In The Maim of the Father: The Discourse of Disability in French-Maghrebi Immigrant Texts

Madelaine Hron


This paper explores the "enfreakment" of the father in French-Maghrebian immigrant literature. The father, or the first-generation North African immigrant to France, is routinely depicted as disabled in literary texts. I account for various economic, medical, socio-cultural, and literary reasons for the figurative maim of the father and I examine the possibilities and limits of this disabled position. On one hand, disability seemingly enabled some first-generation immigrant workers, granting them voice and agency in the public forum. On other hand, in immigrant literature, this discourse of disability engenders a freakish form of identity politics; certain second-generation immigrant texts reify and re-appropriate the maim of the father, so as to further disable, and thus enable, the immigrant subject.


immigration; Maghrebi; North Africa; French literature; labor; disfigurement; fathers

Full Text:



Copyright (c) 2005 Madelaine Hron

Beginning with Volume 36, Issue No. 4 (2016), Disability Studies Quarterly is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license unless otherwise indicated. 

Disability Studies Quarterly is published by The Ohio State University Libraries in partnership with the Society for Disability Studies.

If you encounter problems with the site or have comments to offer, including any access difficulty due to incompatibility with adaptive technology, please contact the web manager, Terri Fizer.

ISSN: 2159-8371 (Online); 1041-5718 (Print)