Disabling the Renaissance: Recovering Early Modern Disability (ABSTRACTS: April 1, 2010)
*Call for Papers: Collected Volume of Essays on Early Modern Disability*
Abstract: 500 words (Due Date: April 1, 2010)
Editors: Allison P. Hobgood and David Houston Wood
Accepted abstracts will lead to scholarly essays (c. 5,000-6,000 words) to be included in a proposed book collection tentatively entitled "Disabling the Renaissance: Recovering Early Modern Disability."
While Renaissance scholarship in the past few decades has been interested in all sorts of new identity histories, too little work has been undertaken on early modern disabled selves as such. Accordingly, we are interested in essay submissions that call attention to how recent conversation about difference in the early modern period has often overlooked or misidentified disability. This volume will present early modern disability studies as a productive theoretical lens that can reanimate existing scholarly dialogue about Renaissance subjectivities even as it motivates more politically invested classroom pedagogies.
Essays might address all sorts of disability representations in the early modern period, and these representations need not be limited to the British Isles and/or the Continent. Essays might investigate how
disability was imagined by Renaissance cultures, both real and fictional, or expose how early modern conversation about the "able" body constructed the disabled body as its oppositional term. Essays could
historicize that conversation by examining what disability "traditions" early modern writers inherited from the classical and medieval eras and what early modern views inform our contemporary understanding of
disability. These suggestions, however, merely offer a place to begin, and in no way exhaust the kinds of topics this volume will explore.
Again, the goal of the volume is to reveal the utility of disability studies to early modern scholarship while advocating that Renaissance cultural representations of non-standard bodies and minds might provide new models for theorizing disability that are simultaneously more
inclusive and specific than those currently available.