Disability studies is a recent and developing area compared to other theories and schools of criticism in literature; nevertheless, there are some works that stand out in the field. The following list is in no way comprehensive; rather, it provides avenues for exploration in literary criticism, theory, and history.
Sociologist Tom Shakespeare writes that the social model is useful for creating a group identity, spreading knowledge about disability, and promoting activism. However, the social model has been criticized in recent decades for too-easily making distinctions between physical impairment and social disability (Shakespeare 202). The way we understand the body is based on socially constructed terms, ideas, and narratives; therefore, the body is always already socially “coded” in one way or another. So, the clear dividing line between physical and social sometimes breaks down. Nevertheless, the social model is a good starting point for many when thinking about disability.
Disability studies considers disability in political, aesthetic, ethical, and cultural contexts, among others. In literature, many critics examine works to understand how representations of disability and “normal” bodies change throughout history, including the ways both are defined within the limits of historical or cultural situations. Disability studies also investigates images and descriptions of disability, prejudice against people with disabilities (ableism), and the ways narrative relates to disability (see “Narrative Prosthesis” below).
Post-structuralism holds that there are many truths, that frameworks must bleed, and that structures must become unstable or decentered. Moreover, post-structuralism is also concerned with the power structures or hegemonies and power and how these elements contribute to and/or maintain structures to enforce hierarchy. Therefore, post-structural theory carries implications far beyond literary criticism.
[tags: Literature Essays Literary Criticism]
ANTICATHOLICISM: Literature or rhetoric created (often by Protestants) for the purpose of countering Catholic doctrine or depicting Catholicism in a negative light. In Reformation and Post-Reformation British literature, anticatholic motifs frequently appear after the Anglican Church splits from Rome under Henry VIII. Examples include Spenser's Faerie Queene, in which Catholic associations surround villains like Duessa and Archimago. A similar surge of anticatholic characterizations appear just before and during the Enlightenment period, notably in Gothic literature like Lewis' The Monk, in which convents and monasteries are depicted as hypocritical hives of sadism and superstition.
[tags: analytical essay, literary criticism]
Additionally, because CRT advocates attending to the various components that shape individual identity, it offers a way for scholars to understand how race interacts with other identities like gender and class. As scholars like Crenshaw and Willams have shown, CRT scholarship can and should be amenable to adopting and adapting theories from related fields like women’s studies, feminism, and history. In doing so, CRT has evolved over the last decades to address the various concerns facing individuals affected by racism.
[tags: literary criticism, okonkwo]
As we can see, adopting a CRT approach to literature or other modes of cultural expression includes much more than simply identifying race, racism, and racialized characters in fictional works. Rather, it (broadly) emphasizes the importance of examining and attempting to understand the socio-cultural forces that shape how we and others perceive, experience, and respond to racism. These scholars treat literature, legal documents, and other cultural works as evidence of American culture’s collective values and beliefs. In doing so, they trace racism as a dually theoretical and historical experience that affects all members of a community regardless of their racial affiliations or identifications.