Stasis in Flight: Reframing Disability and Dependence in the Refugee

Alexander C. Dawson


Asylum protocol and legislation necessitates that a refugee's hope for survival relies on a precondition of mobility. This article interrogates methods through which refugees with physical disabilities that impair mobility maintain hope in spite of this. Through an examination of literary representations of refugees with disabilities, this article promotes a shift in how we conceive of dependence within these subjects. In this way, it challenges popular conceptions of refugees as hopeless and dependent figures. By focusing on moments of contested agency, deemed scenes of "stasis in flight," this article proposes a social model of refugeeness in which the stigmatization of dependence for all refugees is challenged through disabled refugee characters. In so doing, it draws attention to subjectivities that are problematically being ignored or misconceived in our contemporary climate.


Refugee; Migration; Disability; Social model; Dependence; Literary studies

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Copyright (c) 2019 Alexander C. Dawson

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