The DRF Seminar Schedule 2013-2014 continues next Wednesday with Kate Macdonald reading First World War fiction for tales of impairment. All are welcome. We are looking forward to some fascinating discussions.
Seminar #2. Wednesday, 27th November 2013: 2pm-4pm – Arundel 10212 (SHU)
Kate Macdonald (Ghent University, Belgium & Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College London, UK)
Reading First World War Fiction for Tales of Impairment
Abstract: This paper describes preliminary findings from my research for the CENDARI project at King’s College London, for which I’m a visiting research fellow. I’m reading fiction published during or shortly after the First World War to collect images and descriptions of the impaired body. I’m looking for the war-wounded ex-soldier and also for the man who could not serve due to physical impairment caused by congenital conditions, disease or industrial injury, because my hypothesis is that some kinds of disability were considered at this time to be more deserving than others. I will be using a cross-disciplinary approach to consider how these depictions were used, using my reading of historical assessment, disability studies theory, and literary analysis. My sources are from popular culture, since my wider project is on the depiction of the impaired body in popular culture, 1914-1939. Thus I am not looking at Lady Chatterley’s Lover or Mrs Dalloway, but at serialised magazine fiction, novels in reprint series, and advertisements. ‘Popular fiction has long been understood as having the potential to make visible the intangible nature of discursive power, cultural values – especially at moments of social transition – and emerging imaginative constructs that enable popular understandings of crisis and desire’ (Moody 2008).
Bio: Kate Macdonald teaches British literature and literary history at Ghent University, Belgium, and is a specialist in British literary history of the early twentieth century. She is the leading scholarly authority on John Buchan, and has published widely on middlebrow literary culture and book history. She is the series editor, with Ann Rea, for the Literary Texts and the Popular Marketplace monograph series for Pickering & Chatto, and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London. She podcasts at www.reallylikethisbook.com, and is a member of the Vulpes Libris book blogging collective at http://vulpeslibris.wordpress.com/.
Venue: This seminar will be held in the Arundel Building, 122 Charles Street, City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University, S1 1WB. For a map of City Campus click here.
For more info on upcoming DRF events, click here.
…and don’t forget, registration and abstract submissions are now open for Normalcy 2014.