mgr Beata Strzępek-Leśniak

ORCID: 0000-0003-4904-3258

The topic of my dissertation is “Attempts to overcome the stereotypical perception of disability in the literature of the 21st century (on selected examples)”.

The topic of my dissertation oscillates around the issue of disability in the literature of the 21st century. The basis of my research will be a consideration around trying to break down stereotypical perceptions of disability. In today's world, the term is widely known, but the issue it self still arouses extreme feelings and becomes the subject of much debate. However, it is a universal phenomenon because it can affect anyone - regardless of gender, age, origin or wealth. Many people still do not know how to behave towards a person with a mobility impairment. On the other hand, in the case of an underlying disease, the symptoms of which are not visible at first sight, the majority of society relates with reluctance or even indignation to this type of dysfunction.

Through the analysis of selected works and a closer look at the situation of the above mentioned characters and their families, I would like to shed new light on the everyday life and functioning in the world of disabled people.

The main purpose of my proposed doctoral dissertation is to attempt to break down the stereotypical perception of disability in 21st century literature. The research assumptions, on the other hand, provide a basis for characterizing not only the literary protagonist himself as a person with a disability, but more importantly focusing on the perception of him by his peers and society. Another equally important aspect to which I will devote my dissertation will be the literary portrayal of the role of the parent, their emotions, feelings, and attempts to adapt to life with a child who has disability deficits. With the help of literature I will show what problems children's educators face, and most importantly what difficulties they have in accessing medical help, which exacerbates social barriers.

In this paper, I intend to address the current state of research on literary perceptions of disability and focus on the stereotypes that exist and are emerging in the world of disabled people. Additionally, I plan to take a closer look at the issue of the Other/Alien in the world of literature and examine the presentation of disabled people in recent literary works.Above all, I aim to analyze the life of a parent raising a child who is defined and perceived as the Other. A very important part of the thesis will be a study of the perceptions of disability literature. Based on them, I will show the struggle against stereotypes among ordinary people.

I would like to base my research on one of the traditional methods of literature research, namely narratology. And additionally support them with a new method called disability studies. Cultural anthropology, which is directly related to disability issues, will also prove helpful.

The paper will be enriched by research on the reception of individual literary works. It is worth noting that the proposed doctoral dissertation will be interdisciplinary in nature – combining literary aspects and sociological and cultural studies.


  1. Strzępek-Leśniak B., Oświeceniowy motyw damy modnej – kontynuacje i nawiązania w wybranych utworach kanonicznych dla szkoły średniej, „Dydaktyka Polonistyczna”, nr 7(16), Rzeszów 2021, s. 225-236.
  2. Strzępek-Leśniak B., Relacje międzyludzkie w zmaterializowanym świecie, czyli wizerunki dam modnych w polskich komediach oświeceniowych, „Educatio Nova”, tom 7, Lublin 2022, s. 177-193.
  3. Strzępek-Leśniak B., Elżbieta Drużbacka na straży obyczajów dam modnych, [w:] Kalejdoskop naukowy, pod red. A. Cieślińskiej, D. Rozmus, Olsztyn 2022, s. 59-71.