Disability and Gender

  1. Instruction: This week, please write thick responses to two questions of the following questions with quotes. Please make sure you engage with the reading by quoting, citing, paraphrasing, then making comments about it specifically. On one page
    • Deborah Kent (1987). Disabled women: Portraits in fiction and drama. In: Images of the Disabled, Disabling Images. Ed. Alan Gartner and Tom Joe. New York: Praeger.
    In this article Kent covers many examples of literary characters who are women with disabilities–two dozen by my count. One issue she keeps coming back to is the relationships that these women have–or more often cannot have–with men. (We discussed this a bit last week in connection with the Yellow Wallpaper literature.) Kent writes:
    Frequently, the man feels he will be diminished in the eyes of others if he can only acquire a substandard partner. If on the other hand the man finds the disabled woman attractive, it is because her disability draws him to her, making her mysterious, heroic, or appealingly vulnerable. In either case, disability looms as an overwhelming issue for the men in most of these works. They may be repelled of attracted to the disabled woman, or struggle with both feelings at once. But the woman’s disability is nearly always seen as her first and most salient attribute. (Kent 1987: 56-57, emphasis added).
  2. Kent uses The Glass Menagerie as one of her many examples (pp. 51-52). To what extent would you say that this text fits in with the hypothesis quoted above? Explain your opinion.
    Kent points out that most literary representations do not reflect the variety of experiences of real-life women with disabilities: “Those who lead satisfying lives, thoroughly integrated into the community, are rarely found in literature. By failing to offer more positive images, these writers help perpetuate the negative stereotypes the present” (p. 62).
  3. Do you find Kent’s assessment of disabled literary women in terms of the negative imagery persuasive and/or compelling? How much does her autobiographical approach to the topic add to the article’s effectiveness?
    2.Instruction: Write two pages for the proposal for: THE ROLE OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES WORKING AS CRITICS OF THE ARTS FROM AFRICA
    It is should be 1-2 pages long
    The Final Project for this course is your opportunity to apply some of the concepts we’ve explored this semester to your original research. Your topic must relate to the humanities (broadly defined), using a disability studies approach. Because it is a significant assignment that represents a significant portion of your final grade, the assignment is segmented over the final weeks of the semester.

Here are some things to include in your final project proposal:
• A working title for your project (descriptive but not neccesarily final);
• A working thesis statement (at least a sentence, no more than a paragraph);
• A fairly detailed description of what form your project will take (a 15-20 page essay, a multimedia presentation, something else entirely); and

Sample Solution