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Kylee-Anne Hingston, "'As Seeing’s Believing': Illustration, Focalization and Disability in Victorian Children's Literature." Fri. Feb. 22, 12-1:15 pm, Savery 408.
Abstract: This presentation combines formal narrative analysis with the lens of disability studies to expose what Victorian children's literature tells us about the Victorian concept of the disabled body. Using as a case study Dinah Mulock Craik's fairytale The Little Lame Prince: A Parable for Young and Old (1874), Hingston challenges previous critics' readings of disability as a code for gender struggles in Victorian children's literature; instead, she argues that examining the role of disability in The Little Lame Prince's illustrations and narrative focalizations (that is, the point of view from which the story is told) reveals the complicated, and at times incongruous, Victorian understanding of disability. Indeed, although the novel’s narrative structure suggest an understanding of disability as abnormal and in need of compensation if not cure, in contrast, the illustrations and focalization destabilize the notion of physical aberrance.
Biographical Sketch: Kylee-Anne Hingston is a PhD student at the University of Victoria, where she is writing her dissertation on focalization and disability in Victorian fiction. She has published on disability and L.M. Montgomery’s novel Blue Castle and has published articles on disability and Victorian fiction in the journals Victorian Literature and Culture and Women’s Writing.