Exceptions ratify the rules, as they say. The intention of this sporadic blog was to remain publicity-free and to be an outlet for more ‘serious’ academic pursuits, with mini-articles on various topics of interest to me. However, since everyone these days seems to be using their blog for publicity purposes, it would be counterproductive to stick too assiduously to self-imposed rules, even more so since it brings my main topic, disability in the medieval period, to the fore. The BBC’s decision to broadcast a series on Disability: A New History on Radio 4 cannot be praised enough, not just because I was interviewed for the programme, but because it is great news for anyone interested in advancing the study of disability in the pre-modern era. Historians are beginning, albeit belatedly, to discover the stories of disability in the past. “It is a hugely exciting area of research”, as Loftus, the production company for the radio series, rightly claims, and “the story is more nuanced and complex than we previously thought: there is sympathy and real empathy towards disability as well as fear and rejection.”
This ten-part series is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 27th-31st May and 3rd-7th June 2013 at 12.45pm GMT, plus it should be available to listeners outside of the UK on iPlayer, the BBC’s internet streaming facility. Disability in the Middle Ages is covered in episode 2 (Tue 28th May), with my interview. I was also asked to record the trailer for the entire series. This is a real milestone in terms of bringing disability history to a wider audience.