Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies

Josephine Miles's Crip(t) Words: Gender, Disability, "Doll"

Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies (2007), 1, (1), 49–60.

Abstract

Social philology, Rachel Blau DuPlessis's name for a method for reading, can be productively applied when analyzing poetry's relation to disability. The essay maps out some exploratory paths toward such a social philology, following a precursor whose own poetic interests more than match DuPlessis's appetite for philologies: the American poet Josephine Miles, whose poems across five decades resoundingly and cryptically grappled with gender and disability ideology in modernity and postmodernity. Focusing on Miles's late poem "Doll" and its relation to a precursor text, Katharine Butler Hathaway's The Little Locksmith, the essay examines how Miles transforms disabling "crypt words" into "crip"t words, complex signs of disability survivance.

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Schweik, Susan