“A go-to source for researchers interested in modernism and disability studies. It makes concrete something we’ve always known instinctively: that Joyce’s interest in representing non-normative subject positions was ongoing rather than short-lived, extensive rather than selective.”—Vike Martina Plock, author of Joyce, Medicine, and Modernity

“Addresses the major texts of Joyce, and is impressive and original in its scope. The scholarship collected here intersects with illness studies and trauma studies, and nuances our thinking about disability and disablism by way of complex, creative, and exciting readings. A book like this needs to exist.”—Janine Utell, author of James Joyce and the Revolt of Love: Marriage, Adultery, Desire

In this book, the first to explore the role of disability in the writings of James Joyce, contributors approach the subject both on a figurative level, as a symbol or metaphor in Joyce’s work, and also as a physical reality for many of Joyce’s characters. Contributors examine the varying ways in which Joyce’s texts represent disability and the environmental conditions of his time that stigmatized, isolated, and othered individuals with disabilities.

The collection demonstrates the centrality of the body and embodiment in Joyce’s writings, from Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man to Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. Essays address Joyce’s engagement with paralysis, masculinity, childhood violence, trauma, disorderly eating, blindness, nineteenth-century theories of degeneration, and the concept of “madness.”

Together, the essays offer examples of Joyce’s interest in the complexities of human existence and in challenging assumptions about bodily and mental norms. Complete with an introduction that summarizes key disability studies concepts and the current state of research on the subject in Joyce studies, Joyce Writing Disability is a valuable resource for disability scholars interested in modernist literature and an ideal starting point for any Joycean new to the study of disability.  

Jeremy Colangelo is a postdoctoral fellow at SUNY Buffalo and lecturer at the University of Western Ontario. He is the author of Diaphanous Bodies: Ability, Disability, and Modernist Irish Literature.

A volume in the Florida James Joyce Series, edited by Sebastian D. G. Knowles 

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