This week, we will focus on the emergence of disability communities—communities organized around their members’ shared status of having a disability—with particular emphasis on disabled veterans’ organizations. We will also investigate the ways in which transnational technology and policy transfers, as well as interpersonal interactions, helped both make the emergence of these communities possible and lay the groundwork for the disability rights movements that arose in the mid-twentieth century.
Please use the comment function to post two discussion questions about this week’s readings by Thursday at 2 pm. Focus on intriguing or controversial points in the readings that you think will spark discussion. Strong discussion questions are open-ended, engage with major points in author(s)’ arguments, and are not factual in nature.
Please also post one of the following:
- a short description (1-3 sentences) of your “muddiest point,” that is, what important point of the author’s argument did you have trouble grasping
- your “most interesting connection” for this week’s reading
If you refer to a specific point or quote in one of the readings, please provide the author and page number.
READINGS FOR NOVEMBER 14
Veterans & the State
- David A. Gerber, “Disabled Veterans, the State, and the Experience of Disabled Veterans in Western Societies, 1914-1915,” Journal of Social History 36, no. 4 (Summer 2003): 899-916 (MavSpace)
- Deborah Cohen, “Will to Work,” Disabled Veterans in Britain and Germany after the First World War,” in Disabled Veterans in History, ed. David A. Gerber (University of Michigan Press, 2000), 295-321 (MavSpace)
- Sarah F. Rose, “The Right to a College Education? The GI Bill, Public Law 16, and Disabled Veterans,” Journal of Policy History 24, no. 1 (Winter 2012): 26-52 (MavSpace)
Early Disability Rights Organizing
- Carol Poore, “Recovering Disability Rights in the Weimar Republic,” Radical History Review 94 (Winter 2006), 38-58 (MavSpace)
- Paul K. Longmore and David Goldberger, “The League of the Physically Handicapped and the Great Depression: A Case Study in the New Disability History,” Journal of American History 87, no. 3 (December 2000): 888-922 (MavSpace)
Technology and Community (choose one of the following)
- Mary Tremblay, “Going Back to Civvy Street: A Historical Account of the Impact of the Everest and Jennings Wheelchair for Canadian World War II Veterans with Spinal Cord Injury,” Disability & Society 11, no. 2 (1996): 149-169 (MavSpace)
- Julie Anderson and Neil Pemberton, “Walking Alone: Aiding the War and Civilian Blind in the Inter-War Period,” European Review of History—Revue européenne d’Histoire 14, no. 4 (December 2007): 459-479 (MavSpace)
- Julie Anderson, ‘”Turned into Taxpayers”: Paraplegia, Rehabilitation and Sport at Stoke Mandeville 1944-1956’, Journal of Contemporary History 38 (3) (2003): 461-476 (MavSpace)