Nineteenth-Century Disability: Cultures & Contexts

Nineteenth-Century Disability: Cultures and Contexts is an interdisciplinary collection of primary texts and images on physical and cognitive disability in the long nineteenth century (c. 1780 to 1914).  Its primary goal is to immerse users in the cultures and concepts that shaped embodied experience in the nineteenth century.  Currently comprising about 40 items, the reader emphasizes the technologies, institutions, and representations in literature and popular culture that shaped ideas about disability which are still current today.  You can read more about the reader and how to use it here.  


Recently Added Items

The Royal Hospital for Incurables


Published in 1881 in The Graphic, a widely distributed British newspaper, the following anonymously authored article, entitled “The Royal Hospital…

History of the Rise and Progress of the Art of Design in the United States


Despite his resistance to the formal study of painting, William Dunlap’s time in Europe would prove critical to the history of American art because…

Self-Portrait William Dunlap


In these self-portrait miniatures the American painter William Dunlap (1766-1839) depicts the visible sign of his disability: permanent blindness of…

Letters on Mesmerism


Mesmerism[1] was the term used by Victorians for the procedure during which the practitioner, or mesmerist, would fix his or her (usually his) gaze on…