Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-11-2016

Faculty Advisor(s)

Kelli Fuery


philosophical societies that send us here as their representatives- can no longer, in this case, allow itself [the philosophical idea] to be enclosed in a single idiom, at the risk of floating, neutral and disembodied, remote from every body of language

(Derrida 1994: 14)


In Sending: on representation (1994), Jacques Derrida questions the function of representation that we can use to offer a challenge to the experience and structure of representation as a practice in visual culture and for contemporary spectatorship. When the function of representation is being questioned, rather than its subject, the practice of representation is seen to expose a “system of thought” that is often ‘enclosed in a single idiom’. The Autism spectrum (particularly individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome) is predominantly portrayed via a narrow mediated lens, intended to work as a representative of the Autistic Spectrum as a whole. Television programs and films, such as: The Big Bang Theory (2007-present), Sherlock (2010-present), Parenthood (2007-2014), Adam (2009), Rain Man (1988), show only the most extremist and stereotypical portrayal of the characteristics found within an individual with Asperger’s. All of these films and television programs feature men or boys on the spectrum. As a woman with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS), I often feel boxed into the stereotypical representation of Asperger’s that the offers, as I am expected to act a certain way. When my AS diagnosis is revealed I tend to be perceived differently. Perhaps this lack of representation of girls and women with Asperger’s in film and television media is directly correlated to the amount of women being misdiagnosed with another learning or mental disorder.


Presented at the Spring 2016 Student Research Day at Chapman University.