Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Lennard J. Davis  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;


-- Website --
-- Lennard J. Davis on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Davis is a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He divides his time between Chicago and New York.

Biographical and Professional Information

Davis is head of the English Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he is also Professor of Disability and Human Development. He is a frequent guest on NPR shows ''Morning Edition'', ''Leonard Lopate'', ''Fresh Air'' and ''This American Life''. He has written for numerous newspapers and magazines including ''The New York Times'', ''McCall's'', ''Redbook'', ''The Nation'' and the ''Chronical of Higher Education''. Davis is also director of ''Project Biocultures'', a think tank devoted to issues at the intersection of culture, medicine, disability, and bio-technology.

Published Works

    Enforcing Normalcy: Disability, Deafness, and the Body , Verso, 1995The Disability Studies Reader , Routledge, 1997Factual Fictions: The Origins of the English Novel , University of Pennsylvania Press , 1997My Sense of Silence: Memoirs of a Childhood with Deafness , University of Illinois Press, 2000Bending Over Backwards: Essays on Disability and the Body , NYU Press , 2002Obsession: A History, University Of Chicago Press, 2008Go Ask Your Father: One Man's Obsession with Finding His origins Through DNA Testing, Bantam Books, 2009

Selected Titles At Your Library

Enforcing normalcy :
ISBN: 1859840078. OCLC Number:

Verso,. London ;. 1995.

The disability studies reader /
ISBN: 041591471X. OCLC Number:

Routledge,. New York :. 1997.

Factual fictions :
ISBN: 0812216105. OCLC Number:

University of Pennsylvania Press,. Philadelphia :. 1997.

My sense of silence :
ISBN: 0252075773. OCLC Number:

University of Illinois Press ;. Urbana :. 2008, ©2000.

Bending over backwards :
ISBN: 0814719503. OCLC Number:

New York University Press,. New York :. ©2002.

Obsession :
ISBN: 0226137821. OCLC Number:

University of Chicago Press,. Chicago :. 2008.

From the Publisher: We live in an age of obsession. Not only are we hopelessly devoted to our work, strangely addicted to our favorite television shows, and desperately impassioned about our cars, we admire obsession in others: we demand that lovers be infatuated with one another in films, we respond to the passion of single-minded musicians, we cheer on driven athletes. To be obsessive is to be American; to be obsessive is to be modern. But obsession is not only a phenomenon of modern existence: it is a medical category-both a pathology and a goal. Behind this paradox lies a fascinating history, which Lennard Davis tells in Obsession. Beginning with the roots of the disease in demonic possession and its secular successors, Davis traces the evolution of obsessive behavior from a social and religious fact of life into a medical and psychiatric problem. From obsessive aspects of professional specialization to obsessive sex and nymphomania, no variety of obsession eludes Davis's graceful analysis. Obsession also considers the clinical definition of the condition: Davis investigates the huge increase (estimates suggest up to 600-fold) in diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder over the past thirty years. Surveying the many ways in which doctors today treat OCD, he points out the limitations of and contradictions within the biological definitions of the disease. Impassioned, witty, and learned, Obsession is for anyone-from compulsive hand washers to professional psychologists-who has been fascinated by, struggled with, or cultivated obsession.

Go ask your father :
ISBN: 0553805517. OCLC Number:

Bantam Books,. New York :. 2009.

The author describes his search to find out the true identity of his father after being told that his uncle was his biological father through the process of artificial insemination.


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  • Obsession, A History

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