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Disability Studies Reads the Romance


As the most popular of the popular genres, romance novels are an important site of investigation for cultural disability studies, a field concerned with the effects that representations of disability have on the world. The article explores the productive potentials of a dialogue between cultural disability studies and popular romance studies. With a focus on selected novels by Mary Balogh, a bestselling author of historical romance, the argument is that the frequent use of disabled characters, and the way in which those characters are depicted, positions all disabled characters as potential romantic actants, and encourages readers to reflect critically upon how they conceptualize disability.

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