Past Perspectives of Disability
Level 1 (CQFW Level 4), 10 Credits.
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Deformity, deviance and monsters! These are just some of the ways disability has been described in the past. But were disabled people always the target of fear and discrimination or seen as evil and suspicious? This course examines and challenges these and other ideas about disability in early modern England. We will consider whether disability is missing from history, why areas such as gender history have become popular while the history of disability remains relatively unexplored, and why historical interest in ‘the body’ has often ignored the disabled body. We will examine early modern theories about the body and the nature and causes of disability, focusing on sexuality and monstrous births, congenital disabilities, and mental health conditions, as well as those caused by warfare and old age.
Who is this course for?
This course is for anyone with an interest in history and the enthusiasm to take that interest further. It operates as part of the Exploring the Past pathway, and will equip you with the knowledge, understanding and skills that will help you to study other courses in the pathway.
Learning and Teaching
The course is delivered over nine evening classes through a mixture of lectures, class discussions, group-work and workshop-style activities. Each two-hour session will include elements of direct student participation to hone your skills in argument building, academic writing, oral communication, source analysis and the interpretation of historical evidence. These evening sessions are supplemented by support and activities delivered online via Learning Central, the university’s Virtual learning Environment.
Coursework and Assessment
This course has two short pieces of assessed work which together add up to 1500 words. The first is analysis of an early modern source, while the second is a short essay. These pieces of work have been designed to help you in developing the skills and approaches that you need to study the past successfully. There will be lots of help and support available for both assignments.
- A. L. Beier, Masterless Men: The Vagrancy Problem in England 1560-1640 (London and New York, 1985),
- Elizabeth Bredberg, ‘Writing Disability History: Problems, Perspectives and Sources’, Disability & Society, vol. 14, 1999.
- Leonard J. Davis (ed.), The Disability Studies Reader (New York, 1997).
- M. Miles, ‘Signing in the Seraglio: Mutes, Dwarfs and Jestures at the Ottoman Court 1500-1700’, Disability & Society, vol. 15, 2000.
- Margaret Pelling, The Common Lot: Sickness, Medical Occupations and the Urban Poor in Early Modern England (London, 1998).
- Kevin Stagg, ‘The Body’ in Garthine Walker (ed.), Writing Early Modern History (London, 2005), 205-26.
- Alexandra Walsham, Providence in Early Modern England (Oxford, 1999).
Library and Computing Facilities
As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University library and computing facilities. You can find out more about these facilities on our website www.cardiff.ac.uk/learn under Student Information, or by ringing the Centre on (029) 2087 0000.
Accessibility of Courses
Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and Dyslexia screening. Please contact the Centre on (029) 2087 0000 for an information leaflet.
A range of further information can be found on our web site www.cardiff.ac.uk/learn or in Choices. This includes the times and dates of courses and an explanation of accreditation and credit levels.