The Rock Ethics Institute

Home > People > Kathryn Mayberry

Kathryn Mayberry

by rmb529 Aug 27, 2018
Kathryn Mayberry

2018-19 Thesis and Research Fellow

English and History

College of the Liberal Arts


Kathryn Mayberry, of Lansdale, PA, is a senior majoring in both English and History at Penn State. She is a Schreyer Honor Scholar, a Paterno Fellow, a member of Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society, and a past participant in Penn State’s History Undergraduate Research Conference where she presented her research on World War I poet, Wilfred Owen. Beyond her academics, Kathryn interns at the North Wales Area Library where she shares her passion for reading with children and families in her local community through the library’s annual summer reading program. Additionally, she brings her life-long experience with tandem bicycles to Camp Abilities PA at West Chester University where she volunteers as a bicycle mechanic and tandem coach for visually impaired athletes. 

Thesis: “Reclaiming Disabled Poetry; William Carlos Williams’ Late Work”

Project Description: Kathryn’s honors thesis, “Reclaiming Disabled Poetry; William Carlos Williams’ Late Work,” uses a Disability Studies approach to investigate the late poetry of William Carlos Williams (1883-1963), written in his 70s after a series of debilitating strokes. Very little has been written about Williams’ disability aesthetic so Kathryn seeks to reclaim Williams’ late work as disabled poetry. By providing a critical approach that centers on disability when discussing Williams’ work, she intends to draw attention to the absence of similar disability-oriented discussions. Her project will situate Williams and his disability in a critical conversation and insist that disability is an important facet of literary scholarship. The discussion of Williams’ work produced from Kathryn’s archival research with Williams’ papers will operate as a case study that identifies Williams as a disabled poet, recognizes the absence of disability in critical treatments of his work, and provides a critical disability analysis to address that absence. This thesis seeks to make progress towards the ethical recognition of people with disabilities in established literary canon and promote the inclusion of disability as an important subcategory of literary criticism.