Disability & the Victorians: Confronting Legacies; 30th July-1st August 2012; Leeds Centre for Victorian Studies; Leeds Trinity University College
The nineteenth century was the period during which disability was conceptualised, categorised, and defined. The industrial revolution, advances in medicine, the emergence of philanthropy and the growth of asylums all played their part in creating what today’s society describes as the medical model of disability. Disability can be traced through many forms: in material culture and literary genres; scientific, medical and official inquiries; art; architecture; the history of disabled charities; disabled people’s experiences; the legacy inherited by disabled people today of the taxonomies and categories of disability – the ‘handicapped’; the ‘deaf and dumb’; the ‘feeble minded’; the blind; the ‘imbecile’ the ‘idiot’ and the ‘cretin’ -- the legacy of the relationship between the body, the visual, the scientific and the literary text; the intersection of disability, theories of evolution, the emergence of the disciplines of statistics, social sciences and anthropology, eugenics and degeneration.
This three-day international conference seeks to address conceptualisations of disability in the Victorian period and their legacy(ies); the ways in which we can draw disabled voices and testimonies together to construct ‘the long view’, the intersection of disability studies and Victorian studies, and the conceptual, disciplinary, and pedagogical issues that arise as a consequence of this research.
Professor Martha Stoddard Holmes, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Literature and Writing Studies, Cal State University San Marcos, USA, Fictions of Affliction: Physical Disability in Victorian Culture (2006)
Professor Vanessa Toulmin, Director of National Fairground Archive, National Fairground Archive (Western Bank Library) University of Sheffield, UK;
Dr David Wright, Professor of History, Institute for Health and Social Policy, McGill University, Canada; DOWNS: the history of a disability (2011)
Joanne Woiak, Ph.D., Disability Studies Program, University of Washington, USA;
Jennifer Esmail, Assistant Professor, Department of English and Film Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada;
Dr Julie Anderson, Senior Lecturer in the History of Modern Medicine, University of Kent, UK;
Dr Iain Hutchinson, Research Associate (Economic and Social History), University of Glasgow, UK;
Mat Fraser, Actor, writer, MC, and Disability Artist, 'Freak to Clique' (invited to attend and perform);
John Smith Deaf Comedian (invited to attend and perform).
Prof Karen Sayer,
Leeds Trinity University College
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