Title "Rewriting the Corporeal Other": Examining Contemporary Portrayals of Disability.
Speaker: Heather Lacey, MRes Graduate, University of Hull.
When they can be found, literary portrayals of disability are often used simply as a plot device, or as a means to include a ‘tragedy narrative’ within fiction. Disability in literature tends to be stereotyped, and these stereotypes are neither flattering nor ‘authentic’ as assessed by those with disabilities themselves. As the discipline of disability studies becomes more widely-regarded and studied, more attention has been paid to the representation of people with impairments and disabilities in various forms of media. Those in the Disability Rights’ movement have called for a rewriting of the disabled character that presents disability in a true-to-life - and arguably more ‘valid’ - way.
This session will aim to showcase several literary portrayals of disability, that – though largely unacknowledged - fulfil this remit, setting a precedent for future literary depictions of the disabled experience. The characters I will be discussing have a variety of disabilities, including physical impairments, chronic pain, and mental illness. This session will also aim to uncover my own personal motivations for undertaking the research, and will draw upon my own experiences of both disability and literary study. In presenting an aspect of my research, I hope to reiterate the contemporary relevance of literary study by showcasing it alongside current sociological thinking, thus proving its potential to further both liberatory and emancipatory movements not only nationally, but globally.
Link to Heather's profiles:
Cost: Free Admission – All welcome but booking is required in order to guarantee a place and to enable us to ensure we have an adequately sized room booked for the session.
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