgia, nerve damage in her back, arms and legs.   My point here is that the overcoming narrative demands the recitation of a series of decidedly negative events (events that would shake any one and are intended to shake or evoke pity from the readers or audience) at the same time as it denies the acknowledgement of any “negative” emotion or response from its central characters.   A clear example of this can be found in the Vancouver Province’s article about Marlene Swift, the 2008 Addictions category winner. The unnamed reporter writes, “There’s much more to Swift’s troubled past, the details of which are enough to bring a grown man to tears.” The same reporter goes on to describe Swift:  Looking into her kind brown eyes and watching a smile spread across her face as she recounts the shock of first learning she was receiving the Courage to Come Back Award for Addiction, she shows no hint of sorrow or self-pity. Instead, Swift emanates a radiance of life so bright and inspiring that one can’t help but listen in awe as she talks about the many challenges she’s overcome in her 60 years [41].  A grown man is brought to tears, but Swift is allowed no hint of sorrow. Disability scholars have long observed that persons with disability are expected at all times to be cheerful. For example,   96 Rhonda Olkin asserts, “The requirement to regulate affect is a common part of disability. There is the dual requirement of what to be and what not to be: One must be cheerful; one must not be angry” (1999, p. 79). In the Courage to Come Back Awards, we see that this same expectation of cheerful optimism is extended to adversity of all kinds. In fact, as Barbara Ehrenreich aptly remarks, “There is no kind of problem or obstacle for which positive thinking or positive attitude has not been proposed as a cure” (2009b, p. 45).  A common response to a critique of positive thinking is to ask: What’s wrong with trying to keep positive? Doesn’t it help people to recover? Isn’t there a link between having an optimistic outlook and health? Or more personally: “What can we be if not positive . . . I don’t know any other way to live?” (as cited  in Ehrenreich, 2009b, p. 195). Closely investigating the positive psychology and immunology literature, Ehrenreich demonstrates that the evidence for a correlation between positivity and health is weak and contradictory at best. She also exposes the alarming degree of “positive spin” placed on less than unequivocal research results by both positive psychologists and the media (see, for example, Held, 2004). However, her main criticism of mandatory optimism is twofold: She argues that it is delusional (and thus dangerous) and that it is cruel. The danger she sees in denial is a “reckless optimism” that dismisses vital information and impairs judgment. The cruelty lies in invalidating natural and legitimate feelings, needs, and responses (Held, 2004, p. 13). Moreover, there is another aspect of the dark side of the demand to be positive: “a harsh insistence on personal responsibility” or, in other words, tacit victim blaming (Ehrenreich, 2009a; Holland & Lewis, 2000).   Before turning to look closer at the obligation to be positive as it is described in the CTCB Awards, permit me a short digression. There is a certain absurdity in the demand to   97 always be positive in the midst of unimaginable circumstances. Sometimes humor can make a stronger point than can a more formal argument. As I am writing, I keep imagining the scene with the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975). In the scene, King Arthur cuts off both of the Black Knights arms. The Black Knight doggedly keeps fighting insisting, “It’s just a flesh wound.” Then after losing a leg, “’Tis but a scratch . . . I’ve had worse.” Finally, when his last limb is unceremoniously detached, the Black Knight says, “Okay, we’ll call it a draw.” I have this mental image of the Black Knight, armless, hopping on one leg and shouting out between hops and parries: “Good things will come of this. I’m a better person for it. I appreciate life more. There are always people who say you can’t do it. Surely, there’s someone worse off.”   The injunction for the main character to keep positive amidst a narrative arc that accentuates and relies upon the negative has its own ironies: Not the least is the exhortation to focus on the positive while the storyline, in fact, does the reverse. Of course, this discrepancy is for deliberate effect; the greater the distance between the horrific before and the heroic after, the greater the emotional satisfaction gained by the audience. Theatre 101.   However, while good drama may result in extracting the most fundraising dollars from the audience, it does so only by exacting a considerable toll on its real life characters. In the midst of trouble, injustice, or pain, it takes unrelenting effort and constant vigilance to remain positive—an effort some are calling “the tyranny of positive thinking,” “an additional burden” loaded onto already laden individuals, or “adding insult to injury” (Ehrenreich, 2009b; Held, 2004; Holland & Lewis, 2000).   98  Moreover, this energy is directed toward disciplining the self (undoubtedly making friends, family and professionals more comfortable), rather than towards any necessary social change. In a disability context, this is illustrated by comedian Stella Young in her TEDTalk (2014). She quips, “No amount of smiling at a flight of stairs has ever made it turn into a ramp.”  No amount of keeping up a sunny exterior and focusing on the positive has ever even begun to address long-standing issues of inequity, systemic violence, or discrimination. Any anger that might direct and inform social reform is effectively silenced (for an extended discussion on this, see Ahmed, 2010).  Mandatory optimism maintains and protects the status quo.  Examples from the CTCB Awards are very clear in this regard. After a discussion of accessibility issues for persons in wheel chairs where Melanie (2005, General Medicine) asserts, “High school was an architectural nightmare,” and “there can always be improvements,” Lora Grindlay reporter for The Province (March 28, 2005)[42] offers, “Your sister says you never played the victim. Have you made an effort to remain positive?” Melanie searches for an answer, suggests that she’s always been an independent person, and then candidly replies, “As the saying goes, nobody wants to listen to you if you are complaining.” I find the whole exchange quite troubling: “There can always be improvements” is met with “Have you made an effort to remain positive?” A call for ongoing social change is met with direct depoliticization12. Not only that, positivity is defined against its presumed alternative: “playing the victim.” This rhetorical device announces that there are no other acceptable alternatives; either you are positive or you are “playing the victim,” a distasteful and inappropriate kind of play-acting to gain sympathy. In this                                                 12 I am not commenting here on the intent of the reporter (only she can speak to that), but rather the effect of her remarks.   99  way, any complaint and the complainants themselves are delegitimized. Melanie states it plainly: “Nobody wants to listen to you if you are complaining.”  The story of Johanna (2005, Physical Rehabilitation) also illustrates mandatory optimism and the direct depoliticization of issues. However, Johanna offers a counter-narrative and in this we see again that these stories are sites of struggle. Johanna, a quadriplegic, received her Bachelor of Education degree in 1997 and applied for employment with the Vancouver School Board. The unnamed author of CTCB article writes, “She tried to get work with the Vancouver School Board, but obstacles kept popping up. She filed a Human Rights complaint.” Let me be clear: The basis for a Human Rights complaint is discrimination, in this case employment discrimination by specific individuals at the Vancouver School Board, not “obstacles” that apparently “kept popping up” as if out of the big blue sky. It is a serious matter, not something to be glossed over: “In British Columbia, discrimination and harassment are against the law” (Province of British Columbia, 1996). In a similar way, a different author (Lora Grindlay, in a companion article in The Province, April 18, 2005)[43] asks Johanna, “What did you learn in your fight for your job?” Note how Grindlay describes the situation: The fight is an individualized one (Johanna’s) for her job, not one by Johanna with the support of the BC Coalition of Persons with Disability against employment discrimination. Johanna answers, “I’m not one that likes to start a fight. I’m a happy person. In all of this I realized, not that I have to be cantankerous, but I’ve got to stand up for myself.” In order to stand up for herself, Johanna recognizes the need to emphasize that she is still a positive person; clearly, she understands the social implications of mandatory optimism.   The final examples I would like to highlight are in the Youth award category. Mandatory   100 optimism is, perhaps, most flagrant and problematic when imposed on children: those smiling young faces that so pull at our heartstrings, yet are most impressionable, dependent upon us, and look to us for acceptance and approval.  2010, Fahreen, Youth But Fahreen has learned to move on from disappointment and rejection. Her naturally sunny nature and willingness to help wins people over. She doesn’t complain about her medical problems or expect special treatment or attention.   2009, Jessica, Youth  She has spent many hours in hospital, in bed and in rehab when she was supposed to be attending school but still maintains a more than 95% average in her classes. She has missed literally months of classroom time, yet has never asked for a reduced workload or modified lessons because she wants to graduate with the same standards as any other student (emphasis mine).  From the teacher who nominated Jessica: “We realized that she had undergone countless surgeries but that we didn't know any thing about them because she never complained.” (The Province, December 18, 2009)[44]  2003, Hardeep, Youth Throughout her school years and to the present day, Hardeep has overcome her disabilities by working through and around them, maintaining her wide and ready smile, radiating optimism, relying on herself more than artificial aids.   Suffice it to say that requesting necessary “artificial aids” or accommodations, in education or the workplace, is a reasonable thing to do. One could even say that it shows a positive, problem solving approach towards addressing barriers. Accommodations are not “special treatment” (any more than providing eyeglasses), and they do not lower educational standards but, rather, provide an even playing field. The right to request accommodations and the duty to accommodate are explicit in Human Rights legislation in Canada. However, in the above narratives, heroic status is granted, in part, because these individuals with their sunny, uncomplaining natures did not   101 request any13. As a side note, the accommodations these girls may actually have received are de-emphasized. For instance, an article in the Province mentions that Fahreen does have a full-time nurse aid at school (May 3, 2010)[45].  A few final comments for this section on mandatory optimism are in order. First, I want to stress that events chosen to be included in the narrative arc of the overcoming story are selectively negative. Any ordinary or positive life events are either omitted from the “horrific before” and/or characterized as part of “overcoming” in the “heroic after.” With respect to disability, Tanya Titchkosky refers to this as “our culture’s totalizing conception of disability as nothing but a problem” (2007, p. 70). The result is that disability is portrayed only as personal tragedy: Disability is negative therefore individuals who meet the demand to be positive are heroic. In contrast, a major emphasis of the political activism of the Disabled Persons’ Movement, as evidenced, for example, in the catchphrase “Disabled and Proud,” is that disability can be understood, not only as a site for positive identity, collective action, and social critique, but fundamentally, as a life worth living (Shapiro, 1994).   Second, I want to speak to the distress I began to experience personally in the process of critiquing mandatory optimism. I found I was getting more and more depressed as I wrote, to the point that I had to take some time away from my thesis to look after my health and to try to understand what was happening. While I cannot unpack it all, what I can say is that I experienced a great deal of dissonance: It is the difficulty in critiquing a discourse that I am embedded in, that I had previously internalized, and that others in my circle of friends and family                                                 13 These are not isolated examples in the CTCB narratives. Another is in the Mental Illness category, 2003: Without telling anyone at Simon Fraser University that she had a mental illness, Stainsby completed her master's degree in women's studies. “I did not want anybody to say ‘She got benefits for being disabled,’” she said. “I wanted to do it for my own self-esteem.”   102 continue to believe in. As many critical theorists discover, occupying an unpopular or contrary position can lead to feelings of isolation and alienation. I found that I chafed every time someone said something like, “Well, I’m just trying to keep positive.” I felt overwhelmed by the mandatory optimism I saw whichever way I turned. Even more, as the pendulum swings, I found it challenging to dismantle mandatory optimism without falling into involuntary negativity!  I have chosen to disclose this here because I believe too little is written about the social and emotional effects of our theorizing. It is a call to bring affect into the discussion. After gaining some distance from this discussion, I began to realize that individuals sometimes offer statements that are socially expected because it protects them from having to reveal too much about how they really are feeling. “Well, I’m just trying to focus on the positive,” can be a way of responding to the concern of others while maintaining a certain emotional distance.  Nevertheless, I want to underline that my critique is not of positivity itself, nor of individuals who find keeping positive a useful strategy in their own lives. Rather, my critique is of the expectation and the obligation to be positive at all times. My concern is mandatory optimism when it becomes a micro technology of power, that is, a way of disciplining, blaming, and silencing individuals and of depoliticizing issues.  Finally, I want to reiterate, that although a component of compulsory heroism is mandatory optimism, there are always some stories that exceed and overflow the narrative template. For instance, Kim award winner in the 2006 General Medicine category says, “When I was diagnosed with diabetes, I went through a really selfish, bitter ‘I hate this’ stage. I was just pissed off because I already had CF. There wasn't anything that anybody could have told me. I just needed to get through it myself.”   103 A fighting spirit that proves them wrong.  A third significant tension in the overcoming stories concerns medical-based opinion: It is presented as both authoritative and unreliable. Diagnoses by medical professionals legitimize the facts presented in the overcoming narratives. However, a common theme in the CTCB narratives goes something like this: They said I would never walk again, but I proved them wrong. For instance, Kristy and Jacqueline, 2001 and 2003 General Medicine category award winners, respectively say, “I've done all kinds of things I was told I couldn't do,” and “The doctors told me they didn't expect me to live.” Perhaps the most dramatic story is that of Jeneece (2006, Youth):  “Awesome.” She says it slowly while smiling and squirming in her seat. It’s Jeneece Edroff’s one-word answer to how it felt to stand up and walk in front of a doctor who told her she would never stand on her feet again. “I walked. I proved him wrong,” says the 12-year-old. “I was sitting in my wheelchair and all of a sudden I stood up in his office. He said, “Get back down. You are going to hurt yourself.” I said, “No, I'm not.” “I hugged him for—I don't know how many minutes—but it was awhile.”  “They,” the unnamed health professionals, are the bearers of bad news and are present as mere shadows in the passive voice in phrases such as “was diagnosed” or “was told.” At the same time, the central character of the overcoming story exhibits a stubborn, determined, fighting spirit—in effect, a defiance that stands in contrast to the compliance assumed in the traditional sick role. Vivian Garcia (2009, Physical Rehabilitation) remembers lying paralyzed in a hospital bed after a traumatic accident and her doctor saying that if she survived the next three days she would have a good chance of living another ten years. Twenty-one years later Garcia quips, “I’m not very good at following instructions.”    The overcoming narrative needs doctors that are wrong. A person’s chances, the odds of   104 recovery, is a question of statistical probability and medical opinion. If doctor’s prognoses were immutable and one hundred percent reliable, it would not matter how determined a person was or how positive they kept, there would be no overcoming. Let’s face it: A negative prognosis is unwanted news. It is understandable to want medical opinion to be wrong. It means there is a “fighting chance.” It offers a sense of personal power in the face of the unknown, a way to restore a sense of control in an uncontrollable situation. Tanya Titchkosky suggests, “Perhaps such stories are even a way to accumulate resources against such lack, since these stories suggest that in the face of disability there is always at least one promise—we can overcome” (2007, p. 180).   One result of this tension is that value is placed on “fighting” as the only way to deal with health related or other kinds of “adversity” rather than on “acceptance” (or other possibilities, such as living with, managing, or negotiating). Compulsory heroism demands a fight, a contest, a battle. Indeed, the alternative to “fighting” is presumed to be “giving in”; individuals are cast either as active heroes or passive victims. “Acceptance” is not even offered as a useful life strategy. In this, in valuing a heroic, stubborn, fighting spirit over other possibilities, human vulnerability can be disavowed. It is a way for audience members and participants at all levels to manage anxiety about their own corporal vulnerability. Consider the following comment from an On the Coast newsletter (2006): When we acknowledge that we know someone who faces illness, injury or disability, we no longer fear the unknown. We begin to understand that people with physical and mental illnesses are our neighbours, brothers, sisters, friends and colleagues (Winter, p. 4)[46].    105 Note how people with physical and mental illnesses re described: as “our neighbours, brothers, sisters, friends and colleagues,” but not as us, not you or I (the imagined readers of the newsletter or audience for the awards presentations).   While the CTCB stories give the appearance of inclusion, they operate by a “we” versus “them” dichotomy that keeps the audience inspired largely because “our” problems appear so small in comparison to the “theirs.” Even some award recipients voice this kind of thinking: “I'm lucky because there are so many people out there worse off than me” (Youth, 2003; Medical, 2006). This is disavowal; it projects the very thing “we” reject as part of ourselves onto the Other. It reinforces the we/them, able-bodied/disabled dichotomies and establishes “our” subjectivity firmly on the able-bodied side of the equation. Here is a poignant example stated by the woman who nominated Robb Dunfield winner in the 2003 Physical Rehabilitation category: To see how Robb rose to the occasion whenever he was faced with any kind of obstacle was inspiring . . . When ever I get upset over this or that I just have to think of Robb and realize how truly blessed we are to be able-bodied (emphasis mine, Vancouver Province, Sunday, March 16, 2003)[47].   Another effect of the repeated refrain, “They said I would never . . . I proved them wrong,” is that it allows space for issues, such as misdiagnosis, the inexact nature of psychiatric diagnoses, or iatrogenic practices, to be glossed over in the narratives. In this way, discussion about these important but challenging issues is sidestepped. An example is April in the 1999 Mental Health category. Note the positioning of medical doctors (absent) and use of the passive voice in the following from the CTCB website (emphases mine): April Porter’s rapid mood-swings and anxiety eluded recognition and effective treatment until she was 37 years old. As a teenager, the mood swings and migraine headaches were dealt with by highly addictive medications.    106 April’s story from The Heroes Next Door (Haslam, 2000) describes the situation much differently: “I doctor-shopped,” April says now. One doctor bawled her out, another prescribed anti-depressants . . . Throughout it all, April never stopped looking for a diagnosis. She was, at various times, told she had an eating disorder, OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), or that she was spoiled and just wasn’t trying hard enough [48].    A final effect of this contradiction is that it offers the individual in their stubbornness the illusion of resistance. “I showed them,” sounds like an act of defiance. However, rehabilitation requires individuals who persevere with difficult and, at times, seemingly futile normalizing exercises. For instance, in the examples cited above, an emphasis placed on relearning how to walk, may not actually serve in the best interests of the individual. Wheelchairs and other aids can allow for greater mobility, over greater distances, with a less exacting physical toll on the person. Proving them wrong, by walking in this instance, ironically, improves compliance. “I give up,” when programs are not working, so that other options can be examined, may be a more reasonable and resistant stance. However, it is not even offered as an option. Summary   The Coast Mental Health Courage to Come Back Awards emerged along with many other inspirational-award-type fundraising events towards the end of the twentieth century, largely in response to cuts in government funding. They differ from their predecessor, the Transforming Lives Awards, in their faithfulness to overcoming rhetoric and the extension of the overcoming narrative to other medical, social and economic issues. Their success is measured not only in terms of dollars raised, but also in terms of developing a more prominent public profile and an expanding network of connections (to important people). Although, the many   107 individuals and groups involved in various aspects of the CTCB Awards represent different interests, a common theme runs through their comments: the recognition of their own good fortune (we don’t have it as bad as them). Through examination of three central tensions or contradictions mobilized in the overcoming narratives (the performance of an ostensibly authentic narrative, mandatory optimism, and a fighting spirit that proves them wrong) the social and political work accomplished by compulsory heroism becomes clearer.  Historical References Chapter Four 1 Voorhees, G. & Architects, W. (1931, April 16). CRIPPLES’ INSTITUTE GETS A NEW HOME. The New York Times (1923-Current File), p. 16.  2 DEWEY PRESENTS PRIZES TO DISABLED. (1944, April 29). The New York Times (1923-Current File), p. 16. 3 COURAGE AND PERSEVERANCE REWARDED. (1947, May 28). The New York Times (1923-Current File), p. 10. 4 Two crippled girls win scholarships for overcoming physical handicaps. (1942, June 10). The New York Times (1923-Current File), p. 23.  5 Humphrey presents handicapped prize to a Brooklyn man. (1966, April 29). The New York Times (1923-Current File), p. 26. 6 Krebs, A. & Robert, M. T. (1981, July 22). Notes on people. The New York Times (1923-Current File), p. B20. 7 Howe, M. (1992, January 16). Chronicle. The New York Times (1923-Current File), p. B7.    108 8 CAMH Foundation. (2011). CAMH foundation campaign report: Transforming Lives. Toronto, ON: CAMH Foundation. Retrieved October 29, 2016 from 9 Coast Mental Health. (2017). Courage to Come Back Awards. Retrieved April 8, 2017 from 10 Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health. (n.d.). Inspiration Awards. Retrieved October 29, 2016 from  11 Mood Disorders Association of Ontario. (n.d.). Inspiration Awards. Retrieved October 29, 2016 from 12 The Indspire Awards. (2017). Retrieved April 8, 2017 from 13 Positive Living BC & BC Government and Service Employees’ Union. (2017). AccolAIDS Awards. Retrieved April 8, 2017 from 14 LGBTQ Community of Toronto’s Inspire Awards. (2016). Retrieved October 29, 2016 from 15 Albert Human Services. (2017). Inspiration Awards. Retrieved April 8, 2017 from 16 FamilySOS, Halifax. (n.d.). Courage to Give Back Awards. Retrieved October 29, 2016 from 17 Coast Mental Health. (2004, Summer). On the Coast.   109 18 Coast Mental Health Foundation. (2012). “Who inspires you?” [Brochure]. Vancouver, BC: Coast Mental Health Foundation. 19 CAMH. (2008). CAMH Foundation honours seven extraordinary Canadians at the inaugural CAMH Transforming Lives Awards. Retrieved October 29, 2016 from 20 CAMH. (2010). Former ambassador Michael Wilson and recipients to receive award recognizing courage in living with mental illness and/or addiction. Toronto, ON: CAMH Foundation. Retrieved October 29, 2016 from 21 CAMH Foundation. (2011). Retrieved October 29, 2016 from 22 CAHM. (2012). Transforming Lives Award Ceremony. Retrieved October 29, 2016 from 23 CAHM. (2014). Transforming Lives Awards. Retrieved October 29, 2016 from   110 24 CAMH Foundation. (2016). Transforming Lives Awards. Retrieved October 29, 2016 from 25 Coast Mental Health. (2016). Courage to Come Back Awards. Retrieved October 29, 2016 from 26 Coast Mental Health. (2000). Annual Report. Vancouver, BC: Coast Mental Health. 27 Coast Mental Health. (2000). Annual Report. Vancouver, BC: Coast Mental Health, p. 11. 28 Coast Mental Health. (2003). Annual Report. Vancouver, BC: Coast Mental Health. 29 Coast Mental Health. (2016). Courage to Come Back Awards. Retrieved October 29, 2016 from 30 Coss, M. (2012). What the Courage to Come Back Award means to me. The Interdependent. Retrieved October 29, 2016 from 31 Coast Mental Health. (2010, Summer). On the Coast. 32 Coast Mental Health. (2005, Fall). On the Coast. 33 Coast Mental Health. (2016). Courage to Come Back Awards. Retrieved October 29, 2016 from 34 Coast Mental Health. (2010, Summer). On the Coast. 35 Coast Mental Health. (2003, Spring). On the Coast. 36 Complete text of the annual message of governor smith to the legislature. (1928, January 5). The New York Times (1923-Current File). 37 EDUCATING THE FREEDMEN. (1882, April 13). The New York Times (1857-1922).    111 38 Positive Living BC. (2016). 2007 nominees and recipients. Retrieved October 29, 2016 from 39 Stewart, R. (1999). Against the odds: The life & trials of Freda Ens. First Nations Drum. Retrieved October 29, 2016 from 40 Coast Mental Health. (2008, Winter). On the Coast. 41 Courageous Woman is Honoured for Service. (2008, April 30). Talking to Marlene Swift in her office at the Prince Rupert RCMP detachment, it’s hard to imagine that her life story includes so many years of pain and abuse. The Province. 42 Grindlay, L. (2005, March 28). She set her goals, moved forward: Langley teacher with spina bifida to retire after 34 years. The Province. 43 Grindlay, L. (2005, April 18). Paralyzed, she had to fight for job: But now she’s at home in her classroom. The Province. 44 Wiggins, P. (2009, December 18). Courage Coordinator, Special to the Province. Inspired by Jess: Teacher nominates student for prestigious award. The Province.  45 Grindlay, L. (2010, May 3). “Miracle” Fahreen an inspiration to all. The Province. 46 Coast Mental Health. (2006, Winter). On the Coast. 47 Bacchus, L. (2003, March 16). He’s inspiration on wheels. Vancouver Province. 48 Haslam, G. (2000). The heroes next door. Vancouver, BC: Coast Mental Health.   112 Chapter Five: A Historical Shifts in Word Usage (SHWU) Genealogy of  “Overcoming” + “Handicap”   By means of SHWU genealogy, I identify four major shifts in word usage of the expression “overcoming” + “handicap” in the historical newspaper archives. First, the term “overcoming” moved away from Protestant religious connotations involving redemption. Second, the “recovery of health” meaning of “overcoming” was central to its use in the Progressive Era (the early 1900s), but has been lost in contemporary usage. Third, over the years, there is decreasing use of “overcoming” as a passive construction (to be overcome by or with something) and increasing use of “overcoming” as an active construction (to overcome something). Fourth, usage of the term “handicap” has made a dramatic shift away from the idea of creating an even playing field toward that of handicap being equated with disadvantage. In examining each of these shifts, I employ historical definitions taken from the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), a living document devoted to tracing and recording the history of changes in word meanings in the English language, as reference points (OED, 2016).  In Need of Redemption  Similar to constructions in Dutch, German, Swedish, and Danish, the word overcome is a cognate formed by combining the prefix “over” with the verb “come.” The Oxford Historical Thesaurus [49] offers the following synonyms: to get over, to tide over, to rise above, to endure, to outdo, and to transcend, among others.  It is interesting to note that the verb to over + come has been used both literally and figuratively and, thus, invokes certain religious overtones. Indeed, among early OED references   113 dating from 1200 and earlier are numerous biblical and theological citations. For instance, works from Oresius, Ormulum, and the Lambeth manuscripts [50]. Biblical references largely stem from the Gospel of John, the Epistles of John, and the Book of Revelation (many believe the apostle John authored all three) (K. Barker & Burdick, 1995). John writes of overcoming “the world” (John 16:33; I John 5:4) as well as the “evil one” (I John 2:13). Exhortations in the book of Revelation are directed “to him who overcomes” (see, for example, Rev 2: 7)[51].   Delving deeper into the biblical record, the signs of the Messianic Age are described in Isaiah 35: 5-6: “Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer and the mute tongue shout for joy.” According to biblical scholars, the healing of disability spoken of in this and other passages (Is 29:18; 32:3; 42:7; Mt 11:5) is literal and metaphoric, physical and spiritual (see, for example, K. Barker & Burdick, 1995); one slips into and testifies to the other. The implications of this are profound. First, disability is framed as temporary, as earth-bound, and ultimately as something to be saved from. Second, disability becomes a sign, a metonym, for a person’s spiritual state before redemption. Disability, in this way, became bound up with spiritual connotations meaning in need of redemption.   Further, John’s vision of the new heaven and the new earth in Revelation brings physical wholeness and overcoming into the same frame:  They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away . . . He who overcomes will inherit all this (Rev 21: 4,7).  In lay language, there is no disability in heaven. In the Christian tradition I was raised in, the end result (the inheritance) of spiritual overcoming is physical wholeness. In the overcoming   114 narrative, this is somewhat reversed: The result of physical overcoming is the ascription of spiritual (or moral) virtue. In either case, the cessation of disability forms part of and signifies a utopian vision for the world.   This entangled relationship between the overcoming narrative and protestant Christian triumphalism is a theme found particularly in historical sources concerning education of the blind. Mary Klages (1999, p. 11) submits, “The value of the blind in the Christian framework was twofold: The restoration of their sight provided an opportunity to demonstrate God’s power to perform miracles, and the contrast between blindness and sight served as an analogy between disbelief and faith.” Advocates for education of the blind drew upon this in order to promote their cause. A clear example can be found in Josiah S. Graves’ (instructor, Pennsylvania Institution for the blind) conclusion and misquote of II Timothy 4: 7-8 in his essay, “The Social Condition of the blind” (1879, p. 39)[52]:  The blind, like the rest of humanity, are the steersmen and oarsmen of their own bark of life. At times they will be elated to hope, through success; again dejected by despair. They may meet with reverses which would seem at first almost insurmountable, but by continual perseverance and trusting their Divine Creator, they will finally overcome them all. Choose first the right path, then onward; fame, honor, advancement, honest and legitimate success, may not come to-day, nor to-morrow, but to those of us who fight well the battle of life, the crown will come. Armed, then, with patience and faith, we shall finally reach the goal of our ambition.    Another example comes from Mrs. Julia Ward Howe at the launch of the Perkins Institution for the Blind Alumni Association’s journal, The Mentor (January, 1891). Speaking of the future work of the journal, Mrs. Howe says,  May it contribute to make their personal privation, severe as it may appear, less and less an absolute and irremediable misfortune, more and more a visitation which, while leading to the sharper encounter with great odds, shall lead also to the crown promised to “them that overcome” (p. 4)[53].   115   In terms of shifts in historical word usage, the use of the term overcoming with such deep religious overtones is found widely in the literature of institutions for the education of the blind and deaf before the turn of the twentieth century. However, this use declined during the Progressive Era and another meaning became prominent. Recovery of Health   The following definition of overcoming from the OED caught my attention, although it is out of general usage today: “Chiefly Sc. to recover one's health; to recover from fainting; to revive from a faint” [54].   It seems that long before the contemporary overcoming narrative (references here begin in the 1400s) doctors employed the verb to overcome to mean recovery from ill health. An example from The New York Times that I find humorous is found in an advertisement for Duffy’s Pure Malt Whiskey purported “to overcome malaria” (NYT, Jun 14, 1898)[55]. The ad copy reads, “When men or women feel depressed or tired in the present day, it is common to say, ‘I think I have malaria.’”   During the Progressive Era, this is the meaning of overcoming that came to the fore. In Chapter Six, I explore how the recovery of health meaning of overcoming coincided with rise of scientific philanthropy and the medicalization of poverty.  From the Passive to an Active Construction  Two definitions of the verb “to overcome” as found in the Oxford English Dictionary[56] helped me to indentify another shift in historical word usage. The first definition is active (to be victorious) and the second passive (to be overwhelmed by something).    116  1. a) To get the better of, defeat, overpower, prevail over (an enemy, person or  thing opposing one, etc.).  b) To be victorious, gain the victory, conquer.  c) To win (a battle).   2. a) Chiefly in passive. Of an emotion, physical condition, etc.: to overpower or  overwhelm; to exhaust or render helpless; to affect or influence excessively.  Also of alcoholic drink: to intoxicate (a person). Freq. with by, with.  b) Of a destructive or undesirable quality: to dominate or control (a person's  mind or conduct).   c) To overload, overburden, or overflow the capacity of (a store or container).   I observed a distinct shift in the use of the word overcome from the 1880s and into the 20th century. Early in the historical newspaper archives, there is extensive use of the passive construction overcome by or overcome with rather than the active verb to overcome something. Examples are numerous and include being overcome by:  • black damp (NYT, Mar 7, 1880)[57]  • heat and smoke (NYT, June 20, 1880)[58] • foul air (NYT, Jun 15, 1880)[59] • his own fierce fury (NYT, 14 Dec, 1880)[60]  • heat (NYT, June 14, 1880)B[61] • cupid’s darts (NYT, Jan 30, 1898)[62] • paresis (NYT, Mar 17, 1880)[63] • many “searching questions” (NYT, Oct 20, 1891)[64] • terror (NYT, Sept 4, 1886)[65] • the heavy sea (NYT, Aug 3, 1885)[66] • liquor (NYT, July 28, 1894[67] • old age (NYT, Nov 17, 1894)[68] • joy (NYT, Dec 13, 1884)[69] • fatigue (NYT, Jul 13, 1884)[70] • panic (NYT, Aug 13, 1893)[71]  My all-time favourite is a description of a man overcome by “rum and true religion” (NYT, 19, July, 1881)[72]. This is by no means an exhaustive list. I cite them at length here to illustrate how frequently the passive construction overcome by is employed. Individuals are widely   117 reported as overcome in the face of emotion (e.g., terror, shame, excitement), extreme bodily states (e.g., exhaustion, hunger), and impingement from the elements (e.g., heat, cold, smoke, gas).   Furthermore, I find it interesting that the characters who are overcome are sometimes dignitaries or celebrities and that this passive construction can also be found in accounts of survivorship and heroism. One example is a Miss Horn who is “overcome by emotion” as she recounts her “tale of survival” from the Johnstown Pennsylvania flood of July 1889 (WP, June 8, 1889)[73]. A second example is perhaps even more compelling. In April 1889, a Captain Murrell is thrown into the spotlight after rescuing hundreds of passengers from a tragic steam ship accident. The New York Times (April 25, 1889)[74] reports that he is “overcome by hero worship.” As a result, the “wearied” Captain retreats from the public eye. It seems, then, that being overcome by something did not necessarily impute moral weakness or failure.  I was also struck by the large numbers of people reported as being overcome as a result of industrial working and living conditions. Items detailed concern both everyday occurrences and those labeled as out-and-out “disasters.” For instance, firemen and boiler men at Sugar Trust go on strike for shorter working hours alleging, “Every summer men being pulled out everyday, overcome by the heat” (NYT, Jun 15, 1893)[75]. Another man, described as “overcome by heat and overwork,” falls into a brewer’s vat (NYT, Jul 30, 1886)[76]. Further, men are reported overcome by gas or smoke in the Midlothian Coal Mine (NYT, Feb 6, 1882)[77], Hoosac Tunnel (WP Sep 16, 1888)[78], and Park-Row “disasters” (NYT, Feb 9, 1882)[79].  In contrast, as an active verb, overcoming is an action upon the object of the sentence, upon those things that are to be “overcome,” such as an enemy, prejudice, opposition,   118 difficulties, obstacles, or handicap. An example is found in Governor Roosevelt’s Labour Day speech: No worse wrong can be done by a man to his children than to teach them to go through life endeavoring to shirk difficulties instead of meeting them and overcoming them. You men, here in the West, have built up this country, not by seeking to avoid work, but by doing it well: not by flinching from every difficulty, but by triumphing over each as it arose and making out of it a stepping-stone to further triumph (Washington Post, September 4, 1890, p. 9)[80].  It is only near the dawn of the twentieth century that we begin to see a turn towards this more active construction. Over the years the balance shifts. It is not that the use of one or the other begins or ends, but that steadily the passive form decreases and the active increases until the present, where the passive is only infrequently employed. I suggest that this reflects a major shift in representation: from a portrayal of persons shown, primarily, at mercy of overwhelming events, to one of individuals facing, challenging, and overcoming adversity. More and more, the slumped figure rises; the victim emerges victorious.  This shift corresponds with a major change in the usage of the word handicap.  Handicap  Key to SHWU genealogy is the understanding that word meanings and usage change over time. In North America today, the word handicap is strongly associated with the white on blue wheelchair symbol used to indicate handicapped parking and washrooms. However, for many persons with disability handicap is a negative word. From 1980-2001, the World Health Organization (WHO, 2001) International Classification of Impairment, Disabilities and Handicaps (ICIDH) distinguished between impairment, disability, and handicap. Impairment referred to the medical diagnosis; disability, the physical restrictions on normal activity resulting   119 from impairment; and handicap, the social disadvantages associated with impairment (Bickenbach et al., 1999). Michael Bury, one of the developers of the ICIDH, explains, As we saw it, the WHO was moving away from a narrow medical model of health and disease—one primarily concerned with body systems, and etiologies—to one which recognized the consequences of health-related phenomena. We were particularly concerned to argue for a clearer recognition of social disadvantage—the focus of handicap codes in the classification. Our aim was to bring such disadvantages to the fore (2000, p. 1073).    Nevertheless, organizations, such as Disabled People International (DPI), strongly rejected the WHO classification (Oliver, 1990). They objected to its terminology: the cap-in-hand begging connotations of the word hand-i-cap as well as the “pejorative view” of person with disability propagated by “handicapist language” (Pfeiffer, 2000, p. 1081; Thomas, 2002). Even more, they argued, “Assuming someone is ipso facto disadvantaged does not hold up. It is handicapist” (original emphasis, Pfeiffer, 1998, p. 516). The subsequent ICIDH-2, adopted in 2001, dropped the word handicap from its lexicon.   In the Oxford English Dictionary, there is a clear linguistic evolution of the word handicap. From a game of chance where stakes were placed in a hat (1600-1800s), it was adopted by sports, such as horse racing or golf, to mean an attempt “to equalize the chances of the competitors by giving an advantage, such as a head start, to the weaker ones or imposing a disadvantage on the stronger ones” [81]. Moving into the twentieth century, two meanings came to the fore: “Any thing or circumstance which makes progress or success difficult; an encumbrance, a hindrance,” and “A physical or mental condition that limits a person’s movements, senses, or activities” [82]. What is noteworthy here is that the last two emerged at the same time. Henri-Jacques Stiker comments in his discussion of the etymology of the word handicap, “Their appearance at the same time as the practice of rehabilitation marks a turning   120 point in the way of addressing and treating disability” (1999, p. 150). Indeed, the OED adds, “Handicap was for much of the 20th century the standard form of reference to mental or physical disability in Britain, North America, and other English-speaking regions; disability is the term now generally preferred” [83].   I do not want to minimize the importance of the politics of language, but that is not my emphasis here. What I want to underline is that in handicap’s linguistic evolution from sporting to rehabilitation, a semantic shift takes place (Stiker, 1999). While both involve the idea of reducing disadvantage in order to level the playing field, in sporting the disadvantage is imposed on the stronger players (OED). In rehabilitation, disadvantage is ascribed to the weaker and to such a degree that they become named by it, a totalizing label—the handicapped (Jones, 2001; Stiker, 1999). The primary meaning of handicap concerns equalizing chances (ensuring a fair game). Stiker argues that “the idea of equal chances . . . [is] effaced by that of disadvantages in a transfer from the racetrack to human health.” The stress changes from fairness to “what an individual lacks and is not capable of finding. A deficit is always present, a handicap that can be overcome” (1999, pp. 146, 148). In this way, handicap and, by extension, the handicapped came to be equated with disadvantage. Overcoming Handicap    The expression, overcoming handicap, is found widely across the historical literature surveyed. Early in the historical newspaper archives, the vast majority of items employ the active “victory over” meaning of overcoming and the sporting meaning of handicap. For instance, handicaps are reported overcome in:   121  • baseball (NYT, Sep 7, 1894)[84] • the Olympic games (NYT, Mar 22, 1896)[85] • horse racing (NYT, Oct 2, 1898)[86] • golf (NYT, July 9, 1899)[87] • yachting (NYT, July 5, 1899)[88] • cycling (NYT, Apr 18, 1904)[89] • tennis (NYT, Dec 25, 1904)[90] • polo (NYT, Aug 1, 1905)[91] • chess (NYT,  Dec 28,1911)[92] • billiards (NYT, Mar 13, 1912)[93] • fencing (NYT, Oct 24, 1912)[94] • boxing (NYT, Feb 14, 1913)[95] • football (NYT, Oct 23, 1913)[96] • squash (NYT, Dec 8, 1913)[97] • swimming (NYT, May 1, 1914)[98]   This is also not an exhaustive list. It stands in contrast to how rarely overcoming handicap is used in the sporting sense today. There is a clear shift in usage over time. The predominant meanings, moving through the twentieth century, swing to those of triumphing over an encumbrance or physical or mental disadvantage. The idea of disadvantage, as Stiker claims (1999), comes to eclipse the idea of an even playing field. Further, since the word overcoming had been so strongly linked with handicap in the sporting sense, it naturally followed along with it into a rehabilitation context. Rhetorically speaking, what else would one do with a handicap other than try to overcome it?  Summary  Four shifts in historical word usage pointed me towards sites for further exploration. The shift from religious rhetoric to medical understandings of the word overcoming in the Progressive Era suggested to me that a new understanding of social problems might be emerging at that time. Similarly, concerning rehabilitation post World War Two, the shift towards the more   122 active construction of the term overcoming in conjunction with a shift in the term handicap from ensuring fair chances to designating disadvantage indicated that this might be a site where changes were occurring in the social and intellectual fabric of society. At the same time, ideas about being in need of redemption, active individual power (responsibility) to prevail and the equation of handicap and disadvantage all continue to have strong resonances in compulsory heroism today. Historical References Chapter Five 49 overcome [pp. 1-2]. (2017). The Historical Thesaurus of the OED [Online]. Oxford University Press. Retrieved April 17, 2017 from 50 overcome [1]. (2017). The Oxford English Dictionary [Online]. Oxford University Press. Retrieved April 17, 2017 from 51 All Biblical references: The Holy Bible, New International Version. (1984). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 52 Graves, J. S. (1879). The social condition of the blind. In Charles F. Fraser (Ed.), Fighting in the dark (pp. 32-39). Retrieved October 19, 2016 from 53 Howe, J. W. (1891). The Mentor, January 1(1), p. 4. Retrieved October 19, 2016 from   123 54 overcome [8]. (2017). The Oxford English Dictionary [Online]. Oxford University Press. Retrieved April 17, 2017 from  55 ROUTING AN ARMY. (1898, June 14). The New York Times (1857-1922), p. 3.  56 overcome [1] & [2]. The Oxford English Dictionary [Online]. Oxford University Press. Retrieved April 17, 2017 from 57 THE RECORD OF ACCIDENTS. (1880, March 7). The New York Times (1857-1922), p. 2. 58 Fire loss 1 -- no title. (1880, June 20). The New York Times (1857-1922), p. 2. 59 LIFE IN BAXTER STREET. (1880, June 15). The New York Times (1857-1922), p. 7. 60 AMUSEMENTS. (1880, December 14). The New York Times (1857-1922), p. 12.  61 CITY AND SUBURBAN NEWS. (1880, June 14). The New York Times (1857-1922), p. 8. 62 A NEW FIELD FOR WOMEN. (1898, January 30). The New York Times (1857-1922), p. 14. 63 A. GOSLING’S SOUND MIND. (1880, March 17). The New York Times (1857-1922), p. 3. 64  ANOTHER DAY OF TORTURE. (1891, January 20). The New York Times (1857-1922),   p. 8. 65  SCENES OF TERROR AND RUIN. (1886, September 4). The New York Times (1857-1922), p. 1.  66 DROWNED IN LAKE ONTARIO. (1885, August 3). The New York Times (1857-1922),     p. 5.   124 67  A chaplain overcome by liquor. (1894, July 28). The New York Times (1857-1922), p. 9. 68 THE REV. DR. M’COSH DEAD. (1894, November 17). The New York Times (1857-1922), p. 5.  69  OVERCOME BY JOY. (1884, December 13). The New York Times (1857-1922), p. 6.  70 WAIL OF THE RAGPICKER. (1884, July 13). The New York Times (1857-1922), p. 9. 71 Banks overcome by the panic. (1893, August 13). The New York Times (1857-1922), p. 13. 72 OVERCOME BY RUM AND TRUE RELIGION. (1881, July 19). The New York Times (1857-1922), p. 5.  73 TEARS ENDED HER STORY. (1889, July 8). The Washington Post(1877-1922), p. 2.  74 CAPT. MURRELL WEARIED. (1889, April 25). The New York Times (1857-1922), p. 2.  75 A STRIKE FOR EIGHT HOURS. (1893, June 15). The New York Times (1857-1922), p. 1.  76 FELL INTO A BREWER’S VAT. (1886, July 30). The New York Times (1857-1922), p. 8.  77 THE COAL MINE DISASTER. (1882, February 6). The New York Times (1857-1922), p. 1.  78 GAS IN HOOSAC TUNNEL. (1888, September 16). The New York Times (1857-1922), p. 1.  79 MISCELLANEOUS CITY NEWS: The Park Row Disaster. (1882, February 9). The New York Times (1857-1922), p. 2.  80 Bryan and Roosevelt Principal Speakers at Labor Day Demonstration. (1900, September 4). The Washington Post (1877-1922), p. 9.  81 handicap [2b]. (2013). The Oxford English Dictionary [Online]. Oxford University Press. Retrieved October 29, 2016 from   125 82 handicap [4 a & b]. (2013). The Oxford English Dictionary [Online].  Oxford University Press. Retrieved October 29, 2016 from 83 handicap [4 a & b]. (2013). The Oxford English Dictionary [Online]. Oxford University Press. Retrieved October 29, 2016 from 84 MEEKIN’S TIMELY HOME RUN. (1894, September 7). The New York Times (1857-1922), p. 6. 85  FOR THE OLYMPIAN GAMES. (1896, March 22). The New York Times (1857-1922),      p. 12. 86  TALK OF THE HORSEMEN. (1898, October 2). The New York Times (1857-1922), p. 20. 87 HARRIMAN NOW CHAMPION. (1899, July 9). The New York Times (1857-1922), p. 4. 88  THE LARCHMONT REGATTA. (1899, July 5). The New York Times (1857-1922), p. 3. 89 Special to The New York Times. (1904, April 18). KRAMER WON A FAST RACE. The New York Times (1857-1922), p. 10. 90 COURT TENNIS CRACKS IN A SPLENDID MATCH. (1904, December 25). The New York Times (1857-1922), p. 9. 91 Special to The New York Times. (1905, August 1). WESTCHESTER WINS AT POLO. The New York Times (1857-1922), p. 7. 92 CORNELL GAINS IN CHESS TOURNAMENT. (1911, December 28). The New York Times (1857-1922), p. 10.   126 93 RAYNOLDS WINS AT POCKET BILLIARDS. (1912, March 13). The New York Times (1857-1922), p. 9. 94 WOMEN MAY NOW JOIN FENCERS’ CLUB. (1912, October 24). The New York Times (1857-1922), p. 9. 95 BOXING AT CRESCENT A.C. (1913, February 14). The New York Times (1857-1922),     p. 13. 96  GOVERNORS AT FOOTBALL. (1913, October 23). The New York Times (1857-1922),    p. 9. 97 DR. STILLMAN WINS IN SQUASH TOURNEY. (1913, December 8). The New York Times (1857-1922), p. 9. 98  McDermott’s swimming title. (1914, May 1). The New York Times (1857-1922), p. 10.   127 Chapter Six: Institutions for the Education of the Afflicted Classes  The first references to overcoming featuring persons with disability begin to appear in the American newspapers around the turn of the twentieth century. It is not surprising, perhaps, that these are related to institutions for the deaf and blind as these were the disabilities that had “generated the most concern” prior to the twentieth century (Kline, 2001). The first institutions for education of the deaf and blind in North America were started in 1817 (Gallaudet, Hartford Connecticut) and 1832 (Perkins Institution and Massachusetts Asylum for the Blind, Boston), respectively. In Canada, the earliest schools were inaugurated in Montreal (Institution Catholique des Sourds-Muets, 1848; The MacKay Institute for Protestant Deaf-Mutes, 1870) and in Halifax (Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, 1856; Halifax Asylum for the Blind, 1871). By 1879, there were 29 institutions across North America with over 2,200 students (Fraser, 1879)[99].   In the section that follows, I will discuss overcoming as it is taken up in the institutional literature for the blind, the deaf, and the feebleminded. Education for the Blind  Nova Scotia-born Sir Charles Frederick Fraser (a blind graduate of the Perkins Institution) became superintendent of the Halifax Asylum for the Blind in 1874. In 1879, he published a booklet of collected works, Fighting in the Dark (hereafter, referred to as Fighting), in order to promote the school and encourage the political will to obtain public funding for it. Fighting contains essays from prominent leaders in education for the blind (e.g., Samuel Gridley Howe, Perkins; Stephen Babcock, New York Institution; and Josiah F. Graves, Pennsylvania Institution), reprints of newspaper articles (e.g., British, The London Mirror; and Canadian, The   128 Halifax Evening Reporter and Times), endorsements from distinguished citizens of Halifax, an history and annual reports of the Halifax Asylum, as well as a program for their promotional tour. With clear promotional ends, Fighting presents the rationale of the time for education of the blind: “an afflicted race” “who as a class”14 can become “self supporting and useful members of society” (The London Mirror, p. 43)[100]. Josiah F. Graves (p. 39)[101] underlines, “The great fundamental principles of all our institutions,” that is, “giving the blind an education, both intellectual and moral, which will give them social caste equal to their sighted companions.” Towards those ends, J. W. Smith in his essay, “Piano-Forte Tuning as An Employment for the Blind,” urges, “To overcome15 the prejudice and secure the confidence of those who now distrust the ability of the blind workman, is the great work to which the blind and their educators must address themselves” (p. 52)[102].  In order to achieve these goals involving issues of economic competition, social status, and public attitude change, I forward two interconnected pairs of processes are brought into play: classification–differentiation and normalization–reeducation. It should be noted that an emphasis on classification is not unique to educational institutions for the blind (and the deaf); it widely characterizes scholarly activity of the nineteenth century (see, for example, Foucault, 2002). I organize my analysis of the use of the verb to overcome in the discourse promoting education for the blind around these processes. For my purposes, classification and differentiation entail establishing a category of people (“the blind”) and then defining the people in that category by describing them positively (who they are–their characteristics) and negatively (who they are not).                                                 14 It is worth noting the conflation of “race” and “class.” In this, certain classifications, such as “the blind,” become both classed and racialized.  15 I italicize, for emphasis, each occurrence of words overcome and handicap in the historical sources cited.   129 Classification sets up new understandings, new knowledge in a scientific paradigm. Differentiation distinguishes the new understanding from others. Normalization concerns extinguishing certain behaviours (or characteristics of that category of people) that are deemed inappropriate, and reeducation involves instilling new more appropriate ones. Overcoming is invoked in each of these in interesting ways.   Perhaps the clearest example of classification and differentiation can be found in the words of the Bishop of Sidney in the Annual Report for the Royal Normal College and Academy of Music for the Blind (RNCAMB) (1888). He exhorts his readers: Regard the blind, as not a burden, but an integral element of the whole community—a class under deprivation and disadvantage indeed, and therefore having some special claim for sympathy and aid—but yet a class which, having received that aid, is capable of self-dependence, capable of claiming its place in the education and work of the nation, capable in degree of performing duties to society and bearing some shares of the burdens laid upon it. It is in order so to open the prison gates of blindness, that they, who might otherwise be helpless dependents on charity and hopeless burdens to society, may go out into the atmosphere of work, of freedom, of independence (p. 48)[103].  Positively defined, “the blind” are “an integral element of the whole community”: “a class” “under deprivation and disadvantage” (the worthy poor) and “having some special claim for sympathy.” Moreover, “the blind” are “capable.” Negatively differentiated, “the blind” are not “helpless dependents on charity” or “hopeless burdens to society.” The advocates for education for the blind repeatedly delineate between “the blind” and those needing charity. Josiah S. Graves (1879) writes,  The opinion of the public at large concerning the blind, founded as it no doubt is on ignorance and a lack of association with them, is nevertheless much to be deplored, as it is very discouraging and depriving of energy and self-confidence to be considered objects of charity rather than those capable and willing to perform many of the useful avocations of life. Notwithstanding all this many have triumphed over blindness, poverty and other obstacles, and reached the highest   130 pinnacles of fame as musicians, poets, historians, divines, mathematicians, naturalists, professors of physics and chemistry and statesmen, whose names now gild the pages of history (p. 35)[104].   In the literature promoting education for the blind, the blind, “as a class,” are described as having “awkward and peculiar ways,” “stiffness and want of grace,” “deficient energy,” and “timidity”—all characteristics that must be overcome. Here are two examples from the British RNCAMB (1888): Suffice it to say, no means are left unused to overcome the loss of vitality from which the Blind as a class suffer, and endue them with the strength and endurance to manfully face the world and its difficulties (p. 26)[105].  Stiffness and want of grace in the movements of your performers must be overcome or your work will be a failure (p. 28)[106].    C. F. Fraser in his essay, “The Mental and Physical Condition of the Blind who are Educated, Compared with that of the Uneducated,” further differentiates “the blind” from “the uneducated blind”:  Quick perceptions, retentive memories, and sound judgment, are characteristics which enable the educated, self-reliant blind to overcome all difficulties and throw all obstacles behind them. How different it is with one afflicted with this physical imperfection of blindness who is not taught and trained! . . . The uneducated blind as a class are depressed and discontented . . . Physical darkness, mental darkness, and moral darkness!—a triple Egyptian gloom which naught but the light of knowledge can dispel (p. 60-61)[107].   An additional example of differentiation is found in a surprising source: a travelogue by Charles Dickens. On his first visit to America in 1842, Dickens visited various institutions in the Boston area including the Perkins Institution and Massachusetts Asylum for the Blind. American Notes (1883) details his experience. Dickens quotes the trustees at Perkins (from an Annual Report) where a distinction is drawn between those able to work and the infirm:   131 Those who prove unable to earn their own livelihood will not be retained; as it is not desirable to convert the establishment into an almshouse, or retain any but working bees in the hive. Those who by physical or mental imbecility are disqualified from work, are thereby disqualified from being members of an industrious community; and they can be better provided for in establishments fitted for the infirm (as cited on p. 611)[108].    What is established is a new classification, a new understanding that we could call the abled blind16. The abled blind are differentiated from those that are “dependent” “burdens” (the infirm or the uneducated blind) under the previous paradigm, charity. As Perkins Alumnus Thomas Reeves states, “The class from which we are all anxious to separate the blind is the dependent class” (The Mentor, 1893, p. 67)[109]. However, in order to be included as one of the abled blind individuals had to be normalized and reeducated, “taught and trained,” and specifically, “taught and trained to overcome their physical disabilities” (RNCAMB, 1888, p. 10)[110]. Character had to be taught and individuals trained to overcome their awkward, peculiar, stiff, weak, or timid behaviours.   It needs to be emphasized that moral and intellectual goals went hand-in-hand for nineteenth century reformers who argued that public education would uplift the character of the nation as well as promote social integration (Valverde, 2008). Indeed, a progressive society required “the inseparable goals of material and moral progress” (Pearce, 2011, p. 47). This was no less true for education of the blind. Canon Fleming (RNCAMB, 1888, p. 20)[111] writes, “The aim of the College is the harmonious development of the moral faculties in earnest Christian character.” Those with good character are described as persevering, courageous, manly, energetic, intelligent, industrious, self-reliant, virtuous, honest, and “cheerfully                                                 16 I adapt here Tanya Titchkosky’s expression “the abled-disabled” (2007, p. 151). While Titchkosky argues that this is a “new type of person,” my analysis suggests that perhaps it is not so new after all.   132 submitting to their privation” (Babcock, 1879, p. 29)[112]. It is widely observed that these qualities reflect gendered, raced, and classed Protestant values (see, for example, Valverde, 2008). Overcoming is deeply tied to these ideals. Character is viewed as the means of overcoming, and overcoming attests to character, for example: That these difficulties were triumphantly overcome is owing to the great energy and perseverance of the young man in question. I fear, however, that many students have succumbed to the same obstacles (Reeves, T., The Mentor, 1893, p. 65)[113].  It is not what man achieves, but what be overcomes to reach the achievement, that shows how great and brave he is (Fearing, L. B., The Mentor, 1891, p. 87)[114].   However, although character is necessary for overcoming, it is not sufficient. Normalization is also required as illustrated here: “It often occurs, even with manly character, indomitable courage, and superior intelligence, that the Blind lose appointments through the unpleasant impressions occasioned by their awkwardness” (RNCAMBAR, 1888, p. 28)[115].   Furthermore, moderate achievement is also insufficient. In order to compete economically the blind must outperform the seeing. Edward E. Allen writes in The Mentor, Those of the blind who would succeed in the profession they adopt must learn that mediocrity will not do. To overcome a very natural prejudice in the seeing, they must excel other competitors or consent to be left behind by those who are not similarly hampered (1893, p. 45)[116].   We could say, then, that overcoming involves normalization, depends upon gendered, raced, and classed Protestant values, and demands surpassing the achievements of the average person. Social status as the abled blind could not be attained without overcoming: overcoming the peculiarities of the blind “as a class”; overcoming “the extraordinary burden [they have] to bear” (RNCAMBAR, 1888, p. 19)[117]; overcoming all difficulties and obstacles; overcoming physical, mental, and moral darkness; overcoming the discouragement and loss of confidence   133 resulting from the “opinion of the public at large”; overcoming poverty; and overcoming “a very natural prejudice in the seeing” to list a few items mentioned in the quotes above. I am overcome with weariness just imagining the implications of all there is to be overcome! Contradictions or tensions.  A few comments are in order. First, there are several points of tension, even contradiction, in the discourse surrounding education for the blind. While educators, such as Edward E. Allen above (1893), asserted that the blind need to outperform the seeing in order to succeed, the employment skills taught are quite mundane: cane-seating, mattress stuffing, broom, mat and brush making, sewing, knitting, fancy bead work and piano tuning (see for example, Fighting, p. 85-86)[118]. It is hard to grasp how a blind person could gain fame or fortune or even outdo the seeing in these professions. One explanation, perhaps, is the failure of the advocates of education for the blind to fully acknowledge the role that class-related inequity and privilege played both in education and in the future success of blind students. Stephen Babcock of the New York Institution observes,  There have been in all ages occasions of blind persons, who being more resolute, ambitious or fortunately situated than others, have overcome obstacles and blessed the world by their contributions to science and art; and have left their names indelibly written on the scroll of fame (1879, p. 18, emphasis mine)[119].   The students at the Halifax Asylum are reported to have parents “for the most part” “in indigent circumstances” (1879, p. 74)[120]. At the time of his death in 1925, Sir Charles F. Fraser, descendent of Scottish aristocracy and “a member of the social and economic elite of the province of Nova Scotia” (Guildford, 2005), was “lauded as one of the first—if not the first—blind person in Nova Scotia to be self-sufficiently employed” (Pearce, 2011, p. 56). This is despite 50 years promoting economic independence for his blind students.    134  A related tension is, as Catherine Kudlick notes, “the challenge of simultaneously showing that blindness was pathetic and that blind people could be advanced” (2001, p. 196). The blind are described as “people who cannot aid themselves, until they are taught and trained to overcome their physical disabilities” (RNCAMBAR, 1888, p. 10)[121]. However, examples are given of the blind “in all ages” who have “left their names indelibly written on the scroll of fame” (Babcock, 1879, p. 18)[122]. Kudlick argues that there was a need “to showcase its [an organization’s] modernity through what teachers did for the blind, rather than what blind people ended up doing for themselves.” “After all, if blind people came off as competent and self-sufficient, why give the organizations helping them money?” (2001, p. 196).  However, an alternative and complementary explanation for this contradiction also acknowledges the role of the deserving poor in the formation of emerging middle-class values and identity (Guildford, 2005). Mariana Valverde argues that moral reform campaigns in Canada helped shape class, gender, and national identities. Following Valverde’s line of reasoning, framing blind students, also, as “helpless objects in need of study and reform” undoubtedly enabled certain middle class men and women to gain status and professional identity as “rescuers, reformers, and even experts” (Valverde, 2008, pp. 29-30).  Mary Klages (1999) presents another tension in her discussion of two contradictory ways educators in the nineteenth century, such as S. G. Howe at Perkins, constructed the social meaning of blindness: first, through sentimental portrayals in literature, “as people similar to themselves, rather than as a separate race of beings,” and second, “as a class” unto itself, complete with statistical information and scientific description. In either case, Klages argues that “their status as spectacle, as object or fantasy, precludes their being recognized as subjects in   135 their own right: they remain bearers of meaning, symbolic objects, rather than makers of meaning, people who can speak for themselves about their own experiences and thoughts” (p. 140).  It is also noteworthy that the promotion of a new category of people, the abled blind, did not challenge the notion of a “dependent class.” Rather, it required it in order to define and differentiate the new category of economically independent blind persons. This left the dependent class as the measure of true deficiency, a population from which the abled blind had to distinguish themselves. Sharon Snyder and David Mitchell observe, “In order to counteract charges of deviance historically assigned to blackness, femininity, or homosexuality, these political discourses have tended to reify disability as ‘true’ insufficiency, thereby extricating their own populations from equations of inferiority” (2006, p. 17). I maintain that this process of differentiation (and disavowal) is a well-worn strategy of stigma management (Goffman, 1963). It requires someone who is “worse off,” someone who “truly” is inferior beside whom the person who is managing stigma appears superior. It is an attempt to reshuffle status within social hierarchies rather than calling the hierarchies themselves into question. In this, social categories are used to re-create, reinforce, and maintain the “Other,” and persons with disability have also been complicit. An overcoming narrative.  The December 1, 1901 issue of The Washington Post published a reprint of an article from The Boston Globe entitled, “Wealth of Blind Men: Handicap of Sightlessness Overcome by Many” (p. 24)[123]. The bolded bylines read: “Case of a Boston man an Instance that Loss of Eyesight Does Not Mean Poverty—Possible to Succeed in Legitimate Business—Avenues of   136 Trade Open to the Unfortunate—Examples of Those Who Found Trade Profitable—Blind Man as Printer.” The article goes on to describe the “comfortable fortunes made” by four eminent graduates the of Perkins Institution: Stephen J. Blaisdell (piano and sewing machine dealer); Dennis A. Reardon (director of the Perkins Institution, mechanic, inventor, architect, and electrician); Frank H. Kilbourne (piano dealer, pianist, cornet player, and music teacher); and William B. Perry (lawyer, candidate for mayor, past valedictorian, and instructor).  This article is illustrative for two reasons. First, although “overcoming” is mentioned in the title, the article does not follow the script of a contemporary overcoming story; there are no pity-producing back-stories, downward spirals, turning points, or ultimate victories. The aim of the article is neither to solicit funds nor to provide inspiration. It is a special interest story revolving around the astounding successes of four men who, in the view of the public at large, simply were not expected to be successful.   This brings me to my second point: It is clear in the article that the interviewee (Mr. Reardon) and the reporter have separate agendas. Mr. Reardon wants to demonstrate to the public that blind persons are capable; it is an early example of organizations using the press to try to influence public opinion. He says, “There are certain things . . . that a man without eyes can’t do. He can’t be a plumber, because he can’t feel the hot joints. He can’t ride a bicycle alone in the crowded streets of a city: perhaps he might ride one out one the plains if the plains were big enough. But he can do a host of things and do them well.”   The reporter, in contrast, frames the account as a morality tale. Describing the “small fortune” amassed by Mr. Blaisdell the reporter comments, “He grew to be wealthier than the majority of fortunate individuals who possess two good eyes each, but have leaks in their   137 pocketbooks, through which the coin and the scrip of the realm escape in streams.” Shifting the focus of the article to a lesson to be learned (of economic prudence in this case) does two things: It leaves attitudes towards the blind largely unchanged, and it disciplines seeing individuals, particularly those who are not considered successful. Instead of “hire the blind, they are capable,” the greater message becomes: “If they can do it, you have no excuse.” While stigma management by differentiation may slightly improve the social status of some individuals, it is only at the cost of others having theirs diminished. Further, the standard for acceptance in society for all stigmatized persons is raised—the bar moves higher and higher. As we shall see, employing the stories of persons with disability as lessons to be learned becomes a tool of moral reform in the Progressive Era America. Education for the Deaf   There are a number of histories of education for the deaf written from a disability studies perspective, such as When the Mind Hears: A History of the Deaf and The Mask of Benevolence: Disabling the Deaf Community( Lane, 1984, 1992), Forbidden Signs: American Culture and the Campaign Against Sign Language (Baynton, 1996), “Reading between the Signs: Defending Deaf Culture in Early Twentieth-Century America” (Burch, 2001), and Damned for their Difference: The Cultural Construction of Deaf People as Disabled: A Sociological History (Branson & Miller, 2002). The overriding emphases of these studies are the resistance of deaf persons as shown in their struggle for Deaf culture and the fight against oralism in deaf education17. Persons within the “Deaf” (uppercase “d”) culture do not view deafness as a                                                 17 It is important to note that I employ terms such as “deaf” and “feebleminded” as they are employed in the historical institutional literature.    138 disability, but rather as membership in linguist and cultural community (See, for example, Humphries, 1993; Padden & Humphries, 1988).  The main historical sources I explored are Montrealer Thomas Widd’s 1880[124] booklet, The Deaf and Dumb and Blind Deaf Mutes (hereafter, referred to as The Deaf and Dumb), and The American Annals of the Deaf and Dumb (AADD) 1847-1893 (Archived at Gallaudet University)[125]. It is interesting to compare Widd’s The Deaf and Dumb with Fraser’s Fighting and the historical archives at Gallaudet with those at Perkins. What is striking is that, in contrast to the discourse promoting education for the blind, that promoting education for the deaf makes very little reference to overcoming. The things that are most discussed as being overcome are problems, obstacles, and prejudice. However, these generally describe difficulties like establishing a school, attracting enough students, teaching, or more broadly, challenges of life and living. Here is an example from the AADD 1887: “Indeed, the path of life will, in most instances, to our great disappointment, be found rough, and beset with many obstacles to be overcome” (Vol. XXII, p. 252)[126].   The Deaf and Dumb (Widd, 1880) parallels Fighting (Fraser, 1879) in many ways: Both are written by Canadian men with impairments who have been educated in the kinds of schools they are promoting, both provide rich histories of their respective institutions, both promote education as a matter of justice and equal opportunity, and both draw a sharp distinction between the educated and the uneducated persons with impairment. However, while Fraser describes the uneducated blind, as a class, as “depressed” and “discontented” (p. 60)[127], Widd asserts that it is “a plain fact, well-known to the teachers of the two classes” that the blind are cheerful, but the deaf, however, are “inclined to melancholy, to be uncommunicative, unsocial, jealous,   139 suspicious, and dissatisfied with their lot in life” (p. 44)[128]. Despite the obvious contradiction, both men take great pains to portray their students as sorely in need or, as Klages offers, as “suffering humans trapped within defective bodies and needing to be rescued by the earnest efforts of educators” (1999, p. 12).  However, the booklet, The Deaf and Dumb, makes very little reference to overcoming while Fighting is full of it. I have puzzled over this. I believe the explanation, in part, may lie in Widd’s purpose for writing the booklet: to correct various misunderstandings people have concerning the deaf and to promote the “full benefit of enlightened sympathy.” In order to do this, Widd takes up two questions: “Is conscience primitive,” and “Who is more pitiable, the blind or the deaf?” The crux of Widd’s argument is that the deaf are worse off because their main disadvantage is moral, that is, awareness of God and of the soul are not innate, but dependent on language. He reasons, Locke says that man has no innate ideas, but that his mind in early infancy is like a blank sheet of paper, ready to receive any external impressions. So with the uneducated deaf-mute. His mind remains a blank sheet as long as he is uninstructed. Their moral and intellectual condition before instruction is little above that of the more intelligent brutes, and lower than that of the most unenlightened savages. All philologists and mental philosophers agree that it is the gift of language that “chiefly distinguishes” man from the brutes, and that without it he would have little claim to the title of a rational being (p. 25)[129].  Further, because blindness is highly visible, Widd argues that people tend to have a natural sympathy towards the blind that they do not towards the deaf. In the ongoing and conflicting need among educators to show disabled persons as both pitiable and capable, Widd’s position slides to the pitiable side of the scale. In order to generate sympathy for the deaf and to compete with that more openly offered to the blind, Widd repeatedly asserts that deafness is the “more formidable obstacle” (p. 28)[130]. In terms of differentiation, Widd’s argument is that the deaf   140 are not the blind; the deaf are worse-off. His concern is not social status, but rather, “enlightened sympathy.” The classification he sets up can perhaps be called the ignoble deaf18--a category of persons based on a racialized construction of human intellect that places them in the evolutionary scale somewhere between “the intelligent brutes” and “the unenlightened savages.”  I suggest that reference to overcoming, in this case, would work against Widd’s portrayal of deafness as pitiable.   However, another part of the explanation may be found in Widd’s discussion of renowned French educator for the deaf, l’Abbé Sicard, and his students, Jean Massieu and Laurent Clerc. In 1815, Sicard conducted public lectures in London demonstrating the remarkable success of his method for teaching deaf-mutes. Audience members asked Massieu and Clerc questions, such as “What difference is there between love and friendship?” (Massieu et al., 1815, p. B4)[131]. Sicard re-stated the questions in a form of sign language, and Massieu and Clerc wrote their answers on a large chalkboard. Massieu, in particular, became well known for his extraordinary answers. Regarding Massieu, Widd writes, It was his brilliant sayings alone which made him famous, but they have done more harm than good. They were delusive and led people to expect every deaf-mute taught in the Institution to be able to utter similar grandiloquent sentences, and to do readily and spontaneously what they can scarcely do at all. Even in our own time the fame of Massieu continues to deceive and mislead. It leads to disappointment on all sides. Parents are disappointed, subscribers are disappointed, the public are disappointed, the reputation and possibly the funds of the Institution suffer and the whole blame falls upon the unfortunate teacher, because he is not Sicard, and cannot turn out, not one Massieu, but a score or a hundred (p. 38)[132].                                                   18 I am playing with Rousseau’s concept of the “noble savage” here (see for example, Combée and Plax, 1973).   141 Sicard, a hearing person, in his introduction to the London lectures describes deafness as a barrier that has been “overcome” by the “talent and courage” of his predecessor, and he alludes to his method as a “triumph of art over nature” (Massieu et al, 1885, p. iii and p. xv)[133]. Widd, however, steps clear of such triumphant assertions. He is adamant that promoting education for the deaf through the extraordinary success of extraordinary individuals does “more harm than good.” In this, Widd’s comments presage the critique that would come from disability advocates almost one hundred years later. In 1984, Harlan Lane writes speaking from Laurent Clerc’s point of view, There is no gainsaying that we, the deaf, paid a price for these spectacles enacted for the idle and curious public; that preposterous and cruel things were said about us to our faces; that the reason for our accomplishments was always the genius of some hearing person; that, in short, we were treated like the wise horse who at his master’s orders taps his foot on the public square as many times as the town clock shows hours (1984, p. 38).   In comparing the archives at Perkins with those at Gallaudet, again, it is remarkable how little reference to overcoming is made in the latter. However, I did find one rare reference to victorious overcoming in the AADD (1887) from a hearing woman, Miss Susanna E. Hull, who is promoting the German oral method of deaf education. The thrust of Miss Hull’s argument is that biology is not destiny, and she makes her case from the book of Genesis. She forwards (p. 234)[134] that deaf persons are not slaves to their circumstances or “even to the laws of nature” since humanity can “triumph over nature” in the same way that the First man was given “Divine power of dominion over nature.” Further, “the crowning triumph of man’s power is the rising superior to infirmity.” In other words, overcoming infirmity (deafness in this case) is the highest demonstration of man’s God-given dominion over nature. Moreover, overcoming infirmity, like exercising dominion over nature, is a divinely given duty. She concludes,   142 Do persons born deaf differ mentally from others who have the faculty of hearing? Firmly, we answer, No! There is no difference mentally; there is only the physical lack which it is man’s duty and privilege and honor to supply and overcome . . . How it can be overcome, triumphed over, conquered, the German system of educating the deaf shows us (p. 240)[135].   While Widd stresses the mental and moral deficiencies of the deaf before education, Miss Hull emphasizes their capabilities (the same as hearing people) as illustrated by the results after education. As with the discourse for education of the blind, we see a clear tension between portraying the deaf as different (rescue the sub-savages) and the same (they can be like “us”). Nevertheless, there is no question that, historically, education for the deaf has been much more divided and contentious than that for the blind. Thomas Widd, a self-described “deaf-mute,” promotes a sign-based approach to deaf education. Miss Hull, a hearing person, is a staunch oralist. The clear goal of the oralist approach is normalization—the deaf shall speak and read lips. Again, we see that reference to overcoming is tied up with normalization. It is also interesting to note that the responsibility to overcome, in this instance, is put on educators who are positioned as divinely appointed conquerors. Deaf persons are positioned as equal but dependent on the provision of others for their equality.   Another consideration is that deaf persons themselves, often, do not perceive deafness as a disability, as a formidable problem or, even, as the most difficult challenge in life. This is underlined by an unnamed deaf woman in an 1886 letter published in the AADD. This woman who had lost her hearing as a child writes, “It is wonderful how a difficulty can be overcome by simply ignoring it . . . My feeling has been, however, not one of sorrow at the disadvantage of deafness, but one of surprise that it was really so slight a drawback” (p. 163)[136]. Even more, this woman goes on to describe the advantages she experiences from deafness: the enhancement   143 of her other senses and a depth and clarity of thought. Her resistance is to deafness being framed as pitiable and, therefore, requiring any great courage or strength of character to overcome.   Whatever the explanation, what is clear is that the appeal to overcoming in promoting education for persons with disability was not ubiquitous.  An overcoming story.  Concerning education of the deaf, the occasions overcoming is invoked seem to be when hearing persons are proclaiming the successes of their particular instructional methods, successes that are evidenced through the normalization of deaf students.   A vivid example from The New York Times (Jul 31, 1904, p. 21)[137] is an article entitled, “Deaf-Mutes Who March and Drill to Fife and Drum.” Col. Enoch Henry Currier (Principal of The New York Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb) says that he noticed “all deaf and dumb persons have a slouching gait and never carry themselves with easy grace.” This inspired the colonel to inaugurate “the only deaf-mute military school in the world.”  The result was “a fully equipped fife and drum corps, whose members cannot hear one single note,” yet march in perfect step—a public spectacle of “how nearly these afflicted young men have succeeded in overcoming the handicap imposed by their misfortune.” Although Col. Currier was told it could not be done, he boasts, “At times the obstacles seemed insurmountable, but I persevered.”   This example illustrates the way disability (deafness in this instance) is performed as a public spectacle (something I will return to in Chapter Ten). Harlan Lane’s (1984) comments about Sicard above certainly have resonances here. Further, note the positioning of the deaf students: as “afflicted” and pitiable in their “misfortune” thus requiring the efforts of a   144 preserving principal in order to be relieved of their “slouching gait” and lack of grace. The clear hero of the story is the stalwart Col. Currier.   Education for the Feebleminded  It is interesting to note that many founders for schools for the deaf and blind also branched out to work with other “afflicted” persons. In a tribute to Thomas Gallaudet, H. P. Peet says that from a school for the deaf and dumb, Gallaudet then reached out to “the yet more wretched victims of insanity” (AADD, 1952, p.75)[138]. In 1849, Samuel Gridley Howe established what would become the Massachusetts School for the Idiotic and Feebleminded.   The school began as an educational experiment. Under an act of the Massachusetts Legislature on April 11, 1846, Dr. Howe was appointed chairman of a committee directed to find out the number and condition of “the Idiots of the Commonwealth” and to determine whether or not something could be done for them. Needless to say, Howe’s experiment was so successful that it ushered in a new era in the education and eventual institution of persons with intellectual disability, persons Howe describes as “the most afflicted of the human race” (Dana, 1849, para. 11)[139]. Howe reports, “It has been demonstrated that idiots are capable of improvement and that they can be raised from a state of low degradation to a higher condition.” He recommends, “Measures be at once taken to rescue this most unfortunate class from the dreadful degradation in which they now grovel” (1909, p. 35, para. 423[140]; Dana, 1849, para. 13[141]).   In his report to the Massachusetts Legislature, Howe details the situation of the colony’s idiots:   145 Our law considered them as paupers, but classed them with rogues and vagabonds; for it provided that they should be kept within the precincts of the House of Correction. The most melancholy feature of the whole was that they were condemned as worthless and incapable of improvement; and the law required their removal from the only place where they were comfortable, the State Lunatic Asylum, whenever it was necessary to make room for the less unfortunate insane, and it sent them, not to another asylum, but to the houses of correction. There was not, throughout this whole continent, any systematic attempt to lift them out of their brutishness. Even in Massachusetts, where the maniac is made to go clad and kept in mental quiet, -- where the blind are taught to read, the mute to speak, yea, and even the blind mute to do both, -- even here the poor idiot was left to that deterioration which certainly follows neglect. He had but little talent given him, and by neglect or abuse that little was lost, until, growing more and more brutish, he sank unregretting and unregretted into an early grave, without ever having been counted as a man  (1909, p. 36, para. 442-443)[142].    The ameliorated condition of the students after education reported by Howe includes: improved health, cleanliness, habits, and obedience, as well as the ability to feed and dress themselves, to speak, and to read simple sentences. One visitor to the school, a Mr. Whittier, describes the progress of one student as “almost like a resurrection of a mind from death—or rather a new creation” (1909, p. 35, para. 432)[143]. Yet, despite reports of dramatic results like these, there are no references to overcoming in the literature I perused. “Idiots” are described as raised to a higher condition, even rescued, resurrected, or recreated through education, but they are not portrayed as overcoming. Moreover, this is also borne out in the historical newspapers. Further research is necessary to confirm this conclusion, but it appears that persons with intellectual disability were considered outside the reach of the overcoming narrative in the mid nineteenth century. The best that was hoped for, and this was revolutionary at the time, was that they began to be considered improvable—a new understanding that we could call the educable idiot.    146  As a final note, it should also be mentioned that blind students at Perkins strongly differentiated themselves from the students with an intellectual disability. Howe’s daughter comments in a published collection of her father’s letters and journals,  The school was soon moved from the Perkins Institution; not only on account of its own need of wider space, but because the blind pupils resented keenly, and perhaps not unnaturally, the presence of their weak-minded brethren. Always sensitive, they fancied, perhaps, that they might be classed with these unfortunates; even Laura Bridgman writes in her journal: “I should be so happy to be much more pleasantly established with the whole house if they could prescribe to the Idiots not to have our rooms” (1909, p. 37, para. 451)[144].  Summary   The abled blind, the ignoble (noble) deaf and educable idiot—these are my fabricated labels to demonstrate that advocates for education for persons with disability in the nineteenth century were actively involved in the production of knowledge about disability. They classified and differentiated among classes of disability. They collected data, wrote extensive notes, and published in educational journals. They curried the favour of influential persons and pressed for legislative change. They were fund-raisers and publicists, school administrators and teachers, benevolent citizens and missionaries, all wrapped up in the same package. In the process, institutions for educating persons with disability were established.  Reference to overcoming in the institution-centred literature was plentiful for the blind, sparse and conflicted for the deaf, and non-existent for those with intellectual disability. Overcoming rhetoric was widely employed with Christian meanings rooted in redemption. It can be characterized overall as religious rhetoric—a potent mix of charitable initiative sponsored by the churches and steeped in the Protestant work ethic, values, and religious reasoning. Persons with disability (“the afflicted”) were categorized and placed in a contested hierarchy of who was   147 more “wretched.” However, they were all perceived to be in need of rescue or redemption. Overcoming stories concerning education of the blind and the deaf emerged in the historical newspapers at the turn of the twentieth century and can be described as human-interest stories: For the blind, they highlight the ability of blind persons to be economically independent; for the deaf, they emphasize the triumphs of educators; and concerning the intellectually disabled, they remain silent. The next chapter will consider overcoming as it was taken up by Progressive Era reformers. Historical References Chapter Six 99 Fraser, C. S. (Ed). (1879). Fighting in the dark. Halifax, NS: Charles S. Fraser. Retrieved October 19, 2016 from 100 The Musical Education of the Blind. (1879). Reprinted from The London Mirror. In C. S. Fraser (Ed.), Fighting in the dark (pp. 39-43). Halifax, NS: Charles S. Fraser.  101 Graves, J. S. (1879). The social condition of the blind. In Charles F. Fraser (Ed.), Fighting in the dark (pp. 32-39). Halifax, NS: Charles S. Fraser.  102 Smith, J. W. (1879). Piano-forte tuning as an employment for the blind. In C. S. Fraser (Ed), Fighting in the dark (pp. 44- 59). Halifax, NS: Charles S. Fraser.  103 Royal Normal College and Academy of Music for the Blind (RNCAMB). (1888). Annual report. London, UK: Hazell, Watson & Viney Ltd. (Printers). Retrieved October 19, 2016 from 104 Graves, J. S. (1879). The social condition of the blind. In Charles F. Fraser (Ed.), Fighting in the dark (pp. 32-39). Halifax, NS: Charles S. Fraser.    148 105 Royal Normal College and Academy of Music for the Blind (RNCAMB). (1888). Annual report, p. 26. London, UK: Hazell, Watson & Viney Ltd. (Printers).  106 Royal Normal College and Academy of Music for the Blind (RNCAMB). (1888). Annual report, p. 28. London, UK: Hazell, Watson & Viney Ltd. (Printers).  107 Fraser, C. F. (1879). The mental and physical condition of the blind who are educated, compared with that of the uneducated. In C. S. Fraser (Ed.), Fighting in the dark (pp. 59-61). Halifax, NS: Charles S. Fraser. 108 Dickens, C. (1883). American notes. New York, NY: John W. Lovell Company. Retrieved October 19, 2016 from 109 Reeves, T. (1893). A medium of communication. The Mentor, 3(2), 65-68. Perkins School for the Blind Archives. Retrieved April 16, 2017 from 110 Royal Normal College and Academy of Music for the Blind (RNCAMB). (1888). Annual report, p. 10. London, UK: Hazell, Watson & Viney Ltd. (Printers). 111 Royal Normal College and Academy of Music for the Blind (RNCAMB). (1888). Annual report, p. 20. London, UK: Hazell, Watson & Viney Ltd. (Printers). 112 Babcock, S. (1879). The social condition and attainments of the blind. In C. S. Fraser (Ed.), Fighting in the dark (pp. 17-32). Halifax, NS: Charles S. Fraser.  113 Reeves, T. (1893). A medium of communication. The Mentor, 3(2), p. 65. Perkins School for the Blind Archives. 114 Fearing, L. B. (1891). A noble character. The Mentor, 1(3), 85-89. Perkins School for the Blind Archives.   149 115 Royal Normal College and Academy of Music for the Blind (RNCAMB). (1888). Annual report, p. 28. London, UK: Hazell, Watson & Viney Ltd. (Printers). 116 Allan, E. E. (1893). David Duffle Wood. The Mentor, 3(2), 41-45. Perkins School for the Blind Archives. 117 Royal Normal College and Academy of Music for the Blind (RNCAMB). (1888). Annual report, p. 19. London, UK: Hazell, Watson & Viney Ltd. (Printers). 118 Fraser, C. F. (1879). Superintendent’s report. In C. S. Fraser (Ed.), Fighting in the dark     (p. 85). Halifax, NS: Charles S. Fraser. 119 Babcock, S. (1879). The social condition and attainments of the blind. In C. S. Fraser (Ed.), Fighting in the dark (p. 18). Halifax, NS: Charles S. Fraser. 120 Fraser, C. F. (1879). Superintendent’s report. In C. S. Fraser (Ed.), Fighting in the Dark    (p. 74). Halifax, NS: Charles S. Fraser. 121 Royal Normal College and Academy of Music for the Blind (RNCAMB). (1888). Annual report, p. 10. London, UK: Hazell, Watson & Viney Ltd. (Printers). 122 Babcock, S. (1879). The social condition and attainments of the blind. In C. S. Fraser (Ed.), Fighting in the dark (p. 18). Halifax, NS: Charles S. Fraser. 123 From the Boston Globe. (1901, December 1). WEALTH OF BLIND MEN. Handicap of Sightlessness Overcome by Many. COMFORTABLE FORTUNES MADE. The Washington Post (1877-1922), p. 24.  124 Widd, T. (1880). Deaf and dumb and blind deaf-mutes. Montreal, QC: F. E. Grafton. Retrieved October 19, 2016 from   150 125 American Annals for the Deaf and Dumb. (1847-1893). Retrieved October 19, 2016 from 126 Fay, E. A. (Ed.). (1887). Miscellaneous. American Annals of the Deaf and Dumb, XXII, 252. Washington, DC: American Instructors of the Deaf and Dumb.  127 Fraser, C. F. (1879). Superintendent’s report. In C. S. Fraser (Ed.), Fighting in the dark     (p. 60). Halifax, NS: Charles S. Fraser. 128 Widd, T. (1880). Deaf and dumb and blind deaf-mutes (p. 44). Montreal, QC: F. E. Grafton. 129 Widd, T. (1880). Deaf and dumb and blind deaf-mutes (p. 25). Montreal, QC: F. E. Grafton.  130 Widd, T. (1880). Deaf and dumb and blind deaf-mutes (p. 28). Montreal, QC: F. E. Grafton.  131 Massieu, J., Clerc, L., Sicard, R. A. C. (1815). A collection of the most remarkable definitions and answers of Massieu and Clerc, deaf and dumb, to the various  questions put to them, at the public lectures of the Abbé Sicard, in London (p. B4). London, UK: Cox and Baylis. Retrieved April 18, 2017 from 132 Widd, T. (1880). Deaf and dumb and blind deaf-mutes (p. 38). Montreal, QC: F. E. Grafton.  133 Massieu, J., Clerc, L., Sicard, R. A. C. (1815). A collection of the most remarkable definitions and answers of Massieu and Clerc, deaf and dumb, to the various  questions put to them, at the public lectures of the Abbé Sicard, in London (pp. iii, xv). London, UK: Cox and Baylis.    151 134 Hull, S. (1897). Do persons born deaf differ mentally from others who have the power of hearing? In E. A. Fay, (Ed.). (1887). American Annals of the Deaf and Dumb, XXII, 234. Washington, DC: Convention of American Instructors of the Deaf and Dumb. 135 Hull, S. (1897). Do persons born deaf differ mentally from others who have the power of hearing? In E. A. Fay, (Ed.). (1887). American Annals of the Deaf and Dumb, XXII, 240. Washington, DC: Convention of American Instructors of the Deaf and Dumb. 136 Fay, E. A. (Ed.). (1886). Miscellaneous. American Annals of the Deaf and Dumb, XXXI (2), 163. Washington, DC: American Instructors of the Deaf and Dumb.  137 Deaf-mutes who march and drill to fife and drum. (1904, July 31). The New York Times (1857-1922), p. 21.  138 Peet, H. P. (1852) Tribute to the memory of the late Thomas H. Gallaudet. In L. Rae (Ed.), American Annals of the Deaf and Dumb, IV(2), 9-77. Hartford, CT: American Instructors of the Deaf and Dumb. 139 Dana, M. F. (1849). Idiocy in Massachusetts. Southern Literary Messenger, June, para. 11. Disability History Museum. Retrieved October 19, 2016 from 140 Howe, S. G. (1909). Letters and journals of Samuel Gridley Howe, p. 35, para. 423. Boston, MA: Dana Estes & Company. Disability History Museum. Retrieved October 19, 2016 from 141 Dana, M. F. (1849). Idiocy in Massachusetts. Southern Literary Messenger, June, para. 13. Disability History Museum.    152 142 Howe, S. G. (1909). Letters and journals of Samuel Gridley Howe, p. 36, para. 442-443. Boston, MA: Dana Estes & Company. Disability History Museum.  143 Howe, S. G. (1909). Letters and journals of Samuel Gridley Howe, p. 35, para. 432. Boston, MA: Dana Estes & Company. Disability History Museum. 144 Howe, S. G. (1909). Letters and journals of Samuel Gridley Howe, p. 37, para. 451xlvi. Boston, MA: Dana Estes & Company. Disability History Museum.   153 Chapter Seven: The Progressive Era and Reform of the Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Classes  After the rapid social change (urbanization) and economic growth (industrialization) of the 1800s, the nearing of the twentieth century ushered in a period of political and social upheaval and reform in the United States. Although the dates of the Progressive Era are generally given as somewhere between 1880-1930 (see, for example, Dorr, 2006; Ealy & Ealy, 2006), it should be noted that that many seeds of reform began well before and continued long after. While reform groups were by no means homogenous, the era is characterized by an optimistic belief in human progress and a certainty that humanity could “improve virtually all aspects of the nation . . . through the application of scientifically derived, expert knowledge” (Dorr, 2006, p. 362). Daniel Coit Gilman, president of John Hopkins University in 1893, confidently affirms, “In the bestowal of charity and in the prevention of misery, the world has reached a new epoch” (as cited in Bremner, 1956b, p. 168).  The reforms of the Progressive Era were precipitated by great social and political unrest. It was the dawn of investigative journalism, and “muckrakers” exposed the corruption of government and the unethical practices of big business, in particular the monopoly of the railroad companies (Hansan, 2011). Widespread unemployment and plummeting wages followed the financial panic of 1873. The labor movement gained force, and a series of major strikes in the 1890s, such as the Homestead Strike and the Pullman Strike, shook the United States and brought the untenable working conditions of laborers into the public view (Huyssen, 2014). Industrial safety was a serious concern: It is estimated that, in the early 1900s, close to 35,000 workers were killed and one million others seriously injured every year (Hansen, 2011).   154 Communist principles were highly influential in the burgeoning labor movement, and newly unionized workers were calling for an out-and-out revolution (see, for example, the 1905 Industrial Union Manifesto)[145]. This stirred up considerable anxiety among the political and economic elite. A wave of mass immigration, comprised largely of poor and unskilled laborers fleeing war-torn countries, stretched already crowded cities (Hansan, 2011). The problems of poverty (the unsanitary conditions in the tenements and overflowing Houses of Correction, Asylums, and Poor Houses) and an awareness of the growing number of American millionaires came crashing into American consciousness at the same time (Huyssen, 2014) creating what one reformer called a “disequilibrium between social surplus and social misery” (as cited  in Bremner, 1956a, p. 129). In 1889, Andrew Carnegie wrote an influential article known as “The Gospel of Wealth” stressing the duty of the rich to give back to the society that had produced that wealth. The stage was set for developments that would reform charity, immigration, public health, and labor law as well as encourage the growth of the emerging social sciences, such as education, political science, history, sociology, social work, psychology, and criminology among others.   It should be noted that Progressive Era reforms also extended into Canada. In 1897, the annual Conference of Charities and Corrections was held in Toronto, an acknowledgement of “Canada’s growing involvement in the international reform community” (James, 2001, p. 55). Cathy James summarizes Canadian efforts: “While they rarely came up with ‘uniquely Canadian’ initiatives, reformers in Toronto were energetic organizers of and participants in local and national groups formed to study, adapt and implement responses developed in American and British contexts” (p. 57).   155 The New View of Poverty  Overcoming is central to Progressive Era discourse in two significant ways. The first is the foundational belief that social problems could and would be overcome, and the second is that all social problems began to be framed together under a common metaphor—one of pathology and cure (the recovery from illness meaning of the verb to overcome, OED). The comments of D. O. Kellogg in an 1886 article, “Reformation of Charity,” is a vivid example: The motive of the “charity organization” is the cure of distressed conditions. This is a new thing in philanthropy, the faith that social disorders are curable . . . the permanence of an unfortunate and depressed class has been taken for granted, and with it the corollary that their misfortunes could only be palliated, and not surmounted (Kellogg, 1886, p. 449)[146].  Reformers called this “the new view of poverty” (see for example, Brandt, 1908iii)[147]. Historian Robert Bremner writes, “It was a distinct advance in social thought to recognize that poverty was an abnormal condition, that it was unnecessary, that it was curable” (1956a, p. 55).   Thus, the medicalization of poverty and its related social problems became embedded in the reformist discourse. Poverty was likened to wide range of medical conditions including: infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, typhoid, and yellow fever (Bremner, 1956a); general disorders, “like the degeneration of a vital organ or the disease of nervous centres in physiology” (Kellogg, 1886, p. 450iv)[148]; and physical defects, such as deformity. For others, discussion of the relationship between poverty and illness was more than metaphorical. J. G. Phelps Stokes (millionaire, political activist, and philanthropist) writes in The New York Times (Dec 9, 1900)[149] that the cause of poverty is sickness, but sickness “is most often due to impairment of tissue vitality, to defective physical personality.”    156  Consequently, Progressive Era reformers set out to “diagnose” and “treat” the root causes of poverty (Ealy & Ealy, 2006). Individuals from reform movements of all persuasions began to voice strong ideas about its causes. Reformers from the Christian Temperance Movement, the Protestant Settlement Movement, the Charity Organization Society, the Women’s Trade Union League, and the Labor Movement as well as professors of sociology and political economy, supervisors of various public welfare institutions, philanthropists, and medical professionals all joined the debate. While their assumptions and their answers varied widely, the search for the causes of poverty more often than not implicated disability in some way. Disability served both as a locus of reform and as a metaphor for the social and economic conditions of the industrial poor. It also allowed for a slippage between categories so that social problems could be understood as resulting from individual and, even, inheritable defects. In particular, two movements emerged in the Progressive Era that depended on classifications of disability for their persuasive power. These movements continue to impact persons with disability today: scientific philanthropy and eugenics.  Reforming Charity—Scientific Philanthropy   Concerning charity, reformers criticized previous efforts as haphazard, inefficient, and as ultimately contributing to dependence on assistance. Cathy James states, “The majority of charities . . . worked in isolation from one another, often did not investigate closely the claims on their largesse, and were usually erratic in their record keeping when they did” (2001, p. 62). Philanthropy, in contrast to charity, was intended to be an organized and coordinated system based upon scientific knowledge (Bremner, 1956b).   157  The Charity Organization Society (COS), started in Britain in 1867, played a prominent role in charity reform in both Canada and the United States. The COS was an umbrella organization whose goals were to systematize the distribution of relief, influence legislation, “deal with the personalities of the dependent and outcast classes,” and to educate the wider community (Kellogg, 1886, p. 454)[150]. In this process, a wave of poverty research was initiated. “Friendly visitors” (over 4,000 by the turn of the century) made up mostly of female, upper and middle class volunteers and students descended into the slums to collect data. Robert Bremner in From the Depths: The Discovery of Poverty in the United States writes, “Friendly visitors were expected to be combination detectives and moral influences. They were to ascertain the reason for the applicants’ need and to help them overcome it” (1956a, p. 52).  The COS started work in North America with the individualistic, paternalistic, and moralistic view of poverty that had characterized charitable organizations of the previous century. Cathy James writes,  The COS . . . tended to reify traditional attitudes and practices by maintaining the focus on the moral redemption of the individual indigent, and by continuing to assert that poverty resulted from the personal character flaws (such as laziness or deceitfulness) of the poor, who must, for their own good, be coerced into becoming self-supporting (2001, p. 63).   Bremner adds that throughout the nineteenth century there was a general belief that “a good dose of adversity was good medicine for the individual as well as for society,” that is, that “poverty strengthened character, stimulated incentive, and punished sloth” (1956a, p. 126).   However, the first duty of COS workers was to collect data about the “income, housing, employment, health and habits” of those applying for charitable assistance (Bremner, 1956a, p. 55). Using the “case method,” charity personnel assessed the living and working conditions of   158 the poor. They amassed information about, for instance, the number of people living in the residence, the number of rooms, ventilation, toilets or sinks, unemployment, industrial accidents, sickness, and wages. In this process, many charity workers began to understand that poverty was due to circumstances beyond the control of individuals and was due, rather, “to certain social evils which must be remedied and certain social wrongs which must be put right” (as cited in Bremner, 1956a, p. 131). With data in hand, reformers began to argue that what they had initially classified as the causes of poverty were, in effect, the results of poverty (see for example, Brandt, 1908)[151].   Therefore, a clear contradiction developed in Progressive Era discourse between understanding the causes of poverty as individual or social–environmental in nature. Earlier attitudes about poverty were not replaced by the “new view” but continued in tension with it. W