Society for the Study of Disability in the Middle Ages

“The Society for the Study of Disability in the Middle Ages is dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of medieval disease, disability, injury, illness, and impairment within their social context.” Supervised by administrator Kisha Tracy of Fitchburg State University.


Sources compiled by Bellee Jones-Pierce, Lindsey Row-Heyveld, and James Nysse:

A Pleasant Commodie Called Looke About You. The Malone Society, n.d.

Acker, Paul. “Dwarf-Lore in Alvissmal.” The Poetic Edda, 2002, 213–28.

Adelson, Betty. The Lives of Dwarfs: Their Journey from Public Curiosity toward Social Liberation. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers Univeristy Press, 2005.

Albercht, Gary L. “Disability Humor: What’s in a Joke?” Body and Society 5, no. 4 (1999): 67–74.

Armstrong, Archie. A Banquet of Witty Jeasts; Or Change or Cheare. London, 1630.

———. A Choice Banquet of Witty Jeasts, Rare Fancies, and Pleasant Novels. London, 1660.

Arneil, Barbara. “Disability, Self Image, and Modern Political Theory.” Political Theory 37, no. 2 (April 2009): 218–42.

Baker, Naomi. “‘To Make Love to a Deformity’: Praising Ugliness in Early Modern England.” Renaissance Studies 22, no. 1 (2008): 86–109.

Barasch, Moshe. The History of a Mental Image in Western Thought. New York, NY: Routledge, 2001.

Barton, Len. Disability Studies: Past, Present, and Future. Disability Press, 1997.

Bates, A.W. Emblematic Monsters: Unnatural Conceptions and Deformed Births in Early Modern Europe. Rodopi, 2005.

Bearden, Elizabeth B. “Before Normal, There Was Natural’: John Bulwer, Disability and Natural Signing in Early Modern England and Beyond.” PMLA 132, no. 1 (2017): 33–50.

———. Monstorous Kinds: Body, Space, and Narrative in Renaissance Representations of Disability. University of Michigan Press, 2019.

Benedict, Leah. “Genetic Failures and Imprefect Enjoyments: Rochester and the Anatomy of Impotence.” Eighteenth-Century Fiction 28, no. 1 (2015).

Bobrick, Benson. Knotted Tongues: Stuttering in History and the Quest for a Cure. Simon and Schuster, 1995.

Bragg, Lois. Oedipus Boreais: The Aberrant Body in Old Icelandic Myth and Saga. Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2004.

Braidotti, Rosi. “Mothers, Monsters, and Machines.” In Writing on the Body, 59–79, n.d.

Breckenridge, Carol A., and Candace Volger. “The Critical Limits of Embodiment: Disability’s Criticism.” Public Culture13, no. 3 (2001): 349–58.

Bright, Timothie. A Teatise, Vvherein Is Declared the Sufficience of English Medicines, for Cure of All Diseases, Cured with Medicines. Whereunto Is Added a Collection of Medicines Growing (for a Most Part) within Our English Climat, Approoued and Experimented against the Laundise, Dropsie, Stone, Falling-Sicknesse, Pestilence. London: Printed by H[Umphrey] L[Ownes] for Tho. Man, 1516.

Bulwer, John. Chirologia, or the Naturall Language of the Hand and Chironomia, or the Art of Manual Rhetoric. London, 1644.

———. Philocophus: Or, the Deafe and Dumbe Mans Friend. London, 1648.

Burton, Robert. The Anatomy of Melancholy, Now for the First Time with the Latin Completely Given in Translation and Embodied in an All-English Text. Edited by Floyd Dell. New York: Tudor Publishing Company, 1948.

Clifford, Stacy. “Indespensable Idocy: Disability in the Development of John Locke’s Thought.” In Midwest Political Science Association. Chicago, IL, 2010.

Crawford, Katherine. Eunuchs and Castrati: Disability and Normativity in Early Modern Europe. Routledge, 2019.

Davis, Lennard J. Bending over Backwards: Disability, Dismodernism, and Other Difficult Positions. New York: New York University Press, 2002.

Descartes, René. The Philosophical Writing of Descartes, Volume III: The Correspondence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

Dicke, Simon. Cruelty and Laughter: Forgotten Comic Literature and the Unsentimental Eighteenth Century. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2011.

Dickie, Simon. “Hilarity and Pitilessness in the Mid-Eighteenth Century: English Jestbook Humor.” Eighteenth-Century Studies 37, no. 1 (Fall 2003): 1–22.

Dunn, Leslie. Performing Disability in Early Modern English Drama. Switzerland AG: Springer Nature, 2021.

Duprat, Anne. “Stultita Loquiur: Fiction and Folly in Early Modern Literature.” Critical Studies 5, no. 2–3 (2008): 141–51.

Enderle, Alfred, Dietrich Meyerhöfer, and Gerd. Unverfehrt. Small People – Great Art: Restricted Growth from Artistic and Medical Viewpoint. Bremen: Artcolor Verlag, 1994.

Eyler, Joshua. Disability in the Middle Ages: Rehabilitations, Reconsiderations, Reverberations. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2010.

Farr, Jason. Disability and Sexuality in Eighteenth-Century British Literature. Bucknell University Press, n.d.

———. “Libertine Sexuality and Queer-Crip Embodiment in Eighteenth-Century Britain.” New Queer Readings, Special Issue of Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies 16, no. 4 (2016).

Franko, Mark. Dance as Text: Ideologies of the Baroque Body. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.

Garland, Robert. They Eye of the Beholder: Deformity and Disability in the Graeco-Roman World. London: Duckworth, 1995.

Goffman, Erving. “Selections from Stigma.” Disability Studies Reader, no. 1 (n.d.): 203–15.

Goodey, C. F. “Foolishness’ in Early Modern Modern Medicine and the Concept of Intellectual Disability.” Medical History 48 (2004): 289–310.

Goodey, C.F. A History of Intelligence and “Intellectual Disability”: The Shaking of Psychology in Early Modern Europe. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2011.

Growing, Laura. Common Bodies: Women, Tough, and Power in Seventeenth-Century England. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2003.

Henri-Jaques, Stiker. A History of Disability. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1999.

Hobgood, Allison P. Beholding Disability in Renaissance England. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2021.

Hobgood, Allison, and David Houston Wood. “Disabled Shakespeares.” Disability Studies Quarterly 29, no. 4 (Fall 2009). http://dsq-sds.org/artile/view/991/1183.

———. Recovering Disability in Early Modern Englad. OH: Ohio State University Press, 2013.

Iyengar, Sujata. Disability, Health, and Happiness in the Shakespearian Body. New York, NY: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2014.

McDonald, Michael. Mystical Bedlam: Madness, Anxiety, and Healing in Seventeenth-Century England. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981.

Metzler, Irina. Disability in Medieval Europe: Thinking about Physical Impairment during the High Middle Ages c. 1100-1400. London: Routledge, 2006.

Microphilus [Master Sater]. The New-Yeers Gift Presented at Court, from the Lady Parvula to the Lord Minimus, (Commonly Called Little Jefferie) Her Majesties Servant, with a Letter as It Was Penned in Short-Hand: Wherein Is Proved Little Things Are Better Then [Sic] Great. London, 1636.

Neely, Carol Thomas. Distracted Subjects: Madness and Gender in Shakespeare and Early Modern Culture. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2004.

Nichols, Tom. “The Vagabond Image: Depictions of False Beggars in Northern Art of the Sixteenth Century.” In Others and Outcasts in Early Modern Europe: Picturing the Social Margins, 37–60. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2007.

Nussbaum, Felicity. “Dumb Virgins, Blind Ladies, and Eunuchs: Fictions of Defect.” In Defects Engendering the Modern Body, edited by Helen Deutsch and Felicity Nussbaum, 31–53. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000.

Otto, Barbara. Fools Are Everywhere. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001.

Paré, Ambroise. On Monsters and Marvels. Edited and translated by Janis L. Palliser. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982.

Park, Katherine, and Lorraine Daston. “Unnatural Conceptions: The Study of Monsters in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century France and England.” Past and Present 92 (1981): 20–55.

Perman, Troy Vandeventer. Women and Disability in Medieval Literature (the New Middle Ages). New York: Palgrave Macmillian, 2010.

Row-Heyveld, Lindsey. “The Lying’st Knave in Christendom: The Development of Disability in the False Miracle of Saint Albans.” Disability Studies Quarterly 29, no. 4 (2009). http://dsq-sds.org/article/view/994/1178.

Rushdon, Peter. “Lunatics and Idiots: Mental Disability, the Community, and the Poor Law in North-East England 1600-1800.” Medical Histoy 32 (1988): 34–50.

Sawday, Jonathan. The Body Emblazoned: Dissection and the Human Body in Renaissance Culture. New York: Routledge, 1995.

Schiffer, James. “Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis: A Lacanian Tragicomedy of Desire.” In Venus and Adonis: Critical Essays, edited by Philip Kolin, 359–76. New York: Garland, 1997.

Snyder, Sharon. “Unfixing Disability in Lord Byron’s ‘The Deformed Transformed.’” In Bodies in Commotion. 280-91, n.d.

Sprunger, David A. “Depicting the Insane: A Thirteenth-Century Case Study.” In Marvels, Monsters, and Miracles: Studies in the Medieval and Early Modern Imaginations, edited by Timothy S. Jones and David A. Sprunger. Kalamazoo: Western Michigan University Press, 2002.

Stewart, Susan. On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenier, the Collection. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984.

Thiher, Allen. Revels in Madness: Insanity in Medicine and Literature. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1999.

Turner, David M. Disability in Eighteenth-Century England: Imagining Physical Impairment. New York and London: Routledge, 2012.

Wheatley, Edward. Stumbling Blocks before the Blind: Medieval Constructions of a Disability. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2010.

Woods-Marsden, Joanna, and Nancy Van Deusen. “A Vision of Dwarfs.” In Dreams and Visions: Presenting the Past, 325–37. Leiden: Brill, 2010.

Zall, P. M. A Hundred Merry Tales and Other Jestbooks of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1963.