Papers-Conferences-Teaching

Papers presented (UK):

  • ‘Health, disease and disability in medieval Bristol, c.1000-1500’, public talk for the Bristol Threatened History Society symposium on ‘Bristol’s Medical History’, at the Museum of Bristol MShed, 19 March 2016
  • ‘Falling in and out of illness: the (im)permanence of disability in the Middle Ages’, paper at colloquium ‘Recovery’, part of ‘Being Well, Being Ill: Experience and Materiality’ History Department Annual Research Theme 2015/16, University of Reading, 11 November 2015
  • ‘Disabled Clerics: A Contradiction in Terms?’, paper at Medieval Studies Seminar, University of St Andrews, 2 November 2015
  • ‘Disabled soldiers – battlefield causes and social consequences of wounding’, paper at Agincourt 600 conference, Southampton university, 31 Jul- 3 Aug 2015
  • ‘In/Dis-Ability: A Medievalist’s Perspective’, keynote paper at VariAbilities II conference, Winchester university, 20-21 Jul 2015
  • ‘Being “Fit to Preach”: The Disappearance of Disability in Monastic Reform Movements’, paper at International Medieval Congress, Leeds, 6-9 Jul 2015
  • ‘Disability, inheritance and evolution: Medieval observation and nineteenth-century speculation’, British Society for the History of Science annual conference, Swansea university, 3 Jul 2015
  • ‘Mis-leadings: Guide Dogs and the Blind in Medieval Culture’, Blind Creations conference, Royal Holloway, Egham, 30 Jun 2015
  • ‘Medieval Medicine: Between Care and Cure’, keynote address at public engagment conference ‘Beyond Leeches and Lepers: Medieval and Early Modern Medicine’, Old Anatomy lecture theatre, Edinburgh university, 2 May 2015
  • ‘Blind Priests and Mad Rectors: Health, Disease and Disability among the Later Medieval European Clergy’, research seminar, Swansea university, 19 Mar 2015
  • ‘Old age and disability in medieval Europe: Dementia, depression and despair’, IHR Life Cycles seminar, London, 20 Jan 2015
  • ‘The magus in the tower: Pre/history of an image in Tolkien’s work’, University of Bristol, 19 Dec 2014
  • ‘Approaches to intellectual disability in the Middle Ages: Thinking about ‘fools’ and ‘idiots’ ‘, Wellcome Library pre-modern medicine seminar, London, 25 Nov 2014
  • ‘Industrial Accidents in the Middle Ages: Occupational Disability in the Pre-Modern Past’, Society for the Social History of Medicine, Oxford, 10-12 Jul 2014
  • ‘Whales and the Discovery of North America’, paper for MAD round table on ‘Whales’ at International Medieval Congress, Leeds, 7-10 Jul 2014
  • ‘ “Fools” and Intellectual Disability: Modern Stereotypes and Medieval Mentalities’, paper at International Medieval Congress, Leeds, 7-10 Jul 2014
  • ‘Medieval battles and disability – causes and consequences of permanent impairments’, Swansea, Symposium by the Sea, ‘The Face of Battle in Medieval History and Literature’, 19-20 June 2014
  • ‘Approaches to cognitive disability in the Middle Ages: Thinking about ‘fools’ and ‘idiots’ ‘, seminar in Health, Medicine and Society research series, School of History, Leeds, 15 May 2014
  • ‘Perpetual children? The status of the cognitively disabled in the Middle Ages’ at IHR, London, seminar series Disability History, 3 Feb 2014
  • ‘ “Fools”, “Idiots” and “Innocents”? Looking at Cognitive Disability (CD) in the Middle Ages’ GCMS seminar, University of Reading, 14 Nov 2013
  • ‘Intellectual disability (ID) in the Middle Ages: ‘fools’, ‘idiots’ and ‘innocents’ ‘, Swansea, RGHHC seminar, 25 Sep 2013
  • ‘Dwarves for Pleasure and Profit? Disability as (courtly) entertainment in medieval Europe’, paper at International Medieval Congress, Leeds, 1-4 Jul 2013
  • ‘Congenital disability: medieval causalities of birth defects’, paper at 6th Annual International Workshop on Disease and Disability in Medieval Europe, as part of the ‘Generation and Reproduction‘ symposium at King’s College, University of Cambridge, 7-8 Dec 2012
  • ‘Medieval Disability and Charity: Trajectory of an Interrelationship’, invited paper at ‘Care in the Past‘ conference, University of Durham, 6 Oct 2012
  • ‘Disabled Children: Birth Defects, Causality and Guilt’, paper at International Medieval Congress, Leeds, 9-12 Jul 2012
  • ‘Marx and Medieval Disability: Re-reading Materialist Approaches to Care and Cure in Medieval Culture’, invited paper for ‘Symposium by the Sea: Care and Cure: Diseases, Disabilities and Therapies’, University of Swansea, 14-15 Jun 2012
  • ‘Disability in the Middle Ages – Reframing a Materialist Perspective’, keynote at Fifth Annual International Workshop on Disease and Disability in Medieval Europe, University of Nottingham, 3/4 December 2011
  • ‘St Martin and the (Dis)abled Beggar: The Evolution of a Stereotype in Medieval Culture’, paper at International Medieval Congress, Leeds, 11-14 Jul 2011
  • ‘Indiscriminate Healing Miracles in Decline: How social realities affect religious  perception’, invited paper given at Contextualizing Miracles conference, Wolfson College, Cambridge, 16 April 2011
  • ‘Speechless: Hearing and speech impairment as a medieval legal problem’, at Fourth Annual International Workshop on Disease and Disability in Medieval Europe, University of Nottingham, 12/13 December 2010
  • ‘Cats as symbolic animals’, contribution to round table ‘Cat Woman and the King of Beasts’, at International Medieval Congress, Leeds, 12-15 Jul 2010
  • ‘Have Crutch, Will Travel: Disabled People on the Move in Medieval Europe’, paper at International Medieval Congress, Leeds, 12-15 Jul 2010
  • session moderator ‘Suffer the Little Children? Health, Disease, and Disability among Children in Medieval Society’, at International Medieval Congress, Leeds, 13-16 Jul 2009
  • ‘Heretical Cats: Animal Symbolism in Religious Discourse’, paper at International Medieval Congress, Leeds, 13-16 Jul 2009
  • ‘Some thoughts on Disability in Medieval Europe: Normative approaches and ways forward’, invited paper at workshop ‘Redefining Disability in the Ancient World‘, University of Leeds, 24 Jan 2009
  • ‘Disability and poverty in the High Middle Ages: Exploring the intersections of debilitates, pauperi and impotentes’, invited paper at conference ‘Disease, Disability and Medicine in Medieval Europe’, University of Oxford, 5-6 Jul 2008
  • ‘Framing medieval disability: Approaches to understanding physical impairment in the western middle ages’, invited paper at University of Southampton, 14 May 2007
  • ‘Books vs bones: Disability in the interplay between documentary sources and the archaeological record’, invited paper at Theoretical Archaeology Group annual conference, University of Exeter, 17 Dec 2006
  • ‘Thinking about physical impairment during the high middle ages, c.1100-1400’, invited paper at one-day symposium ‘Historicising Disability: The Middle Ages and After’, University of York, opening talk 2 Dec 2006
  • ‘The hermaphrodite and the lawyer: Anatomical difference and medieval legal concepts’, paper at International Medieval Congress, Leeds, 10-13 Jul 2006
  • ‘Disability in earlier medieval legal texts’, paper at conference ‘Disease & Disability in Northern Europe, 400-1200, University of Birmingham, 8-9 Jul 2006
  • ‘The shape of things to come: disabled bodies and medieval eschatology’, invited paper given at University of Bristol, Department of Theology & Religious Studies, Postgraduate Seminar Programme, 11 October 2005
  • ‘Mobility Aids for the Elderly Physically Impaired’, invited paper given at Leeds International Medieval Congress, 12 July 2005
  • ‘Disability in the Middle Ages’, presented at roundtable discussion ‘Cripping the Middle Ages’, Leeds International Medieval Congress, July 2004
  • ‘Differentiation of Possession, Madness and Epilepsy in Medieval Iconography’, illustrated talk to accompany seminar given by Prof. Dyan Elliott, Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professor Seminar Series, March 2002, University of Bristol
  • ‘Disability, Body Image and the Afterlife in Medieval Europe’, paper presented June 2001 at ‘History, Gender and the Body‘ conference, University of Essex, Colchester
  • Seminar papers given at Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, University of Oxford, on ‘Palaeopathology’ (October 1999) and ‘The trouble with science’ (November 1999)
  • ‘Conceptions of Disability in Medieval Europe’, paper presented March 1999 for History of Medicine and Health Research Seminar, organised by Mr Robert Arnott, University of Birmingham
  • ‘Responses to disability in medieval Europe: between magic and medicine’, paper presented March 1999, as part of ‘Magic Medicine – Medicine Magic’ series organised by Dr Helen King, Department of Classics, University of Reading
  • Session moderator ‘Medieval Approaches to the Other World’, Leeds International Medieval Congress, July 1998
  • ‘The disabled body in medieval Europe’, as part of Postgraduate Seminars on Theory and Method, Institute of Historical Research, London, paper presented October 1997
  • ‘Hot Climate and Medieval Travel literature’, paper presented at Leeds International Medieval Congress, July 1996

Papers presented (abroad):

  • ‘In/Visible Difference: The Problem of Uncovering Medieval Intellectual Disability’, paper at 9th Annual International Workshop on Disease, Disability and Medicine in Medieval Europe, University of Bremen, 4-6 December 2015
  • ‘Nicht das klassische Ideal: Behinderte Körper im Spannungsfeld zwischen klassischer und mittelalterlicher Darstellung’, evening lecture at Winckelmann-Museum, Stendal, Germany, 11 June 2014, organised by the Winckelmann-Gesellschaft
  • Invited presentation on cognitive disability in the Middle Ages at workshop ‘Dis/ability History und Medizingeschichte. Begriffe – Konzepte – Modelle’, Bremen, 16-17 September 2013, part of the Creative Unit led by Prof. Dr. Nolte
  • ‘Medieval Blindness and the Law: Visual impairment in canon law and civil jurisprudence, and as judicial consequence’, invited paper at international colloquium on ‘The History of Blindness and the Blind’, at the Fondation Singer-Polignac, Paris, 26-30 July 2013; videos of all the conference presentations, with translations into both English and French, are available here
  • ‘Incorporating Medieval Disability Studies into the Classroom’, participant in roundtable at 48th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, 9-12 May 2013
  • ‘Mental Disability and Intellectual Impairment in the Middle Ages: Some Preliminary Research Findings’, paper at 48th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, 9-12 May 2013 (very kindly, Sandra Alvarez posted notes taken during the talk on medievalists.net)
  • Invited paper ‘Disability in the Middle Ages and Cultural History’ at academic evaluation panel for project proposal ‘Disability in Premodern Societies: Materials, Problems and Approaches’, at the University of Bremen, 23-24 Nov 2012
  • ‘Concluding Remarks’, invited speaker at ‘Infirmitas. Social and Cultural Approaches to Cure, Caring and Health’, the Fifth Passages from Antiquity to the Middle Ages conference, University of Tampere, Finland, 23-25 Aug 2012
  • Invited paper in session ‘The Representation of Disability in the Middle Ages’, at Medieval Academy of America annual meeting, St. Louis University, 22-24 March 2012
  • ‘Behinderte Menschen im Mittelalter: Momente der Alltagsgeschichte zwischen Bedürftigkeit und Mißtrauen’, public evening lecture (öffentlicher Abendvortrag) at University of Bremen (Germany), conference ‘LeibEigenschaften‘, 1-3 Mar 2012
  • ‘Bildliche Darstellungen des (nicht)behinderten Bettlers im Martinswunder im Rahmen mittelalterlicher Mentalitäten’, paper at University of Konstanz (Germany), colloquium ‘Andere Bilder/ Bilder des Anderen. Zur sozio-medialen Konstruktion von Behinderung’, 16-17 June 2011
  • ‘ “Hartz IV im 15. Jhd.”: Behinderung und Armut im Hoch- und Spätmittelalter. Die Schnittpunkte von pauperes, impotentes und debilitates‘, invited paper at University of Bremen, organised by DFG-funded project ‘Homo debilis’, 19 Nov 2009
  • ‘Medieval hermaphrodites: Intersex in medical, legal, and philosophical discourse of the European Middle Ages’, invited paper at American Historical Association annual conference, Washington DC, 3-6 Jan 2008
  • ‘Perceptions of deafness in the central middle ages’, invited paper at University of Bremen (Germany), conference ‘Homo debilis: Behinderte – Kranke – Versehrte in der Gesellschaft des Mittelalters’, 26-28 Sep 2007
Teaching:
  • ‘Working with Images as Medical Source Material’, a Postgraduate/ Postdoctoral Workshop, facilitated together with Dr David Turner (Swansea), to thrash out some of the intellectual and practical problems faced by those working in the area of medical humanities and who work with digital copies of medical manuscripts (14 June 2012, part of Swansea university’s Symposium by the Sea)
  • Gastdozentin at the university of Bremen, Germany, teaching an intensive Blockseminar (28 hours over 5 days) on disability in medieval Europe to around 30 students on the BA and MA modules (18-22 July 2011)
  • Presentation to primary school pupils in year 3 on John Free, fifteenth-century Bristol-born humanist and Oxford graduate who travelled to Italy in pursuit of classical Latin (April 2011), a talk given with some trepidation since no gathering of eminent academics can compare in brutal criticism to a room full of schoolchildren, as failure to engage them in the first 10 seconds means you’ve had it – thankfully for me they were fascinated!
  • Course tutor, ‘Discovering the Middle Ages through The Name of the Rose’, for the Centre for Continuing Education of the university of Reading (1998)
  • Course tutor, ‘The Cinematic Middle Ages: the Middle Ages on Film’, for the Centre for Continuing Education of the university of Reading (1998), a rather ambitious course on the portrayal of the medieval period in European and US cinema delivered at a time before it became fashionable to offer such interdisciplinary topics
  • Seminar tutor and essay supervisor in the department of History, university of Reading, teaching and assessing the work of first year undergraduate students on medieval British history (1998) and that of second years on medieval European history (1997)
  • Training staff and students at the university of Reading in how to use a number of IT applications, e.g. MS Office packages, email, Internet browsers, in a variety of regular sessions delivered between 1996 and 2000, plus a one-off specialist seminar on the technology behind the Internet (as it was way back then in 2000!)
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