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Miss Botsa Katara

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Member of the Department of English Studies  


My thesis, supervised by Prof. Patricia Waugh, and Dr. Angela Woods, looks into the depiction of amputations and prostheses in postmodern literature, with a particular focus on late life sensory and physical impairments as portrayed in literary fiction, life writing, graphic novels, and comics. This research incorporates philosophical and theoretical approaches such as phenomenology, and affect theory, which are an important aspect of the recent work on critical medical humanities. From a 'literary' perspective, it usefully engages in the new and vast literature on phenomenological experience of prosthetic bodies that has also focused on the ‘commodified’, ‘essentialised’ body, and on issues such as identity, gender, proprioception, sense of limits, and experience of the body as machinic. This convergence of the philosophical and literary aspects enables me to address my research questions that revolve around the voice of the body, while simultaneously producing an interdisciplinary work within the medical humanities that draws on the strengths of the literary.

Before starting my PhD, I completed my MSc. in Literature and Modernity from the University of Edinburgh, where my dissertation focused on the issues of identity conflict, desire, and domination in cancer patients.

  • ‘Being a Cancer Prosthetic: An Enquiry into the Stigmatized Lives and Commodified Bodies.’ Presented at Bodyworks Conference, Newcastle, May 2018.
  • ‘Reconstituting Spaces and the Prosthetic Body,’ at ENRGHI 2018: Emerging & New Research in Geographies of Health & Impairment, University of Bristol, June 2018.
  • ‘The Prosthetic Body as Abled, Disabled, Posthuman, or a Cyborg.’ Presented at the Postgraduate Medical Humanities Conference, University of Exeter, June 2018.