The South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA) conference was supposed to be in Jacksonville, Florida, this past weekend, but it was moved virtually because of the hurricane. Heather Hartness Bodiford presented some of her research at the conference.
Heather’s project is titled, “Dickensian Depictions of Disability.” In this project, she looks at Charles Dickens’ characters with disabilities.
The project begins: “Of twelve novels, three offer perspectives on characters embodying persons with intellectual disabilities: Nicholas Nickelby (1839), David Copperfield (1849), and Barnaby Rudge (1841). The third novel mentioned here, Barnaby Rudge, was Dickens’ fifth novel and undoubtedly his least popular.
Dickens’ literary works undoubtedly provide fertile ground for disability studies. However, with the lack of academic focus on Dickens’ depictions of the intellectually disabled, there exists a need to analyze the disabled mind as well as the disabled body.”
Be sure to check out her research on Dickens here.