“Like Bananas with Brown Spots”

Epilepsy, Embodiment, Vulnerability and Resilience in South Asia

  • Aparna Nair University of Oklahoma Norman, USA


Employing an analytical autoethnographic methodology, this paper examines how the polysemic meanings and punctuated character of epilepsy produces social and corporeal vulnerabilities in an Indian childhood. The paper further establishes the importance of the family in influencing individual perceptions and constructions of chronic illness as well as in building resilience or increasing vulnerabilities. In examining the process of research, this paper also makes an argument that disabled researchers in the field can become vulnerable in multivalent ways but also argues that the act of disclosure of epileptic/disabled identities during the research process can become central to building community and resilience. This paper also complicates the often North-centric narrative of disability studies and underlines the importance of social contexts around individual categories of disability or chronic illness.

Author Biography

Aparna Nair, University of Oklahoma Norman, USA

University of Oklahoma

Norman, USA