Friday, July 09, 2010

CFP: Disability & the Victorians

[From H-Disability and DS-Hum listservs.]

First Call for Papers:

Disability & the Victorians: Confronting Legacies

30th July-1st August 2012
Leeds Centre for Victorian Studies, Leeds Trinity University College, UK

The nineteenth century was the period during which disability was conceptualised, categorised, and defined. The industrial evolution, 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 phrenology and physiognomy; events such as the 1880 Milan Conference, and the taxonomies and categories of disability - the handicapped; the deaf and dumb; the feeble minded; the blind; the imbecile and the cretin. The legacy of the relationship between the body, the scientific and the literary text; the intersection of disability, theories of evolution and anthropology, gender and degeneration. How can we draw disabled voices and testimonies together to construct 'the long view'? What are the advantages and the challenges of teaching about disability and the disabled in the Victorian period?

Proposals for papers, panels, posters and other forms of presentation (e.g. creative writing) are invited that open up new lines of research and inquiry relating to any aspect of Disability in the Victorian period. Possible themes might include:
* Resistance, conformity, subversion, transgression.
* Freak shows and circuses.
* The visibility and invisibility of disability: beggars, street sellers, hawkers; Victorian institutions, charities, asylums, schools and clubs.
* Taxonomic practices.
* Disabled heroes and villains; male vs. female invalidism; the school of pain.
* Victorian technologies, prostheses, the emergence of audiology, the development and spread of Braille.
* The revival of folkloric changelings.
* Portrayals of children and childhood.
* Disability as a moral force for improvement, theology and spiritual enlightenment/development.
* The formation of Victorian national identity and national efficiency, empire, 'race' and colonialism.
* Disability and the fear of loss, eugenics and degeneration.
* The medical and scientific text.
* Victorian social policy and legal frameworks.

Those with an involvement in disability, either through work, teaching or direct experience, and papers that adopt a comparative frame, shifting across the normal boundaries of history, literary studies, the history of medicine, the history and philosophy of science, art history, the history of childhood etc. are especially sought, but studies with a narrower focus seeking to challenge Victorian legacies in this field are also welcome.

The deadline for the submission of proposals for panel sessions (no longer than 500 words) and proposals for individual 20-minute papers and presentations (200-250 words) is October 4, 2010. At this stage your proposal/enquiry may be exploratory. A second and final call for papers will be issued in June 2011.

Please send a short biographical note together with your proposal. Prospective panel organisers should also send the panelists' names, paper titles, and a short biographical note for each panelist and their contact details.

Support workers and carers are exempted from the conference registration fees. Papers will be circulated in advance of the conference. Please indicate by July 2011 if you would like LCVS to supply a sign language interpreter. Please indicate by April 2012 if you would like LCVS to supply an escort or support worker. All assistance dogs are welcome. If you have any enquiries regarding facilities and services for disabled people, or would like this Call for Papers in large print, please contact Joy Hamblin.

Proposals, or enquiries relating to these, should be sent to Karen Sayer

General enquiries to:
Joy Hamblin, Leeds Centre for Victorian Studies, Leeds Trinity University College, Brownberrie Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS18 5HD, UK; email; tel. +44 (0)113 2837305


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