Martin Brick, Ph.D., professor of English and Chair of the Division of Arts and Letters at Ohio Dominican University, has published a book, “Autistic-Coded Representation and Autism Stereotypes: Looking for the Spectrum” (Lexington Books), which explores the many ways in which autistic characters are portrayed and perceived in literature and film, taking a fresh approach by looking particularly at characters who are not directly identified as falling on the Autism Spectrum.

"As autism becomes an increasingly popular topic to explore in literature and visual media, it is important that representations present people with autism as real humans with complex interior lives," said Brick. "Too often autistic characters fall into broad stereotypes – victims, villains, fools or heroes – and autism emerges as the defining aspect of their personality."

Through an exploration of autistic-coded characters, both classic and contemporary, Brick examines the benefits of looking for the spectrum in characters not explicitly labeled.

"My hope is that Autistic audiences will see a diverse and fully fleshed representation of themselves, and neurotypical audiences will gain a greater understanding of ASD though exposure to characters who defy stereotypes," said Brick.

The hardback edition is available now from Lexington Books, and the eBook edition will be available beginning in April 2024. 

MARTIN BRICK, Ph.D., is Professor of English at Ohio Dominican University in Columbus, Ohio. He is co-editor of David Foster Wallace and Religion: Essays on Faith and Fiction. Most of his research has focused on the intersection of religion and modern and postmodern literature. He has published on authors such as James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and D. H. Lawrence. More recently he has begun to explore autism and literature and is the author of Autistic-Coded Representation and Autism Stereotypes: Looking for the Spectrum. 

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