CFP: Special Issue of Modernist Fiction Studies, ‘Modernist Fictions of Disability’

Guest Editor: Maren Linett
Deadline for Submissions: 1 December 2017

In 2012, then-president of the Modern Language Association Michael Bérubé described disability studies not as an emerging field, but an “emerged” one. Disability studies revises the medicalized and individualized understanding of disability, an understanding that places it outside of culture and discourse. It locates disability instead in the social and political relations among bodies and minds understood as impaired, bodies and minds granted the cultural capital of normalcy, and the built and social environment. Because it explores the embeddedness of bodies and minds within cultures, this growing and vibrant field has an important role in literary studies.

This special issue of MFS aims to place disability studies in conversation with modernist studies. Some questions essays might consider are the following: what role does disability play in a particular modernist narrative? How does the presence of disability affect the aesthetic or political trajectory of the fiction? How do modernism’s famously difficult formal experiments complicate current modes of reading disability such as David Mitchell and Sharon Snyder’s “narrative prosthesis” or Ato Quayson’s “aesthetic nervousness”? How did the experience of World War I alter representations of disability in fiction? How do the norms that create disability function in narratives without disabled characters? We seek essays that consider the ways disability permeates modernist fiction, broadly conceived, and are especially interested in essays that take intersectional approaches.

Essays should be 7,000-8,500 words, including all quotations and bibliographic references and should follow the MLA Style Manual 7th edition for internal citation and works cited. Please submit your essay via the online submission form at the following web address: http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/mfs. Queries should be directed to Maren Linett at mlinett@purdue.edu.

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