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Reading: Mad Max and Disability: Australian Gothic, Colonial, and Corporeal (Dis)possession

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Mad Max and Disability: Australian Gothic, Colonial, and Corporeal (Dis)possession

Author:

Dawn Stobbart

Independent Scholar, GB
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Abstract

The Australian landscape has a long Gothic history, as Gerry Turcotte writes: “long before the fact of Australia was ever confirmed by explorers and cartographers it had already been imagined as a grotesque space, a land peopled by monsters” (10). This grotesque space is brought into focus through the films, the graphic novel, and the videogame of the Mad Max franchise and transposed onto this landscape are survivors and remnants of society, many of whom are coded as disabled. These characters are set against the omnipresent Australian landscape, an unwelcoming land that opposes their very existence, yet whose presence compliments it. This paper will focus on the literary understanding of disability to explore the preponderance of physical differences in the Mad Max franchise. It will focus primarily on the latest releases, dealing with the Fury Road portion of the series, where living with physical impairment is a banal reality. This paper will ask whether the Gothic landscape of the Australian Outback in Mad Max codes the characters as disabled, or whether it is the able bodied characters that are outside the norm, as well as considering the positive (or negative) implications of representations of disability in the franchise.

How to Cite: Stobbart, D., 2019. Mad Max and Disability: Australian Gothic, Colonial, and Corporeal (Dis)possession. Studies in Gothic Fiction, 6(1), pp.64–72. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18573/sgf.20
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Published on 20 Jan 2019.
Peer Reviewed

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