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: Disability Cluster for Yearbook of Langland Studies 35 (2021) – Disability in Pierce Plowman

CFP: Disability Cluster for Yearbook of Langland Studies 35 (2021)


This special cluster will explore the representations of disability and impairment in Piers Plowman. Langland reveals the ambivalent and multifaceted attitude toward disability and impairment in the 14th century. Characters in the poem often treat disabled figures with either love or skepticism. On one hand, those who are too infirm to work are excused from the demands of labor, and are deemed worthy of charity and God’s love. On the other, there are “faitours” who readily assume the guise of impairment in order to deceive and evade the duty to work. Will himself is interrogated by Reason in the C-Text about his inability to work, and he cites his own embodied difference, being too tall, as a justification. This cluster invites essays that examine disability in Piers Plowman from a variety of methodological approaches. Are there different representations of disability across the versions of the poem? How do representations of disability in the poem intersect with legal, theological, or social concerns in the 14th century? What is the role of physical, cognitive, or sensory impairment in the poem? How can we put the poem into conversation with Disability Studies? How does a consideration of disability in Piers Plowman reorient or contribute to current work on Langland? To medieval Disability Studies?


Submissions are due to the cluster editor, Richard Godden (rgoddenl@lsu.edu), by 30 September, 2020.

CFP – Experiences of Dis/ability from the Late Middle Ages to the Mid-Twentieth Century 22 – 23 August 2019, Tampere University, Finland

Keynote speakers: David Lederer, Maynooth University; Donna Trembinski, St. Francis Xavier University; David Turner, Swansea University

In recent decades, dis/ability history has become an important field in its own right, standing at the crossroads of the social history of medicine, the history of minorities and the history of everyday life. Conceptions of and attitudes to physical and mental wellbeing and to difference are and have always been key elements in any human society, while the lived experience of dis/ability has varied across societies and time periods, but also depending on the person’s socioeconomic status, age, gender, and the nature of the impairment. Experiences of disability, whether personal or communal, have long continuities in the past, but they have also changed dramatically with the development of medical science and institutionalized care.

This conference aims to concentrate on the experiences of those with physical or mental impairments and chronic illnesses, with special reference to the period between the late Middle Ages and the mid-twentieth century. We understand dis/ability in a broad sense, covering a wide range of physical, mental and intellectual impairments and chronic illnesses. How, then, were various dis/abilities lived and experienced, how did communities shape these experiences, and what similarities and changes can we detect over the course of time? An important viewpoint is also that of methodology: how can a modern scholar approach the experience of those living in the past?

We thus invite papers that explore the ways in which ‘disabilities’ have been lived and experienced, in all stages of life, and by people of different social status and background. The conference aims to promote dialogue between disability historians across national and chronological borders and we welcome papers presenting new research and work in progress.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • How to approach the experience of dis/ability (sources, methodology)?
  • Different categories of dis/ability experience, or what counts as experience of disability?
  • How have society, religion and practices of care and cure defined the experience of disability?
  • Lived religion and dis/ability
  • Medicalization, institutionalization and everyday life
  • The impact of gender, age and social status on the experience of dis/ability
  • Lived welfare and everyday experiences of people with disabilities, e.g. living at home, in a workhouse or mental institution, the impact of various welfare systems.

To submit a proposal, please send title and abstract of 200 words, with your contact information and affiliation by February 15, 2019, at https://www.lyyti.in/disabilityexperience2019_callforpapers

Conference website: https://events.uta.fi/disabilityexperience2019/

Participation is free of charge, and includes lunches and coffees for speakers.

The conference is organized by the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in the History of Experiences (HEX, https://research.uta.fi/hex/) at the University of Tampere and the group “Lived Religion” and has received funding from The Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation (https://wihurinrahasto.fi/?lang=en) and HEX. For more information, please write to the organizers (jenni.kuuliala@uta.fi and riikka.miettinen@uta.fi)

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