Andries Hiskes | Disability and its Affective Affordances: Deformity, Decay, Disruption, Distortion | Leiden University | Supervisors: Prof. dr. Frans-Willem Korsten, dr. Jules Sturm | 1 May 2018 – 30 April 2023
Bodies considered disabled or defomed may elicit strong affective or emotional reactions. They can shock us, evoke disgust or sympathy, or we might wonder at them for example. Through the lens of four key concepts (Deformity, Decay, Disruption, Distortion), this project examines contemporary literature and art in which such affective reactions to these “deviant” bodies are depicted. It particularly focuses on the relationship between the formal dimension of the work (how is the text constructed?) and the way in which affective responses are told or represented — and also what is not represented or may be read as being ‘absent’ in a particular representation.
This project aims to aid in the development of the ways in which we can close read affective responses to disability in literary texts and cultural artefacts. Additionally, as this project intersects disability studies, aesthetics, and affect theory, it places these fields in conversation with one another.