Disability and History

An issue of: Radical History Review

Disability and History
Journal Issue Pages: 276 Volume 6, Number 94 Number: 94 Published: 2006 An issue of Radical History Review
The burgeoning field of disability studies has emerged as one of the most innovative and transdisciplinary areas of scholarship in recent years. This special issue of Radical History Review combines disability studies with radical history approaches, demonstrating how disability studies cuts across regional histories as well as familiar disciplinary categories. Disability and History also discloses how the ways in which we define “disability” may expose biases and limitations of a given historical moment rather than a universal truth.

Drawing on archival research and other primary materials, as well as on methods from labor history, ethnic studies, performance studies, and political biography, this special issue explores how historical forces and cultural contexts have produced disability as a constantly shifting and socially constructed concept. One essay examines how Western definitions of disability imposed during colonial rule shaped Botswanan perceptions of disability. Another looks at labor activism among blind workers in Northern Ireland in the 1930s; a third essay, drawing on previously untranslated political texts by disabled writers and activists from the Weimar era, dispels the simplistic assessment of the disabled as complacent in the face of the Nazis’ rise to power. Other essays interpret U.S. radical Randolph Bourne as a philosopher of disability politics and chronicle the emergence of a disabled feminist theater practice in the 1970s and 1980s.

Contributors. Diane F. Britton, Susan Burch, Sarah E. Chinn, R. A. R. Edwards, Barbara Floyd, David Gissen, Kim Hewitt, J. Douglass Klein, Seth Koven, R. J. Lambrose, Victoria Ann Lewis, Julie Livingston, Paul K. Longmore, Robert McRuer, Teresa Meade, Paul Steven Miller, Natalia Molina, Patricia A. Murphy, Máirtín Ó Catháin, Carol Poore, Geoffrey Reaume, David Serlin, Katherine Sherwood, Ian Sutherland, Geoffrey Swan, Everett Zhang


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Table of Contents Back to Top

1. Editors’ Introduction–Teresa Meade and David Serlin

2. “Blind, But Not to the Hard Facts of Life”: The Blind Workers’ Struggle in Derry, 1928-1940–Máirtín Ó Catháin

3. Medicalizing the Mexican: Immigration, Race, and Disability in the Early-Twentieth-Century United States–Natalia Molina

4. Recovering Disability Rights in Weimar Germany–Carol Poore

5. “A Philosophy of Handicap”: The Origins of Randolph Bourne’s Radicalism–

6. Radical Wallflowers: Disability and the People’s Theater–Victoria Ann Lewis

7. Insights from an African History of Disability–Julie Livingston

8. Who’s Not Yet Here? American Disability History–Susan Burch and Ian Sutherland

9. We Were Never Identified: Feminism, Queer Theory, and a Disabled World–

Robert McRuer

Teaching Radical History

10. Women and Madness: Teaching Mental Illness as a Disability–Kim Hewitt

11. Mad People’s History–Geoffrey Reaume

12. Teaching Deaf History–R. A. R. Edwards

13. Art, Medicine, and Disability–Katherine Sherwood

Public History

14. Making Disability Public: An Interview with Katherine Ott–David Serlin

15. Overcoming Another Obstacle: Archiving a Community’s Disabled History–

Diane F. Britton, Barbara Floyd, and Patricia A. Murphy

16. Licking Disability: Reflections on the Politics of Postage Stamps–Geoffrey Swan, Teresa Meade, J. Douglass Klein, and David Serlin


17. Prisoners of Their Beds: Invalids, Injured Soldiers, and Cultures of Convalescence in Nineteenth- and Early-Twentieth-Century Britain: Review of Maria S. Frawley, Invalidism and Identity in Nineteenth-Century Britain; and Jeffrey S. Reznick, Healing the Nation: Soldiers and the Culture of Caregiving in Britain during the Great War–Seth Koven

18. Gender, Sex, and Disability from Helen Keller to Tiny Tim: Review of Martha Stoddard Holmes, Fictions of Affliction: Physical Disability in Victorian Culture; and Kim E. Nielsen, The Radical Lives of Helen Keller–Sarah E. Chinn

19. Disability and Biogovernance in Modern China: Review of Matthew Kohrman, Bodies of Difference: Experiences of Disability and Institutional Advocacy in the Making of Modern China–Everett Zhang

20. Schizophrenia and Gentrification: Review of the Jim Rouse Visionary Center, American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland–David Gissen

21. The Abusable Past–R. J. Lambrose

22. Notes on Contributors

Additional InformationBack to Top
ISBN Paperback: 978-0-8223-6653-9