New books – A Cultural History of Disability (6 volumes), ed. by David Bolt, Robert McRuer – Bloomsbury publ.

About A Cultural History of Disability

How has our understanding and treatment of disability evolved in Western culture? How has it been represented and perceived in different social and cultural conditions?

In a work that spans 2,500 years, these ambitious questions are addressed by over 50 experts, each contributing their overview of a theme applied to a period in history. The volumes describe different kinds of physical and mental disabilities, their representations and receptions, and what impact they have had on society and everyday life.

Individual volume editors ensure the cohesion of the whole, and to make it as easy as possible to use, chapter titles are identical across each of the volumes. This gives the choice of reading about a specific period in one of the volumes, or following a theme across history by reading the relevant chapter in each of the six.

The six volumes cover1. – Antiquity (500 BCE – 500 CE); 2. – Middle Ages (500 – 1450); 3. – Renaissance (1400 – 1650) ; 4. – Long Eighteenth Century (1650 – 1800); 5. – Long Nineteenth Century (1800 – 1920); 6. – Modern Age (1920 – 2000+).

Themes (and chapter titles) are: atypical bodies; mobility impairment; chronic pain and illness; blindness; deafness; speech; learning difficulties; mental health.

The page extent is approximately 2,000pp with c. 200 illustrations. Each volume opens with Notes on Contributors, a series preface and an introduction, and concludes with Notes, Bibliography and an Index.

Table of contents

Volume 1: A Cultural History of Disability in Antiquity, edited by Christian Laes (University of Manchester, UK)
Volume 2: A Cultural History of Disability in the Middle Ages, edited by Jonathan Hsy (George Washington University, USA), Tory V. Pearman (Miami University, Hamilton, Ohio, USA) and Joshua R. Eyler (Rice University, USA)
Volume 3: A Cultural History of Disability in the Renaissance, edited by Susan Anderson (Sheffield Hallam University, UK) and Liam Haydon (United Kingdom Research and Innovation, UK)
Volume 4: A Cultural History of Disability in the Long Eighteenth Century, edited by D. Christopher Gabbard (University of North Florida, USA) and Susannah B. Mintz (Skidmore College, USA)
Volume 5: A Cultural History of Disability in the Long Nineteenth Century, edited by Joyce Huff (Ball State University, USA) and Martha Stoddard Holmes (California State University San Marcos, USA)
Volume 6: A Cultural History of Disability in the Modern Age, edited by David T. Mitchell (George Washington University, USA) and Sharon L. Snyder (George Washington University, USA)

More infos on the editor’s website


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