My name is Bellee Jones-Pierce (say it like believe without the v), but my students know me as Dr. J-P. I am a Lecturer in the English Department at Middle Tennessee State University, where I teach courses in writing, disability studies, and literature.
My primary research areas are early modern literature, disability, and poetics. My work as a creative writer is also concerned with the intersections of formalism and ability. My book project, Able Verse, suggests the English lyric is shaped by conceptions of disability as they come to metaphor in social and poetic discourse as well as the physical facts of disability itself. Bodily metaphors pervade language used to discuss complex structures, including poetics. Disability studies, therefore, offers a historical and especially useful approach to early modern lyric. Rather than policing metaphor or advocating for the removal of disability metaphors from poetic discourse, I argue metaphors of disability have indelibly marked poetic practice and lyric itself. My work inflects a historical formalist approach with tools and perspectives from disability studies and builds its arguments upon the vibrant early modern discourses of framing, measurement, quantification, medicine, anatomy, optics, and poetics.
I am the managing coordinator of Premodern Disability, a resource aggregator for those who study disability in the medieval and early modern periods. You can find me on Twitter and Instagram. To contact me directly, send an email here.