Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies

Reading Disability in Children's Literature: Hans Christian Andersen's Tales

Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies (2011), 5, (1), 91–108.

Abstract

The article examines the diversity issues that are embedded in fairy tales and explores socio-political implications for the construction of so-called able-bodiedness. Critical disability theory is discussed, as are studies that provide alternative approaches to reading children's texts that explore disability. In order to expose the discourses of power, four of Hans Christian Andersen's tales that feature non-human characters with disabilities are analyzed. The conclusion is that, though seemingly innocent and thus supposedly pertinent for children's reading, fairy tales are loaded with ableist ideology.

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Yenika-Agbaw, Vivian