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Disabilities Discussed at Ancilla’s Coffee and a Book

April 9, 2014

DONALDSON –Joel Thomas, Assistant Professor of English discussed Timothy J. Basselin’s book Flannery O’Connor: Writing a Theology of Disabled Humanity this month at Earthworks Market.

Flannery O’Connor authored more than two dozen short stories and two novels despite suffering from lupus. Her Southern Gothic stories often involve grotesque characters whose physical and spiritual limitations have proven memorable to generations of readers.

Thomas, who teaches English, literature, and creative writing at Ancilla College, focused on the intersection of O’Connor’s stories, disability theory, and theology.  Attendees discussed the meaning of “grotesque” and how it played out in many of their own favorite O’Connor stories.  Disability theory was also brought into the conversation and focused on how O’Connor was ahead of her time in much of her thinking.

The final Coffee and a Book for the spring semester will take place May 6th from 7-8 p.m. at Earthworks Market.  Rev. Dr. Sam Boys will discuss the book I Is an Other: The Secret Life of Metaphor and How It Shapes the Way We See the World by James Geary.  The book explores metaphors and the effect they have on our lives.

“Coffee and a Book” is a cultural series co-sponsored by the Ancilla College Humanities Division and Earthworks.

Ancilla College ( is a Catholic, liberal arts, Associate’s Degree college in Donaldson, Indiana, sponsored by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ