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Maren Linett

Please join me in congratulating Maren Linett, professor of English, critical disability studies, and Jewish studies, on the publication of her third monograph, “Literary Bioethics: Animality, Disability, and the Human” (NYU Press, 2020). 

Citing selections from novels published over the span of a century, “Literary Bioethics” “argues for literature as an untapped and essential site for the exploration of bioethics.” By analyzing how these works of fiction – including H.G. Wells’ “The Island of Doctor Moreau,” Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World,” Flannery O’Connor’s “The Violent Bear It Away,” and Kazuo Ishiguro’s “Never Let Me Go” – devalue non-normative or non-human lives, or confirm the value of such lives, readers may evaluate the justice of views that influence many contemporary bioethical discussions. 

According to feminist and disability theorist Alison Kafer, “Linett’s articulation of literature as a site of bioethical exploration offers new and essential inroads for conversations on disability. Moving past the ‘thought experiment,’ Linett positions literature as an alternative kind of thought laboratory, one far more interested in whose lives are valued when we think bioethically.”

Congratulations, Professor Linett!

David's Signature

David A. Reingold
Justin S. Morrill Dean
College of Liberal Arts