Shaping Intellectual Disabilities in Early Modern Literature and Culture (CFP for edited volume)

deadline for submissions: July 31, 2022

full name / name of organization: Dr Alice Equestri (University of Padua)

contact email: alice.equestri@unipd.it

Editor: Dr Alice Equestri, University of Padua (alice.equestri@unipd.it)

Publisher: international academic press to be confirmed

Deadline for submitting chapter proposals (400 words): July 31, 2022
Notification of acceptance: September 1, 2022
Provisional deadline for essay submission (6000-8000 words): April 30, 2023

Papers are sought for a volume that critically examines – and advances our knowledge of – manifestations of intellectual disability in early modern English and European literature and culture (c. 1500-1700). The collection will be submitted to an international academic publisher.

Intellectual disability nowadays is defined as a lifelong condition entailing deficits in intellectual and adaptive functions, including abstract thinking, reasoning, learning, communication, social participation and independent living. Its causes are generally understood as genetic or environmental, rather than social or psychological (and as such, intellectual disability differs from mental illness, which includes depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, psychosis, etc.). While perhaps intellectual disability as we think of it today did not yet exist as a concept in the Renaissance, many forms of impaired intellect existed and were discussed in the period. English law, for example, termed idiocy a congenital and permanent condition that manifested itself in the individual’s incapability to give basic information about themselves or make simple calculations – something which impeded their participation in the economy by independently managing their property. Doctors occasionally pointed at the humoural, physiognomic or anatomic characteristics linked to ‘foolishness’ (which differed significantly from madness or melancholy). But intellectual disability was also a much more malleable concept, defined historically according to religious, social, or political interests: Christian preachers called fools those who strayed from the word of God; nations with colonial interests called foreign natives foolish to stigmatise their cultural differences and to justify their own expansionist aims; in patriarchal societies women’s intellectual capability was deemed generally inferior to men’s; society itself considered foolish those who persisted in despicable practices from the point of view of morals or health.

This collection will ask how non-normative intellect was represented in the literature and culture of the period and how the able-minded world shaped and reacted to forms of intellectual difference. It will also ask how current disability theories may be helpful in understanding intellectual disability in literary history or whether new models of (intellectual) disability may be devised through an analysis of Renaissance texts. Historicist and/or presentist approaches may be employed to illuminate a wide range of topics including (but not limited to):

  • How fools and foolish characters in drama or other genres are portrayed as disabled or different
  • Intellectual disability in Shakespeare and his contemporaries 
  • Dissembled foolishness
  • Medical, social, legal, religious, moral representations of foolishness or intellectual non-normativity
  • The reception of classical and medieval notions of intellectual disability in Renaissance cultural products
  • Supernatural readings of intellectual disability
  • The links between intellectual difference and other disability representations (e.g. bodily or sensory differences, neurodiversity more broadly, etc.)
  • Intersections between intellectual disability and race, class, gender or sexuality
  • Intellectual disability and travelling
  • Border crossings or conflicts between intellectual normativity and non-normativity
  • Intersections between intellectual disability and mental illness
  • Metaphorical representations of intellectual disability 
  • Actors with intellectual disability and early modern drama
  • The performance of intellectual disability
  • The use of intellectual disability tropes to describe objects or concepts, rather than individuals

Please send a 400-word proposal and a short bio to Dr Alice Equestri (alice.equestri@unipd.it) by July 31, 2022. The provisional timeline is for authors to submit their essays by April 30, 2023. Proposals by scholars from any background and of any career level – including PhD students and ECRs – are welcome. For any queries, or to discuss your idea before submitting an abstract, please feel free to contact the editor.

Select bibliography

  • Chakravarti, Paromita, ‘Natural Fools and the Historiography of Renaissance Folly’, Renaissance Studies, 25.2 (2011), 208–27
  • Equestri, Alice, Literature and Intellectual Disability in Early Modern England: Folly, Law and Medicine, 1500-1640 (London and New York: Routledge, 2021)
  • Folkerth, Wes, ‘Reading Shakespeare After Neurodiversity’, in Performing Disability in Early Modern English Drama, ed. by Leslie C. Dunn (Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2020), pp. 141–57
  • Goodey, C. F., A History of Intelligence and ‘Intellectual Disability’: The Shaping of Psychology in Early Modern Europe (Farnham: Ashgate, 2011)
  • Heetderks, Angela, ‘“Better a Witty Fool than a Foolish Wit”: Song, Fooling, and Intellectual Disability in Shakespearean Drama’, in Gender and Song in Early Modern England, ed. by Leslie C. Dunn and Katherine R. Larson (Farnham: Ashgate, 2014), pp. 63–75
  • Hobgood, Allison P., and David, Houston Wood, eds., Recovering Disability in Early Modern England (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2013)
  • Lathrop, Emily, ‘Learning Difficulties : The Idiot and the Outsider in the Renaissance’, in A Cultural History of Disability in the Renaissance, ed. by Susan Anderson and Liam Haydon (London: Bloomsbury, 2020), iii, 133–50
  • McDonagh, Patrick, Idiocy: A Cultural History (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009)
  • McDonagh, Patrick, C. F. Goodey, and Timothy Stainton, eds., Intellectual Disability: A Conceptual History, 1200-1900 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2018)
  • Metzler, Irina, Fools and Idiots? Intellectual Disability in the Middle Ages (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016)
  • Row-Heyveld, Lindsey, Dissembling Disability in Early Modern English Drama (Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018)

From the UPen website (https://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/cfp/2022/04/22/shaping-intellectual-disabilities-in-early-modern-literature-and-culture-cfp-for)

CFP – Invisible & Under-Represented? Disability History, Objects & Heritage Conference – 22-23 March 2022 (online)

 

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 underrephistory22@gmail.com 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 underrephistory22@gmail.com.

 

More infos on the editor website

CFP – Marquette University Interdisciplinary Conference on Disabilities at the Intersection 2022: Disability at the Intersection of History, Culture, Religion, Gender and Health – 3/4 March 2022

Date: March 3-4, 2022

Place: Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI

Disability is a living human experience. It is not merely a medical or biological phenomenon, and it is not only the subject of sciences. Perspectives on disability have evolved historically, theologically, and medically. Academics and disability activists have increasingly come to view disability as more than an individual medical diagnosis, often highlighting it as an issue of social justice and equity. As such, there is a need for further collaboration between the sciences and the humanities to deepen our understanding of disability in all of its complexities. Using interdisciplinary approaches to examine disability as fluid and dynamic condition can help us understand it as an identity and as social construct.

This conference aims to encourage open discussion and better understanding as well as to breakdown stigma associated with disabilities. To accomplish that, the conference aims to generate inclusive dialogues and interdisciplinary interactions between academia, community organizers, social and legal activists, health care service/providers, and religious leaders. The conference will serve as a platform to foster collaboration between various groups engaged in understanding and improving disability conditions.

We invite papers that offer critical analysis of how disabilities have been viewed in historical terms as medical conditions, social/cultural constructs, and as the norms that produce and reproduce perceptions of normalcy or normative bodies. We particularly welcome papers dealing with normalcy narratives, discourse, and issues of stigmas evolving around disabilities in marginalized communities with an emphasis on the intersection of disability (as an identity and minority) with gender, culture, and religion.

Key Topics:

Core conference themes include, but are not limited to:

Disability and identity

Social and cultural construction of disabilities

Religious and cultural perspectives on disability

Bodies and construction of normalcy

Gendered disabilities and feminist approaches to disability

Language terminology and conceptualization of impairment and disability in literary, cultural, and artistic production

Disabilities as social and legal rights issue

Community activism, policy making, and service

Lived experiences, life-writing and narratives of people with disability

We invite proposals of individual papers, panels, workshops, roundtables, and thematic conversation. Graduate student submissions are encouraged. Panels will be composed of 3- 4 presenters (time must be divided equally among panel presenters allowing 10-15 minutes for questions). Roundtable and thematic conversation may consist of more than three participants. The time for all panel types is one hour.

Key Dates:

Abstracts up to 300 words in Word format must be submitted through the electronic system by October 31, 2021.

You will be notified of the decision by December 15, 2021.

Publication

Conference proceedings and selected papers will be published in a special issue of the Journal of Gender, Ethnic, and Cross-Cultural Studies.

Preliminary organizing committee members:

Enaya Othman

Tara Baillargeon

Behnam Ghasemzadeh

Michelle Medeiros

Giordana Poggioli-Kaftan

Dana Fritz

Gülnur Demirci

Stefan Reutter

Call for papers – ‘Ecologies of Healing in the Premodern World (600-1350 CE)’ – Edinburgh, 9-10 Sept 2022.

Yet, how these diverse pieces can be assembled into a cohesive picture of medicine, health and healing within, let alone across, societies before c.1350 remains to be worked out. Ecologies of Healing invites scholars working on premodern Asian, African and European societies to do just that. The conference’s key goal is to piece together how interactions and demarcations between ideas, practices, practitioners, materials and settings of healing ultimately coalesced within the medical ecosystems of premodern societies. Ecologies of Healing also seeks to sharpen our chronologies by paying attention to how and why medical ecosystems have changed or stayed the same over time, and to promote further the global history of premodern medicine by exploring cross-cultural connections and comparisons between the medical ecosystems characteristic of distinct premodern societies.  

We welcome papers on premodern health, medicine and healing, including in the following areas: 

  • Medical epistemologies and knowledge communities; (re)constructions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ knowledge and practice 
  • Practical repercussions, and limitations of, learned medicine 
  • Competing, converging and coexisting practices of healing and healthcare work, including through patient as well as practitioner perspectives 
  • Economies of healing and the social settings of medicine, including the significance of environment, urban/rural geographies and domestic healthcare 
  • Roles of cross-cultural interactions and knowledge transfer in shaping practices of medicine 
  • Stratified healing, including the impact of wealth, status, ethnicity, religious affiliation and gender on participation in knowledge communities and access to healing 
  • Interfaces between animal and human healthcare 

Keynote speaker: 

Anthony Cerulli, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Confirmed speakers: 

Carmen Caballero Navas, University of Granada

Asaf Goldschmidt, Tel Aviv University

Ahmed Ragab, Williams College

Richard Sowerby, University of Edinburgh

Sethina Watson, University of York

Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim, Goldsmiths, University of London

The dates are preliminary and we will be able to confirm the final dates once we know more about the likely picture of the pandemic in 2022. Our aim is to hold a face-to-face event and we would cover the costs of three nights’ accommodation in Edinburgh. All papers will be pre-circulated among participants two months in advance of the conference, where each speaker will give a shorter presentation (around 15 minutes) outlining the paper’s key contentions followed by responses and open discussion. We are looking for papers dealing with original and previously unpublished material because our aim is that, ultimately, extended versions of the papers will form a peer-reviewed edited volume, Ecologies of Healing in the Premodern World. The final version of the papers in the volume will not exceed 10,000 words including footnotes.

Scholars are invited to submit abstracts of ca. 300 words to petros.bouras-vallianatos@ed.ac.uk and zubin.mistry@ed.ac.uk by 31 August 2021.

Call for Papers — Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies/Journal of Gender Studies – Dis/abling Gender – ed. by Amsterdam University Press and Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies

Special Issue Guest Editors: Evelien Geerts, Josephine Hoegaerts, Kristien Hens, Daniel Blackie

The recent, and ongoing, COVID-19 pandemic has made explicit what many of us already knew: good health and able-bodiedness are fluid and uncertain states. We can only ever hold them precariously (Butler 2004; Scully 2014), as their value and definition are intrinsically unstable and intersectionally linked to situated intelligibility systems that attribute meaning to gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, class, and many other lived identity categories and labels (Parker 2015). What it means to be dis/able(d) has changed radically over time—and is still changing—under the policing influence of normalcy-dictating medical-psychiatric discourses and neoliberal bio-/necropolitical regimes (Tremain 2006; Chen 2012), while simultaneously being positively impacted by grassroots intersectional disability justice activism (Mingus 2011; Piepzna-Samarasinha 2018), critical disability studies, and critical pedagogical frameworks.

The COVID-19 crisis has had a brutal impact on the world and its population, and specifically on those whose bodies were already constructed to matter less through the intertwined, negatively constructed binaries that uphold the exclusivist notion of the ‘pure’, ‘neutral’  and healthy human subject. At the same time, the crisis also has demonstrated the porosity of these oppositional boundaries, such as the boundaries drawn between the human, non-human, more-than-human, and the perpetually dehumanised, the personal/political, and the able/disabledbodied: The SARS-CoV-2 virus and the patchwork of crises it has created (and reinforced) does not only point at human identity and subjectivity being more in flux and in conjunction with (more-than-human) others than the Cartesian self tells us, but also demonstrates that the condition of vulnerability is an existentially shared one and therefore cannot be subsumed under one linear temporal framework. Long COVID, for instance, demonstrates how vulnerable we all are, in the end, and how the linear temporal framework backing up the (dis)abledness narrative needs to be urgently queered, and also placed in the context of longer histories of crisis, in which experiences of ill health, mutilation, and various dis/abilities have played an important role (Bourke 1996; Nair 2020). Another aspect that the pandemic crisis has underlined sharply, is the fact that both the experience of—and the care for—able and disabled bodies is an intrinsically gendered affair (Forestell 2006). These experiences are furthermore deeply bound up with equally gendered notions of labour, authority, and autonomy (Rose 2017); a topic that has been central to the discipline of gender studies from the outset.

Taking the foregoing into account, this special issue of Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies (Journal of Gender Studies), wishes to explore the intersections between complex lived experiences of dis/ability and gender through an explicit engagement with the links and tensions between the scholarly and activist fields of gender studies and critical disability studies (see e.g., Meekosha & Shuttleworth 2009) while taking stock of important present-day turns and debates in and at the intersections of both fields.

More concretely: What happens, this issue wonders, if we take the call—contested by scholars such as Bone (2017) but at the same time emphasised by Kafer (2013)—for ‘cripping’ scholarship, policy, and practice seriously in gender studies and feminism? What happens if we think beyond transdisciplinary exchange, and purposefully stretch towards a theoretical framework and grounded practice of dis/abling gender studies? How can the insights and methods of critical disability studies, with its radical turn toward vulnerability, diversity, and resilience push gender studies toward new understandings of identity, corporeal praxis, labour, and care? How can gender studies, and specifically, novel approaches within contemporary feminist theory, assist critical disability studies with the intersectional conceptualisation of specific lived experiences, surveillance and (in)visibility regimes, and a more affirmative understanding of identities-in-flux and (reappropriated) labels? In short, can we not only ‘gender’ disability (Smith & Hutchinson, 2004), but also dis/able gender?

We particularly welcome submissions that address the following questions and issues:

  1. The challenges and rewards of interdisciplinary dialogue between gender studies and critical disability studies;
  2. Intersections of gender, dis/ability, and ethnicity/race from a theoretical and/or experiential perspective (e.g., Samuels 2011).
  3. How to study dis/abilities on both an experiential and representational level;
  4. Changes in philosophical, historical (Stiker 1999), and sociological (e.g., Thomas 2007) models of dis/ability;
  5. New materialist, posthumanist, and affective theoretical approaches (e.g., Goodley et al. 2014; Feely 2016);
  6. Changes in terminology within gender studies and critical disability studies (e.g., ‘crip’ as a reappropriated term);
  7. ‘Bodies that are made to (not) matter’, for example in the context of health crises;
  8. The potential of historical studies to generate new theoretical insights on dis/ability and gender (e.g., Rembis 2019);
  9. (Neoliberal) academic spaces, ablebodiedness, normativity and critical pedagogical approaches (including neurodiversity & neurotypicality)
  10.  Dis/ability and the questions of labour and care (i.e., who is supposed to request accommodations; provide care; …)
  11.  Links and tensions between the women’s and disability rights movements, and the role of activism in practices of dis/abling gender (‘everyday activism’)

References used:

  • Bone, K. (2017). Trapped Behind the Glass: Crip theory and Disability Identity. Disability & Society 32(9).
  • Bourke, J. (1996). Dismembering the Male: Men’s Bodies, Britain and the Great War. The University of Chicago Press.
  • Butler, J. (2004). Precarious life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence. Verso.
  • Chen, M. Y. (2012). Animacies: Biopolitics, Racial Mattering, and Queer Affect. Durham University Press.
  • Goodley, D., R. Lawthom, and K. Runswick Cole (2014). Posthuman Disability Studies. Subjectivity 7 (4).
  • Feely, M. (2016). Disability Studies After the Ontological Turn: A Return to the Material World and Material Bodies Without a Return to Essentialism. Disability & Society 31(7).
  • Forestell, Nancy M. (2006). ‘And I Feel Like I’m Dying from Mining for Gold’: Disability, Gender, and the Mining Community, 1920-1950. Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas 3(3).
  • Kafer, A. (2013). Feminist, Queer, Crip. Indiana University Press.
  • Mingus, M. (2011, February 12). Changing the Framework: Disability Justice: How Our Communities Can Move Beyond Access To Wholeness. Leaving Evidence. https://leavingevidence.wordpress.com/2011/02/12/changing-the-framework-disability-justice/.
  • Nair, A. (2020). ‘These Curly-Bearded, Olive-Skinned Warriors’: Medicine, Prosthetics, Rehabilitation and the Disabled Sepoy in the First World War, 1914-1920. Social History of Medicine 33 (3).
  • Parker, A. M. (2015). Intersecting Histories of Gender, Race, and Disability. Journal of Women’s History 27 (1).
  • Piepzna-Samarasinha, L. L. (2018). Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice. Arsenal Pulp Press.
  • Meekosha, H., and R. Shuttleworth (2009). What’s so ‘Critical’ about Critical Disability Studies?  Australian Journal of Human Rights 15 (1).
  • Rembis, M. (2019). Challenging the Impairment/Disability Divide: Disability History and the Social Model of Disability. In: N. Watson and S. Vehmas (eds). The Routledge Handbook of Disability Studies, 2nd Edition. Routledge.
  • Rose, S. F. (2017). No Right to be Idle: The Invention of Disability, 1840s-1930s. The University of North Carolina Press.
  • Scully, J. L. (2014). Disability and Vulnerability: On Bodies, Dependence, and Power. In: C. Mackenzie, W. Rogers, and S. Dodds (eds.). Vulnerability: New Essays in Ethics and Feminist Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
  • Samuels, E. (2011). Examining Millie and Christine McKoy: Where Enslavement and Enfreakment Meet. Signs 37 (1).
  • Smith, B. and B. Hutchinson (eds) (2004). Gendering Disability. Rutgers University Press.
  • Stiker, H. J. (1999). A History of Disability. University of Michigan Press.
  • Thomas, C. (2007). Sociologies of Disability and Illness: Contested Ideas in Disability Studies and Medical Sociology. Palgrave Macmillan
  • Tremain, S. (ed.). (2006). Foucault and the Government of Disability. The University of Michigan Press.

About the Journal:

Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies (Journal of Gender Studies) is a Dutch and English language forum for the scientific problematisation of gender in relation to ethnicity, sexuality, class, and age. The journal aims to contribute to debates about gender and diversity in the Netherlands and Flanders. The journal is an interdisciplinary medium operating at the intersection of society, culture, the humanities, health, and science.

Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies (The Journal of Gender Studies) is published by Amsterdam University Press: Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies | Amsterdam University Press (aup.nl)

Guest editors:

Evelien Geerts, University of Birmingham, e.m.l.geerts@bham.ac.uk

Josephine Hoegaerts, University of Helsinki, josephine.hoegaerts@helsinki.fi

Kristien Hens, University of Antwerp, kristien.hens@uantwerpen.be

Daniel Blackie, University of Helsinki, daniel.blackie@helsinki.fi

Preparing your submission:

We invite potential contributors to submit an abstract of 500 words by the 1st of May 2021. The final paper should be 6000 words maximum. Abstracts for traditional scholarly articles should outline the theoretical/praxis-related contribution, method of analysis, and a selection of references (the latter do not have to be included in the word count). Suggestions for non-traditional, critically, and scholarly informed contributions are welcome as well. Please include the contact details of all of the contributors on the abstract document. Abstracts (and manuscripts) can be written in English or Dutch. Please note that the initial acceptance of an abstract does not guarantee publication and that the manuscripts will undergo a double-blind review process. We strive toward diversity among our contributors in terms of career-stage, disciplines, self-identification, and scholarly or activist affiliation. We are happy to accommodate different accessibility needs or diverse styles of communication. Please get in touch with (one of) the editors for any of these issues.

The author(s) should email their abstract proposal as a Word file to all of the guest editors: e.m.l.geerts@bham.ac.uk, josephine.hoegaerts@helsinki.fi, kristien.hens@uantwerpen.be , daniel.blackie@helsinki.fi. For specific questions or more information, contact the guest editors.

Submission timeline:

May, 1, 2021: Abstract submission deadline.

May, 14, 2021: Notification of acceptance/rejection and feedback from the guest editors for accepted abstracts.

August, 14, 2021: Manuscript submission deadline.

August, 14, 2021 – September 14, 2021: Double-blind review process plus feedback from the guest editors.

October, 14, 2021: Full and finalized manuscript submission deadline.