We are running ONLINE lectures throughout 2021-22. Aimed at a general audience, they explore the histories of disability.

UK Disability History Month: 2021

A joint venture between Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester City Council and Manchester Central Library to celebrate UK Disability History Month, November 2021. For more details of #UKDHM see here.

Jaipreet Virdi: Hearing Happiness: Deafness Cures in History 3/11/21

Dr Jaipreet Virdi is an award-winning historian, whose histories of deafness in the 20th century draws on her own experience of hearing loss.

She explores the experience of hearing loss, and attempts to ‘cure’ deafness in Anglo-American culture in the 19th and 20th centuries. She shows that deafness was a widespread experience, and examines the evolution of hearing technologies – particularly hearing aids – as objects of desire as well as assistive technology.

Dr Jaipreet Virdi is Assistant Professor in History at the University of Delaware. She is an award -winning historian of deafness, technology and medicine, and a disability activist. Her first book, Hearing Happiness: Deafness Cures in History raises pivotal questions about deafness in American society and the endless quest for a cure.

Kathryn Hurlock: Pilgrimage and Miracle Cures in Manchester 10/11/21

Dr Kathryn Hurlock is an expert on the history of pilgrimage, and this lecture explores how disabled people in North-West sought miracle cures through pilgrimage in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Emma-Jayne Graham: Disability in Ancient Rome 17/11/21

Dr Emma-Jayne Graham is an historian of Ancient Rome, focusing on disability and impaired mobility. She will examine the votives, or models of body parts, made by or for disabled people and explore the experience of disability in the classical world. This is a joint paper with the Manchester Classical Association and Manchester Centre for Public History and Heritage.

Dr Emma-Jayne Graham is a Senior Lecturer in Classical Studies at the Open University with expertise in Ancient Rome. She uses archaeological remains to explore ideas about religion and disability in Roman Italy, her most recent book is Reassembling Religion in Roman Italy (2021).

Simon Jarrett: Intellectual Disability in England 1750-1900 24/11/21

Dr Simon Jarrett has spent many years working with people with learning disabilities and autism, and in this talk he explores how the idea of intellectual disability was developed in the 18th-20th centuries.

Dr Jarrett traces the little-known lives of people with learning disabilities from the communities of eighteenth-century England to the nineteenth-century asylum and care in today’s society. Using evidence from civil and criminal court-rooms, joke books, slang dictionaries, novels, art and caricature, this talk brings into sharp focus the lives of people often seen as the most marginalized in society.

Dr Simon Jarrett is an honorary research fellow at Birkbeck College, London. Having spent many years working with people with learning difficulties and with autism, he now advises local authorities and the NHS on improving services. In his recent book Those They Called Idiots: The Idea of the Disabled Mind from 1750 to the Present day (2020) he explores emerging ideas of intelligence, race and disability.

International Day of Disabled People 3rd December 2021

A joint celebration of the International Day of Disabled People, the UK’s celebration of disabled people inspired by the UN initiative: International Day of People with Disabilities 1-4 pm between Manchester Council, Manchester Metropolitan University and Manchester Central Library.

  • Recorded short talks about the history of disability
  • A discussion panel addressing the histories, cultures and experiences of disability
  • Prof Sara Ryan on disability and activism
  • Live music
  • Short presentations drawn from Manchester’s Disabled People’s Archive

More details on online lectures in 2022 to be confirmed.

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