CFP: ‘Fictions of Corporeal Diversity: A Symposium on Literary Disability Studies’, Lancaster University

Charles Carter Building, Lancaster University

Thursday 4th June 2015

Keynote Speaker: David Bolt (Liverpool Hope University)

In ‘Literary Disability Studies: The Long Awaited Response’ (2007), David Bolt illustrated the absence of critical work on disability in literary studies. The subsequent establishment of The Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies, in addition to the continuing expansion of the University of Michigan Press’s landmark Corporealities series, and Palgrave Macmillan’s introduction of a new Literary Disability Studies series, all contribute to the promotion of an informed engagement with the presence of various configurations of disability in literary texts. Despite the emergence of Literary Disability Studies as a recognised field of scholastic enquiry, however, the representation of mental and physical difference remains a largely neglected aspect of literary scholarship. This one day symposium will seek to continue the consolidation of the presence of Literary Disability Studies by exploring a spectrum of literary representations of disability. It will recognise disability’s conventional cultural construction as corporeal and psychological manifestations of deficiency or deviance, while simultaneously acknowledging the presence of figures of literary disability which present disabled people as valuable emblems of diversity and difference. Issues that papers might consider could include, (but are not limited to) literary representations of:

  • Amputation
  • Blindness
  • Cognitive Impairments
  • Deafness
  • Disabilities as Exceptionalities
  • (Dis)Empowerments of the Disabled Body
  • Extraordinary/Spectacular Bodies
  • Gothic/Monstrous Disabled Bodies
  • (Im)Mobility
  • Intellectual Disability
  • The Medicalisation of Disability
  • Phantom Limbs
  • Physical Difference
  • Prostheses
  • Stigmatised Bodies

Abstracts of approximately 300 words, complete with a 50 word biography, should be submitted to Dr Alan Gregory at by Friday 16th January 2015.

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