DHA & Upcoming Conferences
Disability History: Theory and Practice, San Francisco State University, July 31-August 3, 2008. San Francisco State University's Institute on Disability, the Disability History Association, and the Disability History Group of the United Kingdom will jointly host Disability History: Theory and Practice, a conference at San Francisco State University, 31 July-3 August 2008.
During the past two decades, research, teaching, and scholarly publication on the history of disability as a social, cultural, and political phenomenon have drawn increasing attention. The goal of this conference is to assess the state of the field. It will examine the theory and practice of disability history. And it will explore theoretical and substantive, methodological and practical strategies to promote the continued development and intellectual coherence of this field.
While the more than four dozen papers are diverse in subject matter, we intend that the presenters, commentators, and audience participants will use these historical case studies to open up discussion of broader issues. We will consider how scholars approach the history of disability. What theoretical concepts inform our interpretations? What analytical and methodological tools do we find most useful? How does our work benefit from or contribute to other fields of historical inquiry, such as social history, political history, the histories of class, economic systems, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, and so forth? In work that focuses on a specific stream of disability history, such as the history of blind people or the history of public policies regarding disabled veterans, what are its connections to and implications for other streams of disability history? How does our historical research draw upon the more general field of disability studies and what are its implications for disability studies?
The program will include papers on the histories of:
- disabled veterans in post-World War I Britain, Germany, and the United States
- workers with disabilities and the need for a working-class history of disability
- blindness and blind people in colonial Korea, Enlightenment thinking, and the thought of Norbert Elias and Michel Foucault
- people with intellectual disabilities in Norway, the German Democratic Republic, and Scotland
- public policies regarding U.S. immigration, British poor laws, American social welfare
- children, parents, and families in Progressive-era America, mid-20th twentieth-century Britain, the early twentieth-century Netherlands, Early National America, and late twentieth-century Cambodia
- life with a physical disability in nineteenth-century Scotland
- race, slavery, and disability in nineteenth-century America
- disability in the Middle Ages in Europe and the Middle East
- historically involving definitions of disability
- disability and eugenics
- issues and tensions in the interactions of disability history with the histories of African-Americans, women, and medicine
- disability in freak shows and political cartoons
- sources of disability history in biographies, public archives, personal accounts of deaf Arabs, recollections of Independent Living advocates, and a Mad People's Public History Project
- presenting the history of disability in the Encyclopedia of American Disability History, as well as in public exhibits and performances
For further information contact:
Paul K. Longmore
Professor of History and Director, Institute on Disability
San Francisco State University