The Future of Medieval Disability Studies
This roundtable discussion brings together four scholars of medieval disability studies: Richard Godden, Jonathan Hsy, Cameron Hunt McNabb, and Kristina Richardson. Our speakers will discuss the state of the field, and the ways in which we can imagine different, more inclusive, futures.
About the speakers
Richard H. Godden is an Assistant Professor in English at Louisiana State University. His current book project, Material Subjects: An Ecology of Prosthesis in Medieval Literature and Culture, focuses on the material objects with which medieval bodies were so intimate, and explores the intersections of disability and the agency of things in the Middle Ages. He is co-editor, with Asa Mittman, of Monstrosity, Disability, and the Posthuman in the Medieval and Early Modern World (Palgrave, 2019), and also of The Open Access Companion to The Canterbury Tales. In addition to his work on the Middle Ages, he also works on questions of inclusive pedagogy and Universal Design. He has really strong feelings about laptops in classrooms.
Jonathan Hsy is a scholar-activist who seeks to build new kinds of knowledge, and new forms of community, that center lived understandings of disability, race, and embodied variance. He has served on the MLA Committee on Disability Issues in the Profession and is co-editor of A Cultural History of Disability in the Middle Ages (Bloomsbury 2020). He is co-author of essays on medieval disability and digital humanities with Richard H. Godden, and he is the author of Antiracist Medievalisms (Arc Humanities 2021). He is completing a book on autobiographical writings by medieval authors who identify as blind or deaf.
Cameron Hunt McNabb‘s academic interests include disability studies, early drama, and pedagogy, and she is the editor for The Medieval Disability Sourcebook: Western Europe, an open-access volume on disability in the European Middle Ages. She has published in numerous peer-reviewed journals, including Early Theatre, Studies in Philology, and Neophilologus, and her essay “Night of the Living Bread: Unstable Signs in Chester’s ‘Antichrist'” won Early Theatre’s Best Interpretive Essay for 2015-2017. She currently serves as an Associate Professor in the Humanities Department at Southeastern University.
Kristina Richardson is an associate professor of history at Queens College and the Graduate Center, The City University of New York. She held an ERC-funded Marie Curie fellowship at the University of Münster from 2012 to 2014, and was a research fellow at the University of Bonn from 2014 to 2015. Professor Richardson is the author of Difference and Disability in the Medieval Islamic World (Edinburgh University Press, 2012), and she has published articles on blue and green eyes in medieval Islamic societies, the state of Middle Eastern disability history, and 16th-century Arabic historical manuscripts. Her co-authored study of a 16th-century Aleppine silk-weaver’s diary will soon be published with Orient-Institut Beirut. She is also completing a monograph entitled Gypsies in the Medieval Islamic World: A History of a People (I.B. Tauris/Bloomsbury).