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Katie Richards

Languages and Literature, University of Birmingham

Thesis title:

Disablism and Dwarfism in Medievalist Fantasy

In my thesis, I plan on exploring the ways in which able-bodied authors use dwarfs in their texts as racial, cultural and biological others. My main foci include the presentation of dwarfs in battle, in bed and on the screen. I hope to elucidate the ableist nature of these presentations and consider the impact that they have on society’s attitudes to people with dwarfism. I hope to suggest how future content creators could use this staple of medieval literature while avoiding ableist stereotypes.

Research Area

  • English Language and Literature
  • Languages and Literature

Other Research Interests

Other research interests include:

  • medicine in literature
  • Old English and Old Norse literature
  • disability studies
  • transgender studies
  • queering the Middle Ages


I am a member of the:

  • Viking Society for Northern Research