- 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
Careful analysis of underexplored and neglected case studies demonstrates how an initial interest in the behavior and constitution of early-nineteenth-century deaf-blind persons gradually made possible a professional and impersonal approach. The deaf-blind person in the early nineteenth century had been a creature of mostly unrefined, but therefore authentic, sensory experience, whose reduction to the supposedly simpler senses of smell, touch, and taste made the basic nature of humankind appear more clearly. In contrast, the educated deaf-blind person later in the century was a vessel for the display of pedagogic expertise. The institutionalization of special education for deaf-blind persons in western Europe thus can be characterized by a shift from listening to the “sound” of deaf-blind persons to a mere repetition of the discursive “noise” of professionals.
Pieter Verstraete is an assistant professor at the Centre for the History of Education (KU Leuven, Belgium). His research focuses on the intersection of disability history and history of education in order to interpret contemporary educational practices.
Ylva Söderfeldt is Associate Senior Lecturer in History of Science and Ideas at Uppsala University. She studies how groups marked as “others” participate in defining themselves and how this process affects both the “others” and the people, practices, institutions, and discourses surrounding them.
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