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The Routledge History of Disability
Edited by Roy Hanes, Ivan Brown, and Nancy E. Hansen
Routledge / Softcover / Oct 2020
9780367659998 (ISBN-10: 0367659999)
Disability Studies / History
reg price: $70.50 our price: $ 63.45
540 pages
In Stock (Ships within one business day)

The Routledge History of Disability explores the shifting attitudes towards and representations of disabled people from the age of antiquity to the twenty-first century. Taking an international view of the subject, this wide-ranging collection shows that the history of disability cuts across racial, ethnic, religious, cultural, gender and class divides, highlighting the commonalities and differences between the experiences of disabled persons in global historical context.

The book is arranged in four parts, covering histories of disabilities across various time periods and cultures, histories of national disability policies, programs and services, histories of education and training and the ways in which disabled people have been seen and treated in the last few decades. Within this, the twenty-eight chapters discuss topics such as developments in disability issues during the late Ottoman period, the history of disability in Belgian Congo in the early twentieth century, blind asylums in nineteenth-century Scotland and the systematic killing of disabled children in Nazi Germany.

Illustrated with images and tables and providing an overview of how various countries, cultures and societies have addressed disability over time, this comprehensive volume offers a global perspective on this rapidly growing field and is a valuable resource for scholars of disability studies and histories of disabilities.


"Taking a truly global view of disability history, The Routledge History of Disability brings together an impressive range of scholarship that places the lives of individuals with disabilities in their social, cultural and historical context. Moving beyond the national or local focus of many disability histories, and exploring a variety of impairments, The Routledge History of Disability provides a means for examining disability history comparatively, shedding new light on how social policy, education and civil rights have evolved in different parts of the world."

David Turner, Swansea University, UK

"This book is timely and phenomenal in nationally and internationally highlighting historical events that have affected disabled people. It exposes the origins of issues and controversies about disability, interpreting historical documents and legislation and discussing significant topics such as the eugenics movement and the civil rights movement."

Irene Carter, University of Windsor, Canada

"In many ways, The Routledge History of Disability is an impressive work: twenty-eight chapters, forty-nine authors, nineteen countries or geographic regions, and more than two thousand years of human history. Contributors to The Routledge History of Disability cover topics familiar to disability studies scholars and disability historians, such as the freak show, eugenics, and Nazi Germany. There are also less familiar topics included in this volume, such as disability in Nigeria, Belgian-Congo, Ireland, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Authors write on topics as varied as gender and disability in ancient Greece and “dull” students in a Norwegian folk school. They ponder societal responses to “the intellectually disabled” and expose developments in disability issues in Ottoman Turkey. [...]

About the Editors:

Roy Hanes is Associate Professor at Carleton University, Canada. He was a founding member of the Canadian Disability Studies Association and is well known for his disability rights activism.

Ivan Brown was Head of the Centre of Excellence for Child Welfare at the University of Toronto, Canada, and a founding editor of the Journal on Developmental Disabilities.

Nancy E. Hansen is Director of the Interdisciplinary Master’s Program in Disability Studies at the University of Manitoba, Canada, and past president of the Canadian Disability Studies Association.

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