CFP: Special Issue on Disability and the History of Education (History of Education Quarterly)

“Disability is everywhere in history, once you begin looking for it,” Douglas Baynton has written, “but conspicuously absent in the histories that we write.” This special issue of History of Education Quarterlyon Disability and the History of Education will render disability history more noticeably present in the field of educational history, building on and expanding beyond existing scholarship on the topic. The editors plan to publish 4-5 scholarly articles with an introductory historiographical essay by the two editors.

We are interested in proposals from any national context, transnational proposals, and proposals from any period of history. Proposals may address disability in any of the countless places it may be found in educational history–in schools and other institutions, families, informal educational settings, art, music, and literature, and in the metaphors that help to structure culture and society.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • The history of special education: its structures, legislation and case law, finance, teachers, curriculum and pedagogical methods, and technological aids.
  • Approaches that follow the “new disability history” and take up disability as a justification for inequality along lines of race, gender, sexuality, class, and other identities; or, as a common metaphor for incapacity, incompetence, or brokenness in education.
  • Biographical studies of people with disabilities in educational contexts: pupils, teachers and other professionals, children and adults. Disability history as a means to showcase the widest possible interpretation of disability in people’s lives, so as to portray people with disabilities in history as much more than mere diagnoses and labels but as historical actors in their own right, who encounter and make change, and who, as often as not, face barriers arising not from any physical incapacity they may have, but from the ways that societies, institutions, and individuals have historically dealt with people with disabilities
  • Scholarship that employs the history of disability in education to inform practice or policy in the present, or to intervene in contemporary debates.
  • Case studies of history of institutions or movements—disability historyin the classroom; in the formal and informal lessons in hospitals, community institutions, and higher education; in the consciousness-raising spaces of political movements.
  • Scholarship that draws on a “critical disability studies” approach in the social sciences, more traditional social histories, or other work from the range of theoretical or methodological traditions and approaches of the discipline of history.

Submissions and deadlines

Article proposal (2-3 pages), or an abstract (500-750 words) are due 1st December 2018. All  proposals or abstracts received will be workshopped with the special issue editors.

Please send proposals or abstracts to Kate Rousmaniere ( and Jason Ellis (

The deadline for selecting complete papers is 15th August 2019.  Articles received by this deadline will be sent out for peer review.

The editors will select 4-5 articles from those that successfully pass peer review in January 2020 and selected authors must return their revised or edited manuscripts by 15th June 2020.

The special issue will be published as the November 2020 issue (Vol. 60, no. 4).

Submissions should follow the guidelines established by HEQ. For author guidelines refer to

Please submit complete papers through

Please address inquiries about this call for papers to Kate Rousmaniere ( and Jason Ellis ( General inquiries about the journal HEQ should be addressed to

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