Conference – Experiences of Dis/ability from the Late Middle Ages to the Mid-Twentieth Century 22 – 23 August 2019, Tampere University, Finland

Please download the updated conference programme in PDF format here.

Abstracts in alphabetical order can be downloaded here.



Location: Linna building (address: Kalevantie 5), ground floor: lecture halls K103 & K109

(Kalevantie street entrance: one floor down; Pinninkatu street entrance: lecture halls on the entrance floor to the left)


15.15 Coffee and registration – Linna building: ground floor
15.45 Welcome – Lecture hall K103
16.00 Keynote I: David Lederer: Miracle Books as Sources of Early Modern Experiences of Disabilities – Lecture hall K103   Chair: Sari Katajala-Peltomaa
17.00-19.00 Sessions I (2 sessions)
1A Disabled lives I Chair: Hanna Lindberg – Lecture hall K103

Corinne Ball: Fringe dwellers – Experiences of Disability at South Australia’s Destitute Asylum

Kirsi Tuohela: Mental Disability in the 1930s Finland, The Case of Aino Manner (1893-1956)

Marcin Stasiak: “Look! He is a Cripple, But He Can Climb Trees!” Childhood in Life Stories of People with Polio-Related Impairments – Polish Case

1B Revisiting concepts and conceptions  Chair: David Lederer – Lecture hall K109

Adleen Crapo: Choosing Their Words Carefully: Lexicography to Explore Early Modern Experiences of Disability

Patrick McDonagh: Romantic Ideology and the Conceptualization of Idiocy

Simon Jarrett: Myths of Marginality: Locating the Idiot in the Eighteenth Century

Mari Eyice: The Outer Periphery of Empathy – Disability and Emotional Practices in Early Modern Sweden

ca. 19.00-21.00 Evening get-together (Tampere University main building: café-lounge Toivo, address: Kalevantie 4, 2nd floor)

THURSDAY 22 August

9.00 Coffee and registration – Linna building: ground floor
9.30 Keynote II: Donna Trembinski: Disability, Trauma and Conversion in the Lives of Early Franciscan Saints – Lecture hall K103 Chair: Riikka Miettinen
10.30-12.30 Sessions II
2A Religious practice and experiences

Chair: Raisa Toivo – Lecture hall K103

Annette Volfing: Linguistic Impairment and Mystical Status – The Revelations of Margaretha Ebner

Ninon Dubourg: Religiosity and Disability in the Papal Letters (13th and 14th Centuries)

Michael Riordan: Blind Devotion: Sight-Loss and Religion in Early Modern Britain

Sari Katajala-Peltomaa: (Dis)abling Practices: Saints, Demons and Maniacs in the Late Middle Ages

2B Representations     Chair: Daniel Blackie – Lecture hall K109

Virginia Langum: “Tried to make you something you’re not”: Disability History and Historical Fiction

Sara Scalenghe: Visual Representations of Disability in the Late Ottoman Empire

Arndís Bergsdóttir: Mining for Dis/abled Lives in Museum Archives and Coming up with Unruly Matters of Absence

12.30-13.45 Lunch (Restaurant Aleksis, address: Kalevantie 2)
13.45-14.45 Session III: Doing disability history I  Chair: Pertti Haapala – Lecture hall K103

Lotta Vikström: Disability and Partnership in Sweden from Past to Present

Nele Reyniers & Pieter Verstraete: Rethinking ‘Experience’ in the History of Children with Mental Disability

15.00-17.00 Sessions IV    
4A Military and veterans I   Chair: Tuomas Laine-Frigren – Lecture hall K103

Geoffrey L. Hudson: Gender, Social Negotiation & Disabled Ex-servicemen in England, 1600–1800

Anthony Farrell: Disabled veterans of the First World War in Ireland and the Irish Free State 1914 to 1945

Virva Liski: Mental Disability among Veterans of the Finnish Civil War in 1918–1939

4B Disability and legal cultures Chair: Raisa Toivo – Lecture hall K109

Ashley Elrod: Debating Incompetence: Law and the Lived Experience of Disability in Early Modern Germany

Lola Digard: Alleviate and Compensate: The Office des Paiseurs in the County of Flanders in the late Middle Ages

Hanna Bjorg Sigurjonsdottir: Disability, Punishments and Poverty in Iceland (1500–1800)

Jenni Kuuliala & Riikka Miettinen: Searching for Experiences in Late Medieval and Early Modern Legal Documents

17.00 Coffee
17.15-18.45 Sessions V    
5A Military and veterans II Chair: Ville Kivimäki – Lecture hall K103

Catherine Beck: Unserviceable, Being Insane: Mental Disability and Difference in the Eighteenth-Century British Navy

Tuomas Laine-Frigren: Adjusting Emotions. Psychosocial Rehabilitation of Finnish Brain-injured Soldiers in the 1940s-1950s

Tom Probert: ‘[A]n adventure into mental illness’: Psychiatry and Stigma during Britain’s postwar period of decolonisation

5B Disabled lives II      Chair: Hanna Lindberg – Lecture hall K109

Stan Booth: Richard Steele: A Life Well Lived

Chris Mounsey: Documenting the Life of Thomas Gills, Blind Man of St Edmundsbury

Sólveig Ólafsdóttir: The Shelter from the Storm

20.00- Conference dinner for speakers (Restaurant Tampella, address: Kelloportinkatu 1)


FRIDAY 23 August

9.30-11.30 Sessions VI    
6A Disabilities in the Middle Ages I Chair: Jenni Kuuliala – Lecture hall K103

Oana Maria Cojocaru: Disabled Children and their (In)visible Experiences in Byzantium

Heidi Russenberger: Disability, Bodies, and Identities in Fourteenth Century Canonisation Inquests

Catriona McKenzie & Eileen M. Murphy: Considering Care: Flexion Deformities in the Gaelic Medieval Population of Ballyhanna, Co. Donegal, Ireland

Elin Ahlin-Sundman: The Perfect Body: A Case Study of Clerical Masculinities and Male Bodies in Late Medieval Iceland

6B The disabled and the state in the 20th century Chair: Pirjo Markkola – Lecture hall K109

Anna Derksen: The Nordic Disability Movements and Experiences of Charity and Welfare in the Mid-20th Century

Rabia Belt: Disabling Democracy in America: Disability, Citizenship, Suffrage and the Law, 1819–1920

Radu-Harald Dinu: Disability under Communism in Eastern Europe. What we know and what we don’t know

11.30-12.30 Keynote III: David Turner: Disability and Political Activism in the British Industrial Revolution – Lecture hall K103   Chair: Pertti Haapala
12.30-13.45 Lunch (Restaurant Aleksis, address: Kalevantie 2)
13.45-15.15 Sessions VII  
7A Disabilities in the Middle Ages II     Chair: Donna Trembinski – Lecture hall K103

Haraldur Þór Hammer Haraldsson: Lived Lives of the Different Bodied Dead

Christopher Crocker: Disability and Dreams in the Medieval Icelandic Sagas

Eva Thórdís Ebenezersdóttir: Differently Human or Simply Supernatural


7B Human rights     Chair: Ville Kivimäki – Lecture hall K109

Klaudia Muca: Between Two Wars. Experience of Disability in 1918–1939 in Poland

Maija Koivisto: Eugenic, Deaf Women, Marriage Law, Sterilization and Abortions in Finland 1929–1969

Hanna Lindberg: Being a Minority within a Minority. The Case of the Finland-Swedish Deaf in the mid-20th Century

15.15-16.15 Session VIII: Doing disability history II      Chair: David Turner – Lecture hall K103

Shawn M. Phillips: A Comparison of Home and Institutional Care in the US (1850–1950): Osteobiography as a Method to Recover the Dependent and Disabled Experience

Cora Šalkovskis: Speaking of without speaking for: Anonymity, Ethics, the Dead, and the Psychiatric Historian


ca. 16.15- Closing & coffee

 Conference website:

CFP – Leeds IMC 2020 – ‘Minority and Marginalised Experiences’, organised by An Australasian Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies


Recent scholarship has begun to acknowledge that the focus of Medieval and Early Modern Studies has long been on the elite, male, western European experience. New movements in academia are addressing this imbalance, acknowledging that women, ethnic minorities, and other marginalised groups contributed richly to the fabric of medieval and early modern life. Ceræ aims to join this shift in focus to the experiences of minority groups, marginalised peoples, and life in non-western territories with a conference session at IMC Leeds 2020.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Experiences of minority or marginalised groups
  • Writings by minority or marginalised groups
  • Literary depictions of minority or marginalised groups
  • The effacement of minority or marginalised groups
  • Marginalia
  • Experiences on the transition of a border or landscape
  • The law of minority and marginalised groups
  • Minority and marginalised cultures, beliefs, and celebrations
  • Experiences of disability and physical and mental illness

Ceræ invites submissions encompassing all aspects of the late classical, medieval, and early modern world. There are no geographical restrictions. As an interdisciplinary journal, Ceræ encourages submissions across the fields of archaeology, art history, historical ecology, literature, linguistics,  intellectual history, musicology, politics, social studies, and beyond.

Abstracts of 250 words should be sent to by 1st September 2019.

Attendees are responsible for all fees and costs associated with attending the IMC, and for registering for the congress.

For further enquiries contact our Editor:; or get in touch via Facebook ( or Twitter (@CeraeJournal).

CFP – The Senses in Medieval and Renaissance Europe: Hearing and Auditory Perception – Trinity College Dublin 24-25 April 2020


The Senses in Medieval and Renaissance Europe: Hearing and Auditory Perception

Trinity College Dublin

24-25 April 2020

Proposals for papers are invited for a conference on The Senses in Medieval and Renaissance Europe: Hearing and Auditory Perception, which aims to provide an international and interdisciplinary forum for researchers with an interest in the history of the senses in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.


Keynote Speaker:

Professor David Hendy, University of Sussex

Echoes on the Air: How Modern Media Evoke and Dramatize
the Sounds of the Distant Past

The history of the senses is a rapidly expanding field of research. Pioneered in Early Modern and Modern Studies, it is now attracting attention also from Medieval and Renaissance specialists. Preoccupation with the human senses and with divine control over them is evident in a range of narrative texts, scientific treatises, creative literature, as well as the visual arts and music from the pre-modern period. This conference – the second in a series devoted to the five senses – aims to contribute to this expansion by bringing together leading researchers to exchange ideas and approaches.

The conference organisers have signed a five-book contract with Brepols which is based on the theme: ‘The Senses in Medieval and Renaissance Europe’. The proceedings of our 2016 conference, ‘Sight and Visual Perception’, held in University College Dublin, edited by Ann Buckley and Edward Coleman, are due for publication in 2020.

We invite proposals from the full range of disciplines including (but not limited to) history, archaeology, musicology, art history, architecture, literary studies, acoustics, astronomy, physics, medicine. Contributions from established and early-career scholars as well as postgraduates are all equally welcome.

Suggested topics include (but are not limited to):

  • humanly organised sound
  • music (social and religious ritual; art, leisure)
  • musica et scientia
  • sound and social meaning
  • sound and the emotions
  • sound and healing
  • sound and the body
  • soundscapes
  • sound and nature
  • sound and the regulation of time
  • sound and religious experience
  • deafness and its consequences
  • hearing and medicine
  • exploring the physics of sound in the middle ages and renaissance

Titles and abstracts (maximum 300 words) together with a short biography, institutional affiliation (where relevant), and contact details should be sent to by 1 December 2019. Proposals for panels are also encouraged.

Registration fee €40 (Students and other concessions: €25)

Click here to download Conference Poster.



Welcome Pack

Organizing Committee:
Dr Ann Buckley (Trinity College Dublin)
Dr Edward Coleman (University College Dublin)
Dr Carrie Griffin (University of Limerick)
Dr Emer Purcell (National University of Ireland)

Forum for Medieval and Renaissance Studies in Ireland (FMRSI)

Facebook: Twitter: @FMRSI

CFP – ICMS 2020, Kalamazoo – Saintly Wounds – Sponsored by the Hagiography Society

CFP: ICMS 2020, Kalamazoo (May 7-10) CFP
Sponsored by the Hagiography Society
Saintly Wounds
Saints are inextricably linked with healing and healing miracles. Often, these miracles involve some type of wound. Wounds can be inflicted upon the saint him/herself, cured by the saint, or even intentionally caused by the saint. This session seeks to address this discussion of saintly wounds as a way to read hagiography, saints in context, and what saintly bodies can do. This panel aims for interdisciplinary and intersectional discussions, encouraging submission by those working in a wide variety of theoretical fields.
Possible questions include, but are not limited to:
· What is the relationship between sainthood and physicality and/or physicality and the divine?
· What is the role of disability, gender, and/or race?
· What role does performance, spectacle, and/or audience play?
· What limits, transgressions, or paradoxes do wounded bodies illuminate?
· What does the saint’s wound(s) reveal about attitudes toward the body?
Please send abstracts of 250-300 words, along with a completed Participant Information form, to session organizer Stephanie Grace-Petinos ( by Sept 10, 2019. Please include your name, title, and affiliation on the abstract itself. All abstracts not accepted for the session will be forwarded to Congress administrators for consideration in general sessions, as per Congress regulations.
For this, and the other HS sessions, visit:

CFP – Gender and History – Special Issue: Health, Healing and Caring

Gender & History is an international journal for research and writing on the history of femininity, masculinity and gender relations. This Call for Papers is aimed at scholars studying any country or region, and any temporal period, including the classical, medieval, early modern, modern, and contemporary periods.

This Special Issue will explore the gendered history of healing and caring from the perspective of the sick and suffering, and various types of healers and caregivers. It aims to move beyond institutional histories of biomedicine, canonical medical knowledge, and allopathic approaches to health. We seek to showcase research that reflects upon the gendered dynamics of palliative care and the formation of diverse communities and economies of health and healing. We recognize that historical reckonings of health and bodily knowledge in many locales have been dominated by sources maintained in state, colonial, and missionary archives, and by notions of medicine shaped in white settler institutions. In an effort to destabilize these reckonings and to uncover marginalized forms of knowledge and practice, we encourage research informed by diverse methodologies and an imaginative approach to source material.

In recent years, medical anthropologists have shed light on the complex and unequal co-production of biomedical knowledge and “traditional” forms of medicine while feminist sociologists have illuminated the gendered dynamics of caregiving and the devaluation of its everyday and emotional labor. How might historians engage these cross-disciplinary methods and insights to reconstruct more nuanced and more expansive histories of healing and caring? What happens to our gendered histories of illness and medicine when we de-naturalize biomedical formations and examine palliative care in addition to therapeutic treatment? How has gender shaped which forms of healing and caring are recognized and institutionalized, and how has such privileging changed over time?

We understand that historically a wide array of people have provided healing and caring including family members, shamans, spirit mediums, healers, Elders, herbalists, diviners, faith healers, and wise-women and men as well as midwives, nurses, aids, and doctors. Their practices have ranged from diagnosing illnesses, administering medicines, and performing procedures to offering spiritual and psychological counsel. They have also included forms of body work such as grooming, feeding, bathing, massage and manipulation, and handling the dead.

Papers are invited from established scholars as well as new, emerging, and unaffiliated scholars who consider a variety of historical moments and locations, or transnational and even global processes related to themes such as the following:

●Intersectional approaches that examine how social identities and inequalities rooted in gender,race, ethnicity, sexuality, class, religion, and nationality have long shaped people’s access tohealth resources and care and, in turn, given rise to disparate patterns and experiences of well-being and illness.

●Reconstruction of deep histories of gendered healing and caring, extending back well before thetwentieth century, that reveal how healing and caring practices have been central concerns forboth individuals and societies and how those concerns have often animated and reconfiguredcultural institutions, political ideologies, and economic relations and markets.

●Consideration of the connections and tensions between various modes of healing and palliation,and how those relations have informed the frequently gendered and racialized separation of“professional” and “modern” medicine from modes designated as “traditional,” “informal,”“alternative,” or “home-based.”

●Examination of how people have transmitted healing and caring epistemologies and practicesacross generations and geographic distances, including how women have sought to maintain orassert control over their health and how various archives have worked both to represent andobscure those efforts.

●Engagement with concepts from disability studies, queer theory, and crip theory to betterunderstand the history of illnesses and diseases that have often been both gendered andstigmatized such as depression, hysteria, reproductive maladies, infertility, and sexuallytransmitted infections.

Interested individuals are asked to submit 500-word abstracts, a brief biography (250 words), and a cv by 31 August 2019 at 5pm PDT for consideration. Abstracts will be reviewed by the guest editors and successful proponents will participate in a symposium at Vancouver Island University in British Columbia, Canada, on 8 May 2020. Papers must be submitted six weeks prior to the symposium. Papers should be 6000-8000 words in length. After the symposium, papers will go through the journal’s peer review system. As with any article, there is no guarantee of publication. The editors are in the process of applying for funding to defray the cost of the travel to the symposium for new, emerging, and unaffiliated scholars. Please send abstracts, biographies, and CVs by email to or by mail to The Editors, Gender & History, Vancouver Island University, 900 Fifth Street, Nanaimo, BC V9R 5S5. The Special Issue will be edited by Drs. Kristin Burnett, Sara Ritchey, and Lynn M. Thomas.

Special Issue Timeline Abstracts to SI editors — 31 August 2019 Papers circulated to symposium participants — 15 March 2020 Symposium at Vancouver Island University (Nanaimo, British Columbia) — 8 May 2020Full submissions to SI editors (papers submitted on ScholarOne) for peer review — 31 August, 2020 Revised submissions (and any image permissions) to SI editors — 31 May 2021 Publication — October 2021