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Ashley Cross

‘Writing Pain’ argues that Anna Seward‘s Letters (1811) and Mary Robinson‘s letters (1800) create alternative models of sensibility from the suffering poet of Charlotte Smith‘s Elegiac Sonnets. Immensely popular, Smith‘s sonnets made feminine suffering a source of poetic agency by aestheticizing and privatizing it. However, despite their sincerity, her sonnets effaced the physical, nervous body of sensibility on which Seward‘s and Robinsons early poetic reputations had depended and for which they had been mocked. The popularity of Smith‘s model made it an important model for women poets, but, by the end of the eighteenth century, sensibility was also associated with sickness and artifice. For Seward and Robinson, who wanted to build their literary reputations but were living with disabled bodies, Smiths example needed to be reimagined to account for the reciprocity of body and mind as they struggled to write through pain.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Physical impairment in British coalmining, 1780–1880

This book sheds new light on the human cost of industrialisation by examining the lives and experiences of those disabled in an industry that was vital to Britain's economic growth. If disability has been largely absent from conventional histories of industrialisation, the Industrial Revolution has assumed great significance in disability studies. The book examines the economic and welfare responses to disease, injury and impairment among coal workers. It discusses experiences of disability within the context of social relations and the industrial politics of coalfield communities. The book provides the context for those that follow by providing an overview of the conditions of work in British coalmining between 1780 and 1880. It turns its attention to the principal causes of disablement in the nineteenth-century coal industry and the medical responses to them. The book then extends the discussion of responses to disability by examining the welfare provisions for miners with long-term restrictive health conditions. It also examines how miners and their families negotiated a 'mixed economy' of welfare, comprising family and community support, the Poor Law, and voluntary self-help as well as employer paternalism. The book shifts attention away from medicine and welfare towards the ways in which disability affected social relations within coalfield communities. Finally, it explores the place of disability in industrial politics and how fluctuating industrial relations affected the experiences of disabled people in the coalfields.

Abstract only
A poetics of passing out
Author: Naomi Booth

This is the first extensive study of literary swooning, homing in on the swoon’s long, rich and suggestive history as well as its potential for opening up new ways of thinking about the contemporary. From the lives of medieval saints to recent romance fiction, the swoon has had a pivotal place in English literature. This study shows that swoons have been intimately connected to explorations of emotionality, ecstasy and transformation; to depictions of sickness and of dying; and to performances of gender and gendering. A literary history of swooning is therefore also a history of crux points for how we imagine the body, and for evolving ideas of physiology, gender, and sexuality. Tracking the history of the figure of the swoon from the thirteenth to the twenty-first century, this study suggests that the swoon has long been used as a way to figure literary creation and aesthetic sensitivity: from the swoons of early mystics to contemporary literary-theoretical depictions of destabilised subjects, literary faints have offered a model of overwhelming, aesthetic, affective response. In the work of Chaucer and Shakespeare, swoons are seen as moments of generic possibility, through which the direction of a text might be transformed. In romantic, gothic and modernist fiction, this study focuses on morbid, feminised swoons used by writers who reject masculinist, heteronormative codes of health. In contemporary romance fiction, irony, cliché and bathos shadow the transformative possibilities of the swoon. This book offers an exciting new way to examine the history of the body alongside the history of literary response.

Editors: Anne Hanley and Jessica Meyer

In 1985 Roy Porter called for patients to be retrieved from the margins of history because, without them, our understanding of illness and healthcare would remain distorted. But despite concerted efforts, the innovation that Porter envisaged has not come to pass.

Patient voices in Britain repositions the patient at the centre of healthcare histories. By prioritising the patient’s perspective in the century before the foundation of the National Health Service, this edited collection enriches our understanding of healthcare in the context of Britain’s emerging welfare state. Encompassing topics like ethical archival practice, life within institutions, user-driven medicine and the impact of shame and stigma on health outcomes, its chapters encourage historians to reimagine patienthood. It provides a model for using new sources and reading familiar sources in new ways. And, exploring traditional clinical spaces and beyond, it interrogates what it meant to be a patient and how this has changed over time.

Crucially, the collection also aims to help historians locate and develop policy relevance within their work, reflecting on how these historical tensions continue to shape attitudes towards health, illness and the clinical encounter. Each chapter presents a framework for using history to speak to pressing policy issues.

Open Access (free)
Coreen Anne McGuire

critiqued by scholars of disability, who argue that disability is by no means necessarily ‘a bad thing’, an issue that I explore in the section on ‘Defining disability’. 6 After considering the ways in which Elizabeth Barnes’s recent metaphysics of disability has problematised the concept of normalcy, I go on to argue that defining disability using a naturalistic framework is problematised not only by scholarship from disability studies but also by researches from the field of hedonic psychology. In the section on ‘Well-being and disability’, I argue that the existence

in Measuring difference, numbering normal
Cognitive ableism in Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels
D. Christoper Gabbard

Carlson (Malden MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), 140. 10 Licia Carlson, ‘Cognitive Ableism and Disability Studies: Feminist Reflections on the History of Mental Retardation’, Hypatia 16.4 (2001), 124–145. 124 D. Christopher Gabbard 11 Swift, Gulliver’s Travels, 200. 12 Ibid., 237. 13 Isaac Asimov, The Annotated Gulliver’s Travels (New York: Clarkson Potter, 1980), 270. 14 ‘Infant, n.1–2’, Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), OED Online. 15 Swift, Gulliver’s Travels, 224. 16 Ibid., 237. 17 Ibid., 197. 18 Ibid., 237. 19 Ibid

in Intellectual disability
Open Access (free)
A love story of queer intimacies between (her) body and object (her cigarette)
Dresda E. Méndez de la Brena

absent or insufficient. Ultimately, I call for critical thinking on smoking from the perspective of feminist intersectionality and disability studies. A (queer) love story I met her on Tinder. I was in Vienna for an academic conference and since my academic companions were younger than me, their party night interests were quite different from my own. I wanted to meet someone to

in Affective intimacies
Abstract only
Gerald V. O’Brien

The concluding paragraph ties together the major themes of the book, and describes more fully the importance of the “moron” classification within the overall context of the eugenic alarm period in the United States, along with reasons that the themes explored in the book became important ways of framing those diagnosed as “morons”. This paragraph also discusses issues related to disability studies and eugenics, as well as contemporary relevance, especially in regard to those current practices that may be considered forms of eugenics.

in Framing the moron

This collection of essays seeks to question the security of our assumptions about the fin de siècle by exploring the fiction of Richard Marsh, an important but neglected professional author. Richard Bernard Heldmann (1857–1915) began his literary career as a writer of boys’ fiction, but, following a prison sentence for fraud, reinvented himself as ‘Richard Marsh’ in 1888. Marsh was a prolific and popular author of middlebrow genre fiction including Gothic, crime, humour, romance and adventure, whose bestselling Gothic novel The Beetle: A Mystery (1897) outsold Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Building on a burgeoning interest in Marsh’s writing, this collection of essays examines a broad array of Marsh’s genre fictions through the lens of cutting-edge critical theory, including print culture, New Historicism, disability studies, genre theory, New Economic Criticism, gender theory, postcolonial studies, thing theory, psychoanalysis, object relations theory and art history, producing innovative readings not only of Marsh but of the fin-de-siècle period. Marsh emerges here as a versatile contributor to the literary and journalistic culture of his time whose stories of shape-shifting monsters, daring but morally dubious heroes, lip-reading female detectives and objects that come to life helped to shape the genres of fiction with which we are familiar today. Marsh’s fictions reflect contemporary themes and anxieties while often offering unexpected, subversive and even counter-hegemonic takes on dominant narratives of gender, criminality, race and class, unsettling our perceptions of the fin de siècle.

Genetics, pathology, and diversity in twentieth-century America

Is deafness a disability to be prevented or the uniting trait of a cultural community to be preserved? Combining the history of eugenics and genetics with deaf and disability history, this book traces how American heredity researchers moved from trying to eradicate deafness to embracing it as a valuable cultural diversity. It looks at how deafness came to be seen as a hereditary phenomenon in the first place, how eugenics became part of progressive reform at schools for the deaf, and what this meant for early genetic counselling. Not least, this is a story of how deaf people’s perspectives were pushed out of science, and how they gradually reemerged from the 1950s onwards in new cooperative projects between professionals and local signing deaf communities. It thus sheds light on the early history of culturally sensitive health care services for minorities in the US, and on the role of the psycho-sciences in developing a sociocultural minority model of deafness. For scholars and students of deaf and disability studies and history, as well as health care professionals and activists, this book offers new insight to changing ideas about medical ethics, reproductive rights, and the meaning of scientific progress. Finally, it shows how genetics came to be part of recent arguments about deafness as a form of biocultural diversity.