Julia Miele Rodas, “Autism and Narrative Invention in Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe.”

Lecture | October 4 | 10 a.m.-12 p.m. | 330 Wheeler Hall

 Julia Miele Rodas, Professor, English Department, Bronx Community College / CUNY co-chair, University Seminar in Disability, Culture, and Society at Columbia University

 Department of English

Abstract: Is the novel a form of autistic innovation? Presenting work from the recently published Autistic Disturbances (UMichP, 2018), Julia Miele Rodas will explore autistic dimensions of Robinson Crusoe. Interweaving conversation and formal reading, this talk will first consider how the novel’s themes of human isolation and imprisonment play into autism stereotypes. Ultimately, however, the audience will be invited to investigate the ways in which Crusoe’s narrative and semiotic innovations are grounded in autism poetics and indebted to autistic cognitive and aesthetic practices.