The Unspeakable: Liminal Texts, Liminal Disabilities

The Victorianist: BAVS Postgraduates

Louise is an AHRC-funded PhD candidate at the University of Glasgow where she completed her undergraduate degree in English Literature and her MLitt in Victorian Literature. Her PhD thesis explores the representation of illiteracy in the Victorian novel and aims to challenge the perception of illiteracy as a homogenous experience through an engagement with Disability Studies.

In this blog post, I’m going to be discussing the very boundaries of what we might call a disability; taking the stammer or speech impediment as an example of a condition that is circumstantially disabling, I will focus on the figure of the stammerer in James Malcolm Rymer’s The Unspeakable (1855) and the issues that arise when we adopt an approach to a text that is informed by Disability Studies, but when the condition in question is only temporarily disabling.   This blog post is taken from a side project to my PhD research and…

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