Disability history

Photo: production of the “Velorex” vehicle, a motorised tricycle, which was produced with particular consideration for the requirements of people with disabilities.

 

“Disability history”, the historical study of the social and cultural conditions of disability, has developed into an important area of historical research. Understood not as segmental history, but as the analysis of a central historical category, this discipline is developing new perspectives on past societies. At the Department of Eastern European History at the University of Kiel, the approaches and methodologies of disability history are being used to study the structures and mechanisms of order in state socialist societies. In close cooperation with colleagues at the University of Prague and with the financial support of the DFG, we focus especially on socialist Czechoslovakia: two doctoral theses and an extensive post-doc project are examining institutions and perceptions of disability in the context of the shaping of socialist society.

A broader, comparative focus on the regional level is pursued by the book project entitled Disability in Socialist History, in which researchers from various disciplines and scholarly traditions analyse concepts of disability, preventative strategies and forms of participation in socialist countries.

Photo: production of the “Velorex” vehicle, a motorised tricycle, which was produced with particular consideration for the requirements of people with disabilities.

 

Projects:

Engineering Dis/Abilities

Disability in Czech Illustrated Magazines

A History of the Czechoslovak Association of the Disabled