Showing posts from February, 2021

Does literature ever give anything other than a negative image of disability?

By Flora Amann “Does disability ever represent anything other than a negative image?” In 1998, Paul Longmore, a pioneer of the Society for Disability Studies (London, UK), had chosen this unsettling question to open a conference regarding the disabled bodies in European painting given by Henri-Jacques Stiker.   In his presentation, he showed how images of disability allowed modern European culture to portray corrupt humanity but also to acknowledge its lower instincts. The discussion which followed met with this pitfall: if the fiction of misery was paralleled with the representation of disabled bodies, could the fiction of disability represent something else than miserable people?   This debate led two members of the Society, David T. Mitchell and Sharon L. Snyder, to theorize the humanities’ input for Disability Studies. Through a quick investigation around the character of the “mute ” aristocrat and its links with speeches on deafness in post-revolutionary French sentimental nove