- 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
“Monstrous births,” anomalous newborn bodies, or stillbirths, have produced public and scientific reactions of fear and excited voyeuristic interest from the early modern period to the present in Europe and North America. During this time, the category of “monstrous births” expanded even if the term itself was replaced over time with “defectives,” “congenital malformations,” “birth defects,” and “disabilities.” Particular attention is given here to medicine, mothers of “monstrous births,” twentieth-century moments that brought birth defects to international attention (German measles and thalidomide), and gender. In addition, attention is given to the perspective of contemporary people whose sixteenth- and seventeenth-century predecessors (conjoined twins) were considered “monstrous births” and whose bodies are still preserved in museums.
Leslie J. Reagan is Professor of History at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her books, Dangerous Pregnancies: Mothers, Disabilities, and Abortion in Modern America (University of California Press, 2010) and When Abortion Was a Crime (University of California Press, 1997), have received numerous awards. Her current research focuses on Agent Orange, reproduction, and disabilities in the United States and Vietnam.
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