July 13, 2020

Foss Presents Working Chapter from Waple Book Manuscript Project at South Atlantic Modern Language Association

Professor of English Chris Foss

Professor of English Chris Foss

Oscar Wilde

In November, Professor of English Chris Foss presented a paper entitled “’He remembered that the little Mermaid had no feet and could not dance’: The Nexus of Power, Identity, and Relationships in Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Fisherman and His Soul’ as Seen through the Lens of Disability Studies” as part of the South Atlantic Modern Language Association conference at the Westin Peachtree in Atlanta. In his paper, Foss argued “The Fisherman and His Soul” offers a fascinating trawl of entangled elements relative to its two main disability-aligned characters, a little Mermaid and a young Fisherman (the latter only becoming so after he cuts away his Soul from his body). The story offers a clear undermining of the sort of monstrous identities those in power insist upon assigning to those different from them in an attempt to limit any new understandings of or relationships with any groups or individuals upon whose othering their authority and privilege depends. This paper represents the first draft of the fourth content chapter for his Waple Professorship book project entitled The Importance of Being Different: Intersectional Disability and Emotional Response in Oscar Wilde’s Fairy Tales.