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Protest and Dissent

Conflicting Spaces in Translation and Culture

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Edited By Agnieszka Pantuchowicz and Anna Warso

Essays collected in this book discuss textual and discursive formulations of dominance and resistance. The authors analyze how they are narrated and re-narrated, framed and reframed in different social, political and language communities and realities, through different media and means, and translated into different contexts and languages. As the ways we name, rename, or label events, people and places have implications in the real world, the essays are also meant to investigate the ways in which we partake in negotiating its construction, its changing meanings and senses through the stories we tell and the practices we live by.

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Ability Trouble?

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Rebellious (Dis)Abled Women in Two Plays by Kaite O’Reilly

Abstract: The paper focuses on the protest and dissent voiced by the female characters of two plays by Kaite O’Reilly, peeling and Woman of Flowers, and the disability-related issues that these dramatic texts address. The plays challenge the notion of “normalcy” or “the normate,” as defined by R. Garland-Thomson, and attempt to find a solution to what R. McRuer calls “ability trouble,” alluding to J. Butler’s Gender Trouble.

Keywords: Kaite O’Reilly, disability studies, Crip Theory, able-bodiedness, “ability trouble”

The essay focuses on the protest and dissent voiced by the female characters of two plays by Kaite O’Reilly, peeling and Woman of Flowers, and the disability-related issues that these dramatic texts address. The theoretical framework of the article is based on Robert McRuer’s Crip Theory which looks at disability studies in correlation with queer theory and gender studies. McRuer’s juxtaposition of able-bodiedness and disability, as compared with the binary opposition of heterosexuality versus homosexuality, underpins the idea that to be disabled means to constantly protest against the enforced rules of being “normal” – heterosexual, white, and male. In other words, “able-bodied identity” and “heterosexual identity” are very similar in their incomprehensibility, as they are always claimed to be the superior identities, on the grounds of which all the other identities are assessed and perceived (McRuer, 9).

The article investigates the dichotomy of able-bodiedness and disability in O’Reilly’s two plays that present disabled...

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