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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Postcolonial Feminist Re-presentation of Disability (Studies)


A few days after passing my dissertation orals, feather in cap, I found myself excitedly explaining my project to a Comp Lit professor (Finally, I thought, I can talk about my project with a smile and a certain air of—dare I say—confidence!). When I told him that I was doing a disability studies reading of novels by African and Caribbean women whose protagonists are typically read as “alienated,” he looked not impressed but dubious—and fairly amused. “Be careful,” he said, “we’re not even sure that’s a real field of studies yet.” But isn’t that what they said for so long about Women’s Studies and Postcolonial Studies? “Yes,” he admitted. And finally, “Well, good luck to you.” After an awkward adieu, I returned to my prospectus with, let’s say, a tempered zeal.

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