Monday, August 04, 2008

Back from the Disability History Conference

Spent last week on a combination family vacation and conference trip, to the Disability History Conference at SFSU. It was a good conference, small, no book display or anything, just two sessions running concurrently, probably 50-100 people? (I'm bad at guessing such numbers.) I was on two panels, one for the forthcoming Encyclopedia of American Disability History (Facts on File 2009), and one for my project about Marion Brown (1843-1915), with Iain Hutchison (more on that here). Iain brought me a wonderful gift: The Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women (Edinburgh University Press 2007). It has an entry on Marion Brown in it (written by Iain), but it has loads of other great stories, and if you're a longtime reader of DS,TU, you know I'm already scanning it for post subjects. Better than popcorn.

One example, for starters: Christian Gray (1772-c1830) was a farmers' daughter from near Perth, who became blind when she survived smallpox as a little child. She was read to, daily, for her education; in time, she began composing poetry, and her first volume of poems was published in 1808. She pointed to Milton and Ossian as her predecessors, and wrote poems about being blind (I can't find any of those verses online yet, though).


andrea said...

You DO have Harold Lloyd in your encyc., don't you?


Penny L. Richards said...

Well, it's not MY encyclopedia by a long, long shot--and no, I don't think Lloyd is on the headwords list. I'll see if I can get him on the wishlist for the next edition--he'd make a good addition.

Heather Munro Prescott said...

Lloyd would be an interesting choice, although he did hide his injured hand throughout his films and life (see later photos -- he always has his right hand in his pocket).

Penny L. Richards said...

Gary Burghoff did that too, through the run of MASH--thus the clipboard his character carried around so much.

william Peace said...

Did anyone note the price of darn near $300! I have a few entries but will not be able to purchase a copy! I wonder if it will sell to anyone aside from institutions and libraries.

Penny L. Richards said...

I think it's meant mostly for libraries, but my understanding is that the digital version will be available through libraries (public and academic) that subscribe to the Facts-on-File package too--with audio/video/hyperlink features--so watch for that.

And the price is steep, but it's way less than the five-volume Encyclopedia of Disability that Sage Press did a few years ago--I've only ever seen that at UCLA, though I've got quite a few entries in it. You can get that one new on Amazon for $900--or used for about $150.

Diane J Standiford said...

Must get those books.

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