1st Edition

Global Histories of Disability, 1700-2015 Power, Place and People

Edited By Esme Cleall Copyright 2023
    200 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book offers a global angle to Disability History by exploring global locations as disparate as the Caribbean, Kenya, Mauritius, Natal and Poland as well as taking new approaches to Britain and the US.

    Global Histories of Disability seeks to address issues including colonialism, disability, the body, forced labour and indigeneity. A further key issue that reoccurs throughout the volume is the specificity of place. With several chapters examining the Global South, such work challenges the implicit tendency to assume that the western experience of disability is a universal one. The volume intends to do more than add new case studies to our knowledge about disability in the modern period, it intends to use the insights gained from examining disparate global sites to think more about the global histories of disability both empirically and theoretically. Issues addressed by different chapters include colonialism, imperialism, disability, deafness, the body, enslavement, labour and indigeneity. Different chapters also use economic, cultural, legal and political frameworks to explore issues of disability across a range of global locations.

    This volume is essential for students, scholars and researchers alike interested in world and international history.

    Part 1: Power

    1.The Middle Passage, the Market, and the Plantation: Slavery-Induced Disability in the Eighteenth-Century Caribbean

    Stefanie Hunt-Kennedy

    2. 'Able’, ‘Dis-abled’ and ‘Invalid’ Labourers: disability and indenture in Mauritius and Natal, c. 1840-1910’


    3. ‘The Colonial Invention of Disability. The Politics of Disability and Productivity in Kenya, 1940s-1960s’, Sam De Schutter

    Part 2: Place

    4. ‘Policies for Disabled People in the French Colonies 1918-1962: evolutions and heterogeneity’

    Gildas Brégain

    5. ‘Imperial Mobilities: Disability, Indigeneity, and the United States West, 1850-1920’, pp. 110-128.

    Caroline Lieffers

    6. ‘Accepting and opposing local deaf tradition. The Polish d/Deaf community after the fall of communism: 1989–2014’, pp. 129-150.

    Magdalena Zdrodowska

    Part 3: Personhood

    7. 'Coup de Soleil - William Baillie (1789-1869) and an Eastern (mis)Adventure', pp. 151-168.

    Iain Hutchison

    8. "Unsightly and Unruly": The Visual and Legal Politics of Disability and Gender in the US Ugly Laws

    Lisa Beckmann


    Esme Cleall is a senior lecturer in the History Department, University of Sheffield. Her first book is Missionary Discourses of Difference: negotiating difference in the British Empire, c. 1840-1900 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) and her second Colonising Disability: impairment and otherness across Britain and its empire, c.1800-1914 (Cambridge: CUP, forthcoming 2022).