Tag Archive

disability history

Who Should Tell the Story? The Pennhurst Haunted Asylum and the Pennhurst Museum in Public History

, ,

The Pennhurst Haunted Asylum and the Pennhurst Museum, operated by Pennhurst LLC in collaboration with the Pennhurst Memorial and Preservation Alliance (PMPA), exist side-by-side on the grounds of the shuttered Pennhurst State School and Hospital in Spring City, Pennsylvania. The sites might seem to have opposite goals: one to frighten and entertain, the other to educate about past wrongs. Read More

Preserving Intellectual Disability History: The Elwyn Archives and Museum

, ,

Founded in 1852 as the Pennsylvania Training School for Feeble-Minded Children, Elwyn is the oldest continuously operating educational facility for people with intellectual disabilities in the United States. Today, headquartered just outside Philadelphia, it is a large multi-state provider of community-based and residential supports to people with a wide range of disabilities. Read More

Origins of the Pennhurst Memorial and Preservation Alliance

, ,

Many countries have erected memorials to the state-sponsored suffering of their citizens, such as the Gedenkstaette memorial in Dachau, Germany and Freedom Park in Pretoria, South Africa. For more than 150 years, millions of Americans with developmental disabilities were segregated, isolated, neglected, and abused in overcrowded, state-funded institutions, as poignantly detailed in disability rights scholar Burton Blatt’s Christmas in Purgatory. Read More

Interpreting our Disabled Heritage: Disability and the National Park Service

, , , , ,

For nearly four years, I have collaborated with the National Park Service to embrace the culture and history of people with disabilities represented by its 400+ parks, historic sites, monuments, and battlefields. During my summer 2020 internship with the NPS, I contributed to this effort by writing an annotated bibliography on American disability history. Read More

Science and disability Q&A: Part 2

, , , , ,

Editor’s note: this is the second in a two-part series based on a conversation between our Digital Media Editor, Nicole Belolan, and Jessica Martucci, a researcher at the Science History Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  

NB: How do you think this project defines or redefines disability, and who does the defining? Read More

Over-the-hill canes and ideal bodies: teaching disability history as public history

, , , ,

Editor’s note: The post is the sixth in a series commissioned by The Public Historian that focuses on essays published in TPH that have been used effectively in the classroom. We welcome comments and further suggestions! If you have a TPH article that is a favorite in your classroom, please let us know. Read More