Q & A – The metamorphosis of autism
By Bonnie Evans
What book in this field has inspired you the most?
As an undergraduate, I read Governing the Soul by Nikolas Rose and was inspired to think more deeply about the way that historical factors have influenced our current models of psychological thought. This led me to read extensively in the history of psychology, psychiatry, psychoanalysis and the wider human sciences.
Did your research take you to any unexpected places?
It has taken me to conferences and meetings in Brazil, the USA, Germany, Italy, and Sri Lanka. This travel encouraged me to include a chapter on global models of autism.
What did you enjoy the most about writing your book?
Writing the book has enabled me to articulate the complex processes involved in the production of our current models for understanding autism. It has allowed me to convey the multiple changes – political, historical, and conceptual – that led to a revolution in thinking about autism and the development of self-identity in the 1960s. This has helped me to formulate a new perspective on current approaches to child development and childcare policy.
What did you find hardest about writing your book?
It took a lot of concentration!
Is this your first published book, or have you had others published?
This is my first published book.
Why did you choose to publish with MUP?
Manchester is rapidly developing its publishing record in fields such as the history of the human sciences, medical humanities, intellectual and political history, and other fields related to the themes covered in my book. I am an admirer of many books published with Manchester. I am delighted to publish with them and I am looking forward to seeing how their publishing oeuvre develops in the coming years.
Did you approach writing this book differently to any of your previous work?
This is my first monograph and thus the first time I have put a major project into words. I took it one step at a time, but with a continual awareness of the wider themes and ideas that I wanted to develop throughout.
Have you had time to think about your next research project yet? What are you working on now?
I am building directly upon the work that I started in this book. I have two new projects developing now. One reflects on the global history and sociology of autism in order to understand the way that theories of autism have travelled. The other considers the history of wider models of typical and atypical child development in the UK and internationally. These projects aim to reveal more about how child development has been considered in different international contexts, and the impact that this has had on contemporary policies and approaches to children and child development.
The metamorphosis of autism publishers in February 2017 and is available to pre-order now!
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