Boston Bound #MAA2016

I am heading to the annual meeting of the Medieval Academy to talk about disability studies. I have a peculiar relationship with the field, as my published work is in cultural history, focusing on Venice, political myths, narratives of materiality, hagiography, and the pre-modern Mediterranean world. My next book, though, will be on contemporary disability rights issues, as is most of my journalism. So I’m very pleased to be chairing a session in which I’ll have a chance to think about how my academic expertise and public advocacy intersect. Here’s the session:

Friday: 10:15 AM–noon: Concurrent Sessions

13. Disability Studies in the Middle Ages [Dedham]

Organizer: Kisha G. Tracy (Fitchburg State University) 
Chair: David Perry (Dominican University) 
  • John P. Sexton (Bridgewater State University) and Kisha G. Tracy (Fitchburg State University), “Disability Studies in the Middle Ages: Where Are We Now?” 
  • Wendy Turner (Georgia Regents University), “The Past, Present, and Future of Medieval Disability Studies” 
  • Moira Fitzgibbons (Marist College), “Managing Diagnosis in the Medieval/Disability Studies Classroom” 
  • Karen Bruce Wallace (The Ohio State University), “The Body That Is Not a Body: Wisdom’s Construction of the Impaired Body in the Old English Boethius and Anglo-Saxon Conceptions of Corporeal Form and Function” 
  • M. W. Bychowski (George Washington University), “Mad for Margery: Disability and the Imago Dei in the Book of Margery Kempe” 
5 short papers, and then … we’ll talk.

I’m particularly interested in thinking about the interdisciplinarity of pre-modern disability studies and glad to have colleagues from various disciplines on the panel.

Later today I will have a piece on “sexual ableism” and the case of Anna Stubblefield, published by the L.A. Review of Books, my first for them. I’ll update here with a link when it’s online.

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