autism, changelings, wild children, ogbanje and abiku

To continue my foray into the magical changeling fairy-tale world that Dani Alexis currently hangs out in, I can offer up some fun citations of my own that I culled from my giant, completely disorganized folders of sources. I found most of these back while I was researching either disability in literature/history in general, or the specific figure of the “wild child” (as in Victor of Aveyron, etc. etc.) in Romantic and Victorian philosophical works about language and species.

General bits on changeling myths, disability/abnormality in the Middle Ages, and “wild children”:

Eberly, Susan Schoon. “Fairies and the Folklore of Disability: Changelings, Hybrids and the Solitary Fairy”

Wade, James. Fairies in Medieval Romance (Chapter 1): Fairies and Humans Between Possible Worlds

Bruhm, Steven. “The Counterfeit Child”

Laes, Christian and Katariina Mustakallio. The Dark Side of Childhood in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages (Chapter 3): Disabled Children in Gregory of Tours

Laes, Christian and Katariina Mustakallio. The Dark Side of Childhood in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages (Chapter 5): Sons of Demons? Children’s Impairments and the Belief in Changelings in Medieval Europe (c. 1150–1400)

Mitchell, J. Allan. Becoming Human: The Matter of the Medieval Child (Chapter 1): Being Born

Miller, Sarah. Medieval Monstrosity and the Female Body (Chapter 2): Gynecological Secrets

Seshadri, Kalpana Rahita. HumAnimal–Race, Law, Language (Chapter 5): The Wild Child

Wiseman, Susan. Writing Metamorphosis in the English Renaissance 1550-1700 (Chapter 5): Transformation rewritten? Extreme nurture, wild children

Berger, James. “Falling Towers and Postmodern Wild Children: Oliver Sacks, Don DeLillo, and Turns against Language”

Bits discussing ‘abiku’ and/or ‘ogbanje’ children–changeling-esque figures from Western African literary/cultural traditions:

Barker, Clare. Postcolonial Fiction and Disability: Exceptional Children, Metaphor and Materiality (Chapter 5): ‘Redreaming the World’: Ontological Difference and Abiku Perception in The Famished Road

Barker, Clare. Postcolonial Fiction and Disability: Exceptional Children, Metaphor, and Materiality (Chapter 4): The Nation as Freak Show: Monstrosity and Biopolitics in Midnight’s Children

Ogunyemi, Chikwenye Okonjo. “An Abiku-Ogbanje Atlas: A Pre-Text for Rereading Soyinka’s Ake and Morrison’s Beloved”

Okonkwo, Christopher J. “A Critical Divination: Reading Sula as Ogbanje-Abiku”

McCabe, Douglas. ‘Histories of Errancy: Oral Yoruba Àbíkú Texts and Soyinka’s “Abiku”’

Bits about “recognition” and intersubjectivity in the context of literary theory (these all are theorists who are extremely critical of the idea that direct, intuitive knowledge of others is a “natural human ability” in any way):

Yousef, Nancy. Romantic Intimacy (Introduction): Ethics, Literature, and the Forms of Encounter

Yousef, Nancy. Romantic Intimacy (Chapter 2): Knowing Before Loving: Rousseau and the Ethics of Exposure

Izenberg, Oren. “Oppen’s Silence, Crusoe’s Silence and the Silence of Other Minds”

Yay! I like sharing sources. A lot. Can you tell? Is it noticeable? Maybe a tiny bit?

Nerd away, y’all.


3 thoughts on “autism, changelings, wild children, ogbanje and abiku

  1. Not enough coffe yet to really comprehend but was drawn to the study on oral motor predicting later speech. Sent it to my son’s SLP. We are super lucky to have her as she focuses on communication rather than just verbal speech and we were able to start on AAC at an early age.

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