Disability and Poetry: "Writing" the (Dis)abled Body in Poetry, NeMLA 3/17-20/2016

full name / name of organization: 
NeMLA 2016, Hartford, CT

The panel expands the discursive space where disability matters in poetic studies. While disability studies has been present as an active force in literary studies for decades, there is still much discussion concerning the category of "disability poetics." Many people argue that it is an activist movement, while others believe it as an aesthetic and/or a position around embodiment. This panel hopes to bring scholars who are studying disability in relation to the body, fragmentation, materiality, ablelism, and activism as it relates to poetry to discover how the writing of the "body" impacts "disability poetics." In oral tradition, there exists a long tradition of reading poetry through the metrical body, measuring poetry into body parts such as kōla (legs), podes (feet), and daktyloi (fingers). This panel is interested in how this tradition resonates in contemporary context where ideas of embodiment have become synonymous with normalcy of bodies, sensations or agency. Because the social process of disabling is tied heavily to identity politics (with regard to nationality, race, gender, and/or sexual orientation), this panel will challenge normative ideas of the body so as to define a disability poetics that exposes the degree to which bodies are constructed within narratives that stigmatize physical difference.

This panel will explore the discursive space where disability matters in poetic studies. We welcome all projects and ideas that are studying disability in relation to the body, fragmentation, materiality, ablelism, or activism as it relates to poetry. Our hope is to further illustrate the broader impact of the "body" in what has been categorized as "disability poetics."

Please post abstracts at https://www.buffalo.edu/nemla/convention/participate/submit.html