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Archive and Theory: The Future of Anglo-American Early Modern Disability Studies

Oct 7, 2022 @ 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, 2520 Cimarron Street
Los Angeles, CA 90018 United States
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–conference organized by Helen Deutsch (University of California, Los Angeles), Jason Farr (Marquette University), Paul Kelleher (Emory University), and Jared S. Richman (Colorado College)

Co-sponsored by UCLA’s Dean of Humanities, CMRS Center for Early Global Studies, Undergraduate Education Initiatives-Disability Studies, Department of English, Department of History, and Joyce Appleby Endowed Chair of America in the World

Presented in-person at the Clark, remote participation via Zoom, and livestreamed on the Center’s YouTube Channel

Over the last two decades, the cultural and historical study of disability has emerged as a vital field of inquiry, transforming how we understand various forms of corporeal and cognitive difference in the early modern period. In turn, the increasing scholarly focus on earlier periods has pressing implications for our constructions of disability in the present. This conference aims to foster two overlapping and mutually illuminating conversations: one about the role that theory plays in how we represent and interpret archival sources, and another about how the archive invites us to critique the historical assumptions and (occasional) limitations of theoretical inquiry. Among the many questions this conference will raise, we anticipate that our participants will ask: How do we define “archive,” and how is archival knowledge organized? What theoretical approaches will allow us to move forward in our uncovering of disabled pasts? How does the historical distance embodied by the archive inspire us to further diversify and complicate our theoretical models and strategies? How can sustained scholarly attention to archives of disability open up new possibilities for conversation between the fields of disability studies and medical humanities, whose relationship was aptly termed that of “frenemies” at an MLA panel some years ago? In short, how does our simultaneous embrace of the archive and theory promise to open up new horizons both for the study of early modern disability and for disability studies?Full program schedule is available on our website: http://www.1718.ucla.edu/events/archive-and-theory/

Sari Altschuler, Northeastern University
Cornelia H. Dayton, University of Connecticut
D. Christopher Gabbard, University of North Florida
Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, Emory University
John Gulledge, Emory University
Nancy J. Hirschmann, University of Pennsylvania
Travis Chi Wing Lau, Kenyon College
Rachel C. Lee, University of California, Los Angeles
Genevieve Love, Colorado College
Megan Peiser (Choctaw), Oakland University
Katherine Schaap Williams, University of Toronto
Erin Severson, University of California, Los Angeles (University of Oxford)
Emily D. Spunaugle, Oakland University
Emily B. Stanback, University of Southern Mississippi
Lesley Thulin, University of California, Los Angeles
David M. Turner, Swansea University
Maggie Vanderford, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan and University of California, Los Angeles
Jarred Wiehe, Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi

This event is free of charge, you must book in advance for each day you attend in-person. In-person bookings close on Monday, October 3.

To attend in-person, please visit our website.


Oct 7, 2022
9:30 am - 5:00 pm
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UCLA Center for 17th- & 18th-Century Studies
Clark Library


William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
2520 Cimarron Street
Los Angeles, CA 90018 United States
+ Google Map
View Venue Website