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

Call for contribution for Edited Volume – Cripping the Archive: Disability, Power, and History

May 15, 2021
 
Archival Science, Ethnic History / Studies, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Women’s & Gender History / Studies, World History / Studies

Cripping the Archive: Disability, Power, and History
(Edited by Jenifer Barclay and Stefanie Hunt-Kennedy)

“The archive” writes Cameroonian scholar Achilles Mbembe, “is fundamentally a matter of discrimination and of selection, which, in the end, results in the granting of a privileged status to certain written documents, and the refusal of that same status to others, thereby judged ‘unarchivable’. The archive is, therefore, not a piece of data, but a status.” In recent years, historians have paid increasing attention to the archives not simply as sites of knowledge but as sites of power and inequality. Their work has brought renewed visibility to the fact that not all pasts are deemed worthy of being documented, archived, retrieved, and written about in the present. This is perhaps especially true for people with disabilities who are paradoxically hypervisible and invisible in the archive. Although disabled people appear in the archive in a variety of familiar sources – from curiosity cabinets to medical records – their voices are often marginalized or silenced. Even in historical scholarship, disabled individuals remain under-explored in spite of the expansion of disability history.

This collection will explore the relationship between disability and the archive. We envision essays that collectively challenge “compulsory able-bodiedness”/able-mindedness (McRuer, 2006) – the ubiquitous beliefs and practices that center able-bodiedness in service of normativity. We invite contributors to ‘crip’ the archive, to adopt a critical orientation that illuminates and disrupts ableist power structures and dynamics and analyze how ableness informs the politics of the archive as a physical space, a sacred place, a discriminatory record, and a collection of silences. We seek work that uses a wide range of methods from authors who foreground the lived experiences and representations of disability in their work. We also strongly encourage submissions that use intersectional, interdisciplinary, and transnational approaches to the question of disability and the archive. We welcome submissions from scholars, writers, and artists and will accept 300-500-word abstracts for this collection through May 15, 2021.

Topics include, but are not limited to:
●    Objects, museums, curiosities; disability on display
●    The absence of disability in archival finding aids and indexes
●    The paradox of disability as both hypervisible and invisible in the historical record and archival imagination
●    Centering disability in the archives of medicine, science, and technology
●    The accessibility of archival spaces and materials
●    The impact of charged and negative disability terminology in changing historical contexts (i.e. monstrous, mad, deaf and dumb, crippled, superannuated, invalid, retardation)
●    Uncovering forgotten histories of disability in the archive and revisiting familiar archival sources through a disability lens
●    Identifying and confronting archival erasures rooted in intersectionality
●    Disability approaches to digital archives
●    The archive as a space of resistance (i.e. the reclamation of knowledge systems, ontologies, and identities structured by disability)
●    Decolonizing the archive of disability, Eurocentric understandings of the body and disability
●    Disability and the archive in transnational perspective
●    Myths of overcoming and inspirational narratives in the archives
●    The challenges of locating disability in already contested archives (e.g. slavery, colonialism, etc.)

Please submit abstracts (300-500 words), an abbreviated CV, and a short bio to editors Jenifer Barclay (barclay7@buffalo.edu) and Stefanie Hunt-Kennedy (hunt.kennedy@unb.ca) by May 15 2021

 

Contact Info: 
 

Jenifer L. Barclay, University at Buffalo – barclay7@buffalo.edu

Stefanie Hunt-Kennedy, University of New Brunswick – hunt.kennedy@unb.ca

Contact Email: 
 

Grants – Call for Fellowship Applications: Jaipreet Virdi 2021 Fellowship for Disability Studies

ABOUT THEM:

The Medical Heritage Library, Inc. (MHL) is a collaborative digitization and discovery organization of some of the world’s leading medical libraries committed to providing open access to resources in the history of healthcare and health sciences. The MHL’s goal is to provide the means by which readers and scholars across a multitude of disciplines can examine the interrelated nature of medicine and society, both to inform contemporary medicine and to strengthen understanding of the world in which we live.

DESCRIPTION:
The Medical Heritage Library seeks a motivated fellow to assist in the continuing development of our education and outreach programs. Under the guidance of a member of our governance board, the fellow will develop curated collections or sets for the MHL website on the topic of disability and medical technologies. Examples of existing primary source sets can be found on the MHL website: http://www.medicalheritage.org/resource-sets/.  These collections will be drawn from the over 300,000 items in our Internet Archive library. The curated collections provide a means for our visitors to discover the richness of MHL materials on a variety of topics relevant to the history of health and the health sciences. As part of this work, the fellow will have an opportunity to enrich metadata in MHL records in Internet Archive to support scholarship and inquiry on this topic.

This paid fellowship will be hosted virtually, with no in-person component.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Based on the input of MHL members and others, work on the creation of curated sets of materials drawn from MHL collections.
  • Enrich MHL metadata to highlight underrepresented topics in our Internet Archive collections.
  • Regularly create blog posts and other type of social media for posting to MHL accounts.
  • Other duties as assigned.

QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE:

This virtual position is open to all qualified graduate students with a strong interest in medical, disability, or health history, with additional interests in library/information science or education. Strong communication and collaboration skills are a must. Fellows are expected to learn quickly and work independently.  

FELLOWSHIP DURATION:

The fellowship will take place anytime between the end of May 2021-mid-August 2021

HOURS:

150 hours, over 12 weeks with a maximum of 20 hours in any given week.

SALARY:

$20/hour not to exceed $3000

NUMBER OF AVAILABLE FELLOWSHIPS: 1

To apply, please provide the following:

  •     Cover letter documenting interest in position
  •     Curriculum Vitae
  •     2 References- names (with positions) and emails and phone numbers of references to contact

Please submit your application materials by April 19th, 2021 through this from: https://forms.gle/APV6Kq9G38SJbzkZA

Candidate interviews will take place virtually.

More information on the Medical Heritage website.