Is There Dyslexia Without Reading?


  • Sharrona Pearl Drexel University



dyslexia, super recognition, face blindness, diagnosis


Can there be dyslexia without reading? Is there face blindness without a variety of faces? Is super recognition identifiable without cameras? Without the mass production of colored textiles, does color blindness exist? If you never speak, can you have a stutter? These are thought experiments about situationally latent potentialities. We can't ever definitively answer these questions. But that doesn't mean that they don't matter. At the heart of this inquiry is a proposition that certain somatic or neurological conditions are fundamentally unidentifiable, unrecognizable, invisible, and thus cannot be made manifest in absence of some broader interactions with technology, media, and the built environment. In this essay, I bring together the history and sociology of medicine, media studies, and disability studies to argue that by studying these questions, we can open up new ways of understanding what the body once knew and now does not, and what it might one day know that it does not know now, thereby reframing what counts as illness or disability.