Social Histories of Disability and Deformity: Bodies, Images by David M. Turner

By David M. Turner

Amassing jointly essays written through a global set of individuals, this booklet presents an incredible contribution to the rising box of incapacity historical past. It explores alterations in understandings of deformity and incapacity among the 16th and 20th centuries, and exhibit the ways that diversified societies have conceptualised the traditional and the pathological. via a number of case stories together with: early glossy start defects, homosexuality, smallpox scarring, vaccination, orthopaedics, deaf schooling, eugenics, psychological deficiency, and the stories of psychologically scarred army veterans, this booklet offers new views at the heritage of actual, sensory and highbrow anomaly. analyzing adjustments over 5 centuries, it charts how incapacity used to be delineated from different kinds of deformity and disfigurement by way of a clearer clinical viewpoint. Essays make clear the reports of oppressed minorities frequently hidden from mainstream heritage, but additionally reveal the significance of discourses of incapacity and deformity as key cultural signifiers which expose broader platforms of strength and authority, citizenship and exclusion. the various nature of the cloth during this e-book will make it suitable to students drawn to cultural, literary, social and political, in addition to clinical, historical past.

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Additional resources for Social Histories of Disability and Deformity: Bodies, Images and Experiences (Routledge Studies in the Social History of Medicine)

Sample text

The most usual approach adopted by writers of monster portent literature was to focus on a particular birth event, to compare the latter to other historical examples, and to draw general conclusions of relevance to the wider community. Invariably in such works the parents of the monstrous child would be described as righteous and honest folk. The personal stigma would be evaded to deflect more widely onto the broader congregation of sinners. However, with some accounts more personal peccadilloes would be stressed.

The monstrous nature of Robert, Duke of Normandy (like that in a later work concerning Louis XIV) was established whilst he was a newborn baby. Robert not only possessed early teeth but he put them to good use in demonstrating his bestial nature: This infant in his swathing clowtes gave certain testimonie his future outrages, for being born beyond the custome of nature with all his teeth . . 41 On the other hand, the seventeenth-century prophetess, Mother Shipton, was described as being physically deformed at birth, ‘the strange and unparrallel’d Phisiognomy of the Child, which was so misshapen that it is altogether impossible to express it fully in words’.

207–9; Jenner, ‘Body, Image, Text’, p. 154. 54 Bates, ‘Good, Common, Regular and Orderly’. 55 Jonathan Andrews, ‘Begging the Question of Idiocy: the Definition and SocioCultural Meaning of Idiocy in Early Modern Britain: Part 1’, History of Psychiatry, 9, 1998, 65–95. 56 Jenner, ‘Body, Image, Text’, p. 153. 57 For example, Robert Hole, ‘Incest, Consanguinity and a Monstrous Birth in Rural England, January 1600’, Social History, 25:2, 2000, 183–99. 58 Baynton, Forbidden Signs. Educational developments in Europe and America are also discussed in R.

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