About Invisible & Under-Represented
The experiences and histories of disabled people, like other marginalised groups, are often absent or hidden the museum or archive. Almost twenty years ago, both Annie Delin (2002) and Catherine Kudlick (2002) separately suggested that the place of disability in our shared past has been ‘buried in the footnotes’ or the ‘unglamorous backwaters of history’. How much has changed? More to the point, how much still needs to change and how might this shape how we look at the material preserved in museums and archives? Disabled people often develop unique relationships with the material world (Ott, 2018), and so perhaps objects offer opportunities to embed disabled people and their histories into the public consciousness.
This student led conference seeks to highlight the work of researchers investigating object based histories of disability and/or the place of disability and disabled people in museums, archives and heritage institutions. We hope to create spaces to foster further discussion around these ideas and methodologies, whilst also reaching out to those unfamiliar with the study of disability or disability history. With this conference we hope to inspire new conversations between the academic and heritage sectors, sparking new ideas about how disability and it’s history can be made more visible in the narratives they construct.
Call For Abstracts
This conference seeks to highlight the work of researchers who are investigating object-based histories of disability and/or the place of disability and disabled people in museums, archives and heritage institutions. The experiences and histories of disabled people, like other marginalised groups, are often absent from the museum or archive. However, due to disabled people’s unique relation to the material world (Ott, 2018), objects can be drawn upon by the heritage industry to bring disabled people and their narratives into the public consciousness.
We hope to create spaces to foster further discussion around these topics, alongside presenting these ideas and methodologies to those not within the study of disability or disability history. Ideally, talks will be orientated both towards those within the academic and heritage sectors, promoting further work between the two. We are particularly keen to highlight work being undertaken by PGRs.
We welcome abstracts and expressions of interest from all who would like to take part in this conference as a speaker.
Topics Might Include
Absence/invisibility of disability in museums and archives
Objects and material culture of disability
Highlighting disability in existing archives and collections
Methodologies in the study of disability history
How we interpret disability historically / the ethics of display
Democratising disability heritage / barriers to access in academia and heritage
Activism and museums / Heritage as a site of activism
Disability in art and heritage
Changing language and terminology of disability / tackling offensive language in the archive
Disability and other intersectional identities and histories
Problematic commemoration of disabled people / historical ‘supercrips’
Submitting an Abstract
Abstracts should be a maximum 200 words, and clearly outline the premise of your proposed 20 minute paper. Please also provide:
- your full name
- a short biography (Maximum 100 words)
- an email address that we can contact you on.
Please submit your abstract to firstname.lastname@example.org by 23:59 (GMT) on Friday 21st January 2022.
Please note, to ensure accessibility, successful speakers will be contacted to explain any terminology that may need to be explained for BSL translators. For any further accessibility details for speakers, please contact email@example.com.