2012 Student Research Conference:
25th Annual Student Research Conference

Kept in the Shadows: A Postcolonial/Disability Reading of Anita Desai's Clear Light of Day
Erin L. Grueneberg
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

While postcolonial studies raises awareness about the minority groups that exist within different cultures and enables an analysis of the mechanisms of oppression, it overlooks the marginalization and othering of those with mental or physical difference within the colonized nation. The disabled body in literature remains oppressed and the body is used instead to demonstrate national fitness as well as a representative of normative or ideal behavior. Anita Desais novel, Clear Light of Day, focuses on the oppressed voices of women born into postcolonial India through the female characters, Bim and Tara, while their autistic brother, Baba, becomes a marginalized body from which the women define themselves and the nation. Within the postcolonial context of Clear Light of Day, this paper examines the use of the disabled body as a literary device of normalization and symbolism which reveal not only cultural views of disability but the very center of cultural values.

Keywords: postcolonial, disablility, Anita Desai, Clear Light of Day

Topic(s):English
Disability and Society

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 203-5
Location: VH 1320
Time: 10:30

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