Marion L Quirici
Lecturing Fellow* of Thompson Writing Program
Coming from a background in English and disability studies, I study the narratives cultures create to justify inequality on the basis of disability. Modern democracies fail to uphold their promises of "justice for all" when citizenship and rights are bound up with notions of intelligence and ability. My doctoral dissertation argues that certain Irish modernists pushed for a greater appreciation of human vulnerability and weakness, directly subverting nationalist claims of racial fitness and purity. I also write about autism and neurodiversity.
At Duke, my courses train students to critique and revise cultural assumptions about disability by analyzing language, the media, popular representations, the law, institutional spaces and practices, and the built environment. I have designed and taught courses on "Disability and Representation" and "Modernism and Madness."
I am the faculty advisor of the Duke Disability Alliance, a student organization working to make the college experience more accessible and inclusive, not only for students with disabilities, but for everyone.
With my colleague Dr. Ashley Elrod (History), and with support from the Health Humanities Lab, I also run a faculty working group called the Disability and Access Initiative, which brings together faculty from the humanities, the social sciences, the Global Health Institute, the School of Medicine, the School of Law, and the Divinity School.
In the community I am active in the Independent Living movement, serving on the governor-appointed Statewide Independent Living Council as well as on the board of directors for the Alliance of Disability Advocates in Raleigh.
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