I’m currently on the ballot for the executive committee of the TC Disability Studies, and I wanted to introduce myself to the members of the group. I’m a professor of English at Purdue University, and the founding director of Purdue’s Critical Disability Studies program, which runs an undergraduate minor and brings in one speaker per year to give a lecture and run a seminar. I first began teaching in disability studies in 2011, and my first disability studies articles came out in 2013: one on blindness in several modernist texts (in Mosaic); one on deafness and subjectivity in Elizabeth Bowen (in Twentieth-Century Literature); and one on madness in Rebecca West (in the Disability Studies Quarterly). My second book, Bodies of Modernism (U of Michigan P, 2017) explored the representation of physical disabilities in modernist literature, and my current book project is entitled Literary Bioethics: Animality, Disability, and the Human in Modern Fiction. I’m interested in literary disability studies in all its guises, and I’m interested in links between disability studies and other subfields, especially gender and critical race studies, environmental humanities, bioethics, and animal studies.
If I am elected to the executive committee, I will work to bring disability studies into further prominence in literary studies as well as to forge relationships between disability studies and other fields. Both of those goals could be furthered by fostering joint panels with other groups, such as groups that focus on environmental humanities, animal studies, gender studies, imperialism, war, philosophy and literature, and more. I think it would be helpful, moreover, for the TC Disability Studies to host joint panels with single author organizations, bringing out the ways disability matters to canonical and noncanonical texts.
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