Samantha Bassler

"But You Don’t Look Sick": Dismodernism, Disability Studies and Music Therapy on Invisible Illness and the Unstable Body

Samantha Bassler


Invisible illness poses a unique problem vis-a-vis disability and society, since invisible illness does not present itself outwardly and does not easily mark a person as having a disability. Using Lennard Davis's understanding of dismodernism as a guide, this essay explores the cognitive dissonance of invisible illness and instability in the body, examining the juxtaposition of disability studies and music therapy using the unstable and invisible difference of the body as a case study. The purpose of the essay is to propose a meeting ground between disability studies and music therapy, and suggest further avenues for working together to promote greater understanding and compassion for persons living with invisible illness.


invisible illness; invisible disability; invisible body; unstable body; dismodernism

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Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy (ISSN 1504-1611)