Friday, April 22, 2016

CFP: “Making Modern Disability” at Hagley

"Making Modern Disability: Histories of Disability, Design, and Technology" will meet at the Hagley Museum and Library on October 28, 2016, to explore the history of modern design and technology with regard to disability. According to the call for papers,
While devices adapted to the needs of people with disabilities can be found throughout human history, industrialization created distinctive circumstances for the material lives of the disabled. On one hand, people with sensory, cognitive, and physical disabilities were often those who struggled most to adapt to modern material life with its rationalized work routines, standardized products, and inaccessible architecture. On the other hand, modern design culture was one of improvement. Designers, architects, and engineers proposed ways to adapt products and sites for users of varying abilities, while people with disabilities and their families found creative ways to improve access for themselves. Legal and policy efforts such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities also spurred change in the 20th century as they defined access to architecture and technology as a civil right.
Organizers are looking for papers that examine specific histories of material culture and disability, considering how technology both responded to and defined disability in modernity. Papers should be historical in nature and focused on the modern period (approximately 1750-present). A focus on archival material and object examples are especially appreciated given Hagley’s rich offerings pertinent to this topic, including the papers of Marc Harrison and Richard Hollerith, two American industrial designers who promoted the principle of Universal Design.
    For a more detailed description of possible topics, please see the full call for papers.
    Interested scholars should submit abstracts of 300 words accompanied by a 1-page CV to Carol Lockman at by May 1, 2016. Travel support and lodging will be provided for presenters at the conference.