Experiences of Dis/ability from the Late Middle Ages to the Mid-Twentieth Century
21-23 August 2019
Tampere University, Finland
Keynote speakers: David Lederer, Maynooth University; Donna Trembinski, St. Francis Xavier University; David Turner, Swansea University
In recent decades, dis/ability history has become an important field in its own right, standing at the crossroads of the social history of medicine, the history of minorities and the history of everyday life. Conceptions of and attitudes to physical and mental wellbeing and to difference are and have always been key elements in any human society, while the lived experience of dis/ability has varied across societies and time periods, but also depending on the person’s socioeconomic status, age, gender, and the nature of the impairment. Experiences of disability, whether personal or communal, have long continuities in the past, but they have also changed dramatically with the development of medical science and institutionalized care.
This conference aims to concentrate on the experiences of those with physical or mental impairments and chronic illnesses, with special reference to the period between the late Middle Ages and the mid-twentieth century. We understand dis/ability in a broad sense, covering a wide range of physical, mental and intellectual impairments and chronic illnesses. How, then, were various dis/abilities lived and experienced, how did communities shape these experiences, and what similarities and changes can we detect over the course of time? An important viewpoint is also that of methodology: how can a modern scholar approach the experience of those living in the past?
Conference website: https://events.uta.fi/disabilityexperience2019/
Participation is free of charge, and includes lunches and coffees for speakers.
The conference is organized by the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in the History of Experiences (HEX, https://research.uta.fi/hex/) at the University of Tampere and the group “Lived Religion” and has received funding from The Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation and HEX.
Registration for listeners, and more information: https://events.uta.fi/disabilityexperience2019/