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Material Disease: Agency and Illness in Early American Literature Mariah Crilley Material Disease: Agency and Illness in Early American Literature argues that diseases shaped bodies of literature. Drawing on new materialism, disability studies, and the medical humanities, this dissertation argues that diseases were material and literary agents that transformed not only individual bodies and lives but also cultures, history, and even literature. In each chapter, I explore how one diseasedoi:10.33915/etd.3936 fatcat:maqds2wl5zeupchkva7q4cwhzu