Marion Quirici received her Ph.D. in English from the University at Buffalo in 2016. Her work studies the narratives cultures create to justify inequality on the basis of disability. Modern democracies fail to uphold their promises of “justice for all” when citizenship and rights are bound up with notions of intelligence and ability. Her doctoral dissertation, “Fitness for Freedom: Disability and Irish Modernism,” argues that certain Irish modernists pushed for a greater appreciation of human vulnerability and weakness, directly subverting nationalist claims of racial fitness and purity. She also writes about autism and neurodiversity. Her published work appears in the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies, Éire-Ireland, Joyce Studies Annual, and the Disability Studies Quarterly, among other venues.
At Duke, Dr. Quirici is co-director of the Health Humanities Lab and teaches disability studies writing courses in the Thompson Writing Program. Her classes train students to critique and revise cultural assumptions about disability by analyzing language, literature, popular representations and the media, the law, institutional spaces and practices, and the built environment. In addition to co-directing the Disability and Access Initiative working group for faculty, she also serves as the advisor of Duke Disability Alliance, a student organization that strives to make the college experience more accessible and inclusive.
Dr. Quirici is also active in the Independent Living Movement at both the state and local levels. As a member of the Board of Directors of the Alliance of Disability Advocates, a Center for Independent Living that serves the Triangle and surrounding counties, she coordinates outreach efforts.