- 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
Case records examined here are those of inmates in two public institutions for the insane in colonial Victoria, Australia, and in Auckland, New Zealand, between 1870 and 1910. In the international field of mental health studies and histories of psychiatry, intellectual disability has been the subject of detailed historical inquiry and forms part of the critical discussion about how institutions for the “insane” housed a range of inmates in the nineteenth century. Yet the archival records of mental hospitals have rarely been examined in any sustained way for their detail about the physically disabled or those whose records denote bodily difference. References to the physical manifestations of various forms of intellectual or emotional disability, as well as to bodily difference and “deformity,” were part of the culture of the colonial institution, which sought to categorize, label, and ascribe identities to institutional inmates.
Catharine Coleborne is Professor and Head of School of Humanities and Social Science at the University of Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia. A historian, she is the author and editor of a range of titles, including Insanity, Identity and Empire: Colonial Institutional Confinement in Australia and New Zealand, 1870–1910 (Manchester University Press, 2015).
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