Podcast – Passion Médiévistes – épisode 40 – Megan et la surdité au Moyen Age (in French + transcription).



Référente en langue des signes d’enfants sourds et née de parents sourds, Megan Kateb était, au moment de l’enregistrement de l’épisode du podcast, en master 2 d’histoire médiévale à Paris X. En 2019 elle avait réalisé un mémoire de première année de master sur la surdité en Occident, encadré par Franck Collard et Yann Cantin.

Il était divisé en trois parties : la première exclusivement médicale, la vision des médecins sur ce qui était autrefois considéré comme une maladie, la deuxième portée sur les miracles de sourds qui entendent à nouveau ou pour la première fois et enfin une troisième partie sur l’impact des moines bénédictins qui en faisant vœu de silence ont mis au point un langage gestuel, se rapprochant d’une idée de future langue des signes.

Son mémoire de deuxième année porte toujours sur la surdité mais cette fois dans l’espace euro-méditerranéen médiéval. Elle y aborde les vies religieuses et quotidiennes des sourds tant dans l’empire musulman, chrétien que dans le judaïsme : comment vivaient- ils vraiment ? Quels paradoxe y a t’il entre les textes religieux et la réalité ?


Plus d’information (et transcription) sur le site de Passion médiévistes

More information (and transcription) on the Passion médiévistes website.

Podcast – talk between Wendy Turner and Chris Mounsey on medieval mental health and eighteenth-century sight impairment

#126 History Hack: Disabilities in History

Wendy Turner and Chris Mounsey join forces to talk about the challenges of researching disabilities in history. Using their specialisations in medieval mental health and eighteenth century sight impairment, they tell a wider tale of difficulties in terminology, understanding human experience, for which solutions are evolving constantly. 


Link to the podcast

New book – Disability in industrial Britain: A cultural and literary history of impairment in the coal industry, 1880-1948 – Mike Mantin, Steven Thompson, Kirsti Bohata, Alexandra Jones- Manchester University Press

Disability in industrial Britain: A cultural and literary history of impairment in the coal industry, 1880-1948 
Mike Mantin, Steven Thompson, Kirsti Bohata, Alexandra Jones

Series: Disability History
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Manchester University Press; (March 17, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1526124319

Coalmining was a notoriously dangerous industry and many of its workers experienced injury and disease. However, the experiences of the many disabled people within Britain’s most dangerous industry have gone largely unrecognised by historians. This book looks at British coal through the lens of disability, using an interdisciplinary approach to examine the lives of disabled miners and their families.

A diverse range of sources are used to examine the economic, social, political and cultural impact of disability in the coal industry, looking beyond formal coal company and union records to include autobiographies, novels and existing oral testimony. It argues that, far from being excluded entirely from British industry, disability and disabled people were central to its development. The book will appeal to students and academics interested in disability history, disability studies, social and cultural history and representations of disability in literature.

1. Work, economy and disability in the British coalfields
2. Medicalising miners in the twentieth century? Medicine, care and rehabilitation
3. Systems of financial support for disabled miners and their families
4. Social relations in the construction and experience of disability
5. The politicisation of disability
6. Disability in coalfields literature 1880-1948


  • Steven Thompson is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of History and Welsh History at Aberystwyth University.
  • Mike Mantin was Research Fellow for the Disability and Industrial Society project.
  • Kirsti Bohata is Professor of English and Director of CREW, the Centre for Research into the English Literature and Language of Wales at Swansea University.
  • Alexandra Jones was on a Full PhD Studentship for the Disability and Industrial Society project.

More infos on the editor website

Call for Applicants: Disability History Association Graduate Student Travel Award


Call for Applicants: Disability History Association Graduate Student Travel Award

As part of our commitment to promoting the work of disability historians at all career stages, the Disability History Association (DHA) is proud to invite graduate students to apply for our conference travel award. The award is meant to support travel to professional academic conferences and is not restricted by geographic location. The committee will award up to two graduate student applicants $250 (US) each to support attendance at conferences between April 1, 2020 and September 30, 2020. The Association will cover expenses in currencies other than U.S. dollars if necessary.

To apply for this award, applicants should provide a one-page (roughly 250-word) letter explaining what conference they plan to attend, where, and when. Applicants should clearly explain their reason for wanting to attend the conference and what benefits they expect to receive from the experience, especially benefits relating to their work in disability history. For example, a candidate may have been accepted to present a paper on a disability history project or may want to interview for jobs at the conference; another may want to learn more about subjects presented that relate to their own work in disability history. Please explain with as much detail and clarity as possible how the conference attendance intersects with the broad field of disability history.

This year’s award covers the period from April 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020. The deadline for applications is March 15, 2020.

Applicants must be members of the DHA in order to receive this scholarship.

Awardees will be announced on the H-Disability listserv. In accepting the scholarship, winners commit to writing a brief reflection (500-750 words) about the conference that will be shared with our membership.

Please send applications to Caroline Lieffers: clieffers@gmail.com.

More information on the DHA website.

« Monsters and problematic identities » – graduate student conference – The Medieval and Renaissance Student Association (MaRSA) of California State University, Long Beach


The Medieval and Renaissance Student Association (MaRSA) of California State University, Long Beach is seeking individual papers as well as panel submissions for their graduate student conference.

The conference will be held at the Karl Anatol Center on the campus of CSULB on March I2th, 2020. Medieval and Renaissance monstrosity and identities. As an interdisciplinary conference, we welcome submissions from a wide array of disciplines focusing on the art, literature, and history of the period. Paper and panel topics might address issues (but are not limited to) the following:
Monsters es the other (theories of otherness)

Eco-critIcism and Monsters

Nationalism and Monsters

Identity formation

  • Gender
  • Race
  • Sexuality
  • Religious identity

Psychoanalysis (historical actors)


Medievalism Fantasy Monsters

  • Zombies
  • Ghosts
  • Dragons
  • Fairies
  • Demons
  • Giants
  • Ogres
  • Werewolves (shapeshifters)
  • Dwarves

Cultural/Social Isolation (outlaw)/ Marginalization

Travel Literature, and Monsters

Colonialism/ Imperialism Trans-AtiaMic

Disabilities (dwarves)

Medieval Imaginary

Monstrous Bodies

Witchcraft (magic)

Ideological Appropriation