- The Oxford Handbook of Disability History
- The Perils and Promises of Disability Biography
- Disability History and Greco-Roman Antiquity
- Intellectual Disability in the European Middle Ages
- Disability in the Premodern Arab World
- Disability and the History of Eugenics
- Social History of Medicine and Disability History
- Material Culture, Technology, and the Body in Disability History
- Designing Objects and Spaces: A Modern Disability History
- Documents, Ethics, and the Disability Historian
- Disability and Work During the Industrial Revolution in Britain
- Disability and Work in South Asia and the United Kingdom
- Disability and Work in British West Africa
- Race, Work, and Disability in Progressive Era United States
- Organized Labor and Disability in Post–World War II United States
- Deaf-Blindness and the Institutionalization of Special Education in Nineteenth-Century Europe
- Disability and Madness in Colonial Asylum Records in Australia and New Zealand
- Madness, Transnationalism, and Emotions in Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century New Zealand
- Institutions for People with Disabilities in North America
- Picturing Disability in Eighteenth-Century England
- Disability, Race, and Gender on the Stage in Antebellum America
- Polio and Disability in Cold War Hungary
- Monstrous Births, Birth Defects, Unusual Anatomy, and Disability in Europe and North America
- Disability in Modern Chinese Cinema
- Transnational Interconnections in Nineteenth-Century Western Deaf Communities
- The Disability Rights Movement in the United States
- The Rise of Gay Rights and the Disavowal of Disability in the United States
- Disabled Veterans and the Wounds of War
Abstract and Keywords
Throughout U.S. history, the production of difference, whether along racial or disability lines, has been inextricably tied to the imperatives of labor economy. From the plantations of the antebellum era through the assembly lines and trenches of early-twentieth-century America, ideologies of race and disability have delineated which peoples could do which kinds of work. The ideologies and identities of race, work, and the “fit” ’ or “unfit” body informed Progressive Era labor economies. Here the processes of racializing or disabling certain bodies are charted from turn-of-the-century actuarial science, which monetized blacks as a degenerate, dying race, through the standardized physical and mental testing and rehabilitation methods developed by the U.S. army during World War I. Efforts to quantify, poke, prod, or mend black bodies reshaped contemporary understandings of labor, race, the state, and the working body.
Paul Lawrie is an associate professor of history and senior fellow of the Institute of Urban Studies at the University of Winnipeg and author of Forging a Laboring Race: The African American Worker in the Progressive Imagination (New York University Press, 2016).
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