CFP: ‘Disability, War and Violence’, 20th-22nd March 2014

American Society of Eighteenth Century Studies, Williamsburg, VA

With the converging phenomena of global warfare, colonial disease and violence, Enlightenment discourse, and medical innovation, the Long Eighteenth Century presents a rich and historically crucial site for growing scholarship in critical disability studies. War and violence have long been guiding rubrics in the period’s scholarship. And, moreover, war and violence have been the conventional starting point for Disability Studies (the American Civil War in US studies, and the First World War in UK studies). But only recently have we paid closer attention to the role disability plays in understanding the impact of early modern war and violence at home and abroad. Bearing in mind these historical and cultural intersections, it seems vital that eighteenth-century studies be re-examined not only in the light of contemporary disability awareness, but also within mainstream discourses of the eighteenth century that marginalize differences of the body or the mind.

Thus, the newly established ASECS Disability Studies Caucus invites submission of papers dealing with critical disability history or theory and war and/or violence. Broad themes may include:

  • historical representation of disability
  • genre and normativity
  • discourses of wholeness
  • idealisms of the body and mind
  • sensory impairments
  • blindness and discourses of vision
  • hearing and auditory interruption
  • colonial illness and military medicine
  • cognitive and neuro-difference
  • mobility and environment
  • trauma
  • impediments and therapies of speech
  • cultural representations of war veterans
  • images, history, or pathology of amputation
  • victims of ridicule and/or violence related to physical or mental illness
  • disability in domestic or foreign conflicts
  • riots, crime, household aggression
  • histories of medicine and illness.

We especially welcome papers exploring notions of disability, war, and violence beyond a British context. Please send abstracts of 250 words and a brief c.v. to both chairs:

Chris Mounsey, U. of Winchester, Sparkford Road, Winchester SO22 4NR, UK; Tel: (+44) 7981 883815;

J. S. Richman, Colorado College, 14 E. Cache La Poudre St., Colorado Springs, CO 80903; Tel: (719) 389-6889;

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