In so many ways humans and chairs are bound.

Enwheeled traces the development of the wheelchair through the lens of design history. Author Penny Wolfson, whose work spans both disability and design studies, weaves yet a third perspective—the personal, as the mother of a person in a wheelchair—through her exploration. Drawing largely on historical sources as well as the modern expertise of theorists and users, this book highlights key moments in the advances of prosthetic technologies, particularly the Civil War and World War II and the disability rights movement of the 1960s and ‘70s. Propelled by this historical narrative, Wolfson considers the multi-faceted relationship of user and chair, human and object, in the evolving identities of people who use wheelchairs in their daily lives.

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About the Author

Penny Wolfson completed her master’s degree in Decorative Arts and Design History at the Parsons School of Design/Cooper Hewitt program in May 2014. Enwheeled is an excerpt of her thesis. She also has a BA and MFA in nonfiction writing from Sarah Lawrence College and is a prize-winning essayist whose work has appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Print Magazine, and Lilith, as well as Best American Essays, 2001. Her book, Moonrise, a memoir, was published in 2003 by St. Martin’s and is based on an essay that won a National Magazine Award for Feature Writing in 2002.