Cordula Nolte, Bianca Frohne, Uta Halle, Sonja Kerth (Eds): A Handbook of Pre-Modern Dis/ability History (Didymos)
Covering the period from 500 to 1800, this volume serves as a comprehensive guide into the growing field of dis/ability history. Its contributions by 80 international scholars present groundbreaking research in various historical disciplines, often unearthing hitherto unknown material and highlighting premodern societies from unfamiliar perspectives. The wide range of approaches and subjects comprises theoretical and methodological frameworks, general questions of gender, life-cycle and social status, daily life experiences,work and sustenance, legal norms and practices, strategies of coping and of self-help, medical therapies, organisation of care, emotions and religious interpretations. Compact information, vivid case studies and rich visual material grant an enjoyable and instructive reading for audiences who wish to explore premodern culture on innovative paths. »
Since the turn of the century, dis/ability history has been established as a promising, international field of research that enables us to look at historical cultures and societies from a completely new point of view, based on the analytical category of dis/ability. The number of relevant projects and publications is growing, methods and topics are in constant development. At the same time, various intersections with different current approaches within historical scholarship and cultural studies emerge. The combination of these aspects turns the attention of the academia and the wider public to this new research perspective. »
However, there is hardly any information available about the self-conception of dis/ability history, about its theories, methods and sources, and about its specific aims, subjects and leading questions. Whereas international dis/ability studies, which laid the groundwork for dis/ability history, have already put forth several handbooks, introductions and readers, dis/ability history is still in need of reference works wherein its basics are presented in a concise, readable, and systematic fashion.
This deficit is especially noticeable with regard to pre-modern dis/ability history, which is even more recent than modern dis/ability history, and where particular challenges have to be met, mainly due to the specifics of medieval and early modern sources. As there has been considerable output within a growing number of essays and edited volumes, but not often in form of monographs yet, it is quite difficult to keep track of research activities and to gain advanced insight into central fields of research.
This is where our handbook comes in. It addresses a diverse audience, including students and renowned scholars as well as interest groups, activists within the fields of politics, culture, education and social work who advocate empowerment and work towards social inclusion, as well as the general public with an interest in history.
The handbook aims to present the current state of research with regard to various disciplines, combining concise information with an accessible presentation based on primary sources and an arrangement of topics that captivates the reader’s interest.
- values interdisciplinarity: topics will be addressed by various disciplines, especially history, literary studies and linguistics, archaeology, anthropology, art history, sociology, religious studies, and theology.
- brings together international authors (about 80 contributors).
- is based on primary sources throughout.
- explicitly addresses controversies regarding different research tendencies and methodologies.
- combines diachronic and synchronic perspectives, applying a perspective of longue durée whenever possible.
- entails articles in English and German (the latter being accompanied by English summaries).
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