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Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars Programme


  Rachael Milne


  Education, Homerton College

  PhD thesis: Extraordinary Bodies in Children's Fantasy Literature



Research interests:

  1. Children’s literature & culture
  2. Critical Disability & Critical Neurodiversity studies
  3. Queer Studies
  4. Fantasy

My research project examines the representations of extraordinary bodies in children’s fantasy literature. It looks at the interconnections between different forms of corporeal diversity, such as disability, queerness, and neurodivergence, among others. In so doing, it seeks to explicate how bodily forms of otherness interact with constructions of fantastic environments, asking what fantasy texts for children tell young audiences about the relationship between the body and power.

Who or what inspired you to pursue your research interests?

I have always been interested in children’s fantasy literature. The toying with normativity in literature’s social worlds is what has drawn me to them, inspiring me to read more of, into, and between, their lines. I have also been inspired by the lecturers who have helped me find my feet in academia; I hope to be able to mentor and encourage others in the same way they have me. Finally, I am always inspired by the queer, disabled and neurodivergent communities to which I belong, and especially the queer, disabled and/or neurodivergent children for whom these narratives are essential.