Collecting together essays written by an international set of contributors, this book provides an important contribution to the emerging field of disability history. It explores changes in understandings of deformity and disability between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries, and reveal the ways in which different societies have conceptualised the normal and the pathological.
Through a variety of case studies including: early modern birth defects, homosexuality, smallpox scarring, vaccination, orthopaedics, deaf education, eugenics, mental deficiency, and the experiences of psychologically scarred military veterans, this book provides new perspectives on the history of physical, sensory and intellectual anomaly.
Examining changes over five centuries, it charts how disability was delineated from other forms of deformity and disfigurement by a clearer medical perspective. Essays shed light on the experiences of oppressed minorities often hidden from mainstream history, but also demonstrate the importance of discourses of disability and deformity as key cultural signifiers which disclose broader systems of power and authority, citizenship and exclusion.
The diverse nature of the material in this book will make it relevant to scholars interested in cultural, literary, social and political, as well as medical, history.
List of Figures
Notes on Contributors
Introduction: Approaching Anomalous Bodies
David M. Turner
Part One: Discipline and Deformity: The Medical and Moral World of Monstrosity
1. Representing Physical Difference: the Materiality of the Monstrous
2. ‘When a disease it selfe doth Cromwel it’: The Rhetoric of Smallpox at the Restoration
David E. Shuttleton
3. Plague Spots
4. ‘Wonderful Effects!!!’ Graphic Satires of Vaccination in the first decade of the Nineteenth Century
Part Two: Controlling Disabled Bodies: Medicine, Politics and Policy
5. Disciplining Disabled Bodies: The Development of Orthopaedic Medicine in Britain, c.1800-1939
6. Making Deaf Children Talk: Changes in Educational Policy towards the Deaf in the French Third Republic
7. Eugenics, Modernity and Nationalism
8. ‘Human dregs at the bottom of our national vats’: The Inter-War Debate on Sterilization of the Mentally Deficient
9. ‘That bastard’s following me!’ Mentally ill Australian Veterans Struggling to Maintain Control
10. Afterword: Regulated Bodies: Disability Studies and the Controlling Professions
Sharon Snyder and David Mitchell