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Title: Cripping Work, Welfare and the Nation: Autonomist Narratives of Disability in Modern Scottish Writing
Author(s): Introna, Arianna
Supervisor(s): Hames, Scott
Issue Date: 31-Jan-2018
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: This thesis explores what I will call autonomist narratives of disability, namely representations of disability that intensify critiques of waged work and welfare capitalism, in twentieth- and twenty-first century Scottish writing. Disability has never been considered as a category of analysis through which to study Scottish writing. My investigation will argue that what forecloses a disability studies approach in Scottish literature, and makes invisible narratives of disability in Scottish writing, are derogatory metaphors and narratives of disability specific to Scottish studies and culture. Both these discourses on disability and the nationalist contextualism of Scottish literature in which they are rooted, which emphasises the importance of national(ist) contexts in the study of Scottish writing, dominated cultural discourses in the run-up to the 2014 independence referendum. This thesis will therefore propose a post-indyref perspective on Scottish literature with a two-fold aim: to foreground the persistence of disablist discourses in Scottish studies and of their nationed and contextualist roots; and to examine the ways in which such discourses can be interrogated through the very logics they disqualify from analysis in the discipline of Scottish literature alongside the narratives of disability these logics inform. In order to respond to the latter and make visible the former, I will develop an autonomist disability perspective which brings together disability studies with Marxist autonomist theory. Through the lenses of this perspective, my analysis will examine the critique of waged work and welfare capitalism which emerges from the intersection between narratives of disability, work, welfare and the nation in twentieth- and twenty-first century Scottish writing. In doing so, it will argue that autonomist narratives of disability in Scottish writing problematise the discourse of welfare state nationalism that originates at the same intersection but has never been theorised as relevant to Scottish literature.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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