PhD candidate at Jagiellonian University, Cracow, in the Department of Anthropology of Literature and Cultural Studies; employee of the Book Institute.
Research interests: critical disability studies, literary criticism, theory of literature and modern Polish literature.
With and without disability. Experience and identity of researchers in the field of disability studies
Methodological discussions in the field of disability studies has shown that identity of a researcher is one of many vital issues. Discourse on the identity of a disability studies researcher is based on a difference of experiences. Crucial is the fact that the issue of having and not-having a personal experience of disability. This notion influence the way in which disabled and non-disabled researchers view their own scientific work. What is unquestionable nowadays is that the position of a researcher is affected by the self – an internalized, complicated construction of identity based on experiences, affects, thoughts, ideas and – last but not least – a body. Self-identification in the field of disability studies to some extent requires a “coming out” of experience of disability, i.e. admitting at the beginning of e.g. an article that a researcher has or has not the experience of disability (or: I am or I am not a disabled person). What follows this is a division in the field including disabled and non-disabled researchers. In some cases this division becomes a controversial issue when it is considered in the context of a necessity to unite in favour of the disabled. The aim of this presentation is to explore two positions of a researchers in the field of disability studies – disabled and non-disabled researchers – and implications of occupying positions determined by the experience of disability. Ways in which the self of the researcher is manifested in disability studies is also being explored with reference to selected examples of such manifestations.