Disability, Prostheses, and Patenting

18-19 September 2014

Leeds City Museum

(Registration required)

Day 1, 18th September

12.30 – 1.15pm, Lunch

1.15 – 1.30pm, Introduction and Outline

Claire Jones (University of Leeds/KCL)

1.30 – 2.30pm, Session 1: Hearing aids in the Nineteenth Century (Chair/commentator: Mara Mills, NYU)

 ‘Use, Wear and Adaptation: Interpreting aids to the deaf In Victorian Britain’

Karen Sayer (Leeds Trinity)

“You can’t see them—they’re invisible!” Patenting Artificial Eardrums in Britain and America, 1850-1930

Jai Virdi (University of Toronto)

2.30 – 2.45pm, Coffee

2.45 – 4.15pm, Session 2: Hearing and Visual Aids in the Twentieth Century (Chair/commentator: Karen Sayer, Leeds Trinity)

“A Pen that Reads”: Blind Aids as Assistive Pretexts

Mara Mills (New York)

Amplified telephony: the Contest Between Post Office Provision and Unpatented Invention 1936-1937.

Coreen McGuire (University of Leeds) 

Recovering the Early Rhetorics of Disability, Prosthesis, and Intellectual Property: the Discourses of the 19th and Early-20th Century Hearing Aids in Britain and the United States

Sushil Oswal (University of Washington)

4.30 – 6pm, Public Panel Debate

Museums and the Display of Disability

Jocelyn Dodd, (Research Centre for Museums and Galleries, School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester)

Nicky Reeves, (The Hunterian, University of Glasglow)

Rosie Sherrington, (English Heritage, Disability in Time and Place project)


Day 2, 19th September

9.30 – 10.30am, Session 3: Disability and Prostheses in the Nineteenth Century (Chair/commentator – Zorina Khan (Bowdoin College, Brunswick ME))

Derenzy’s “One-Handed Apparatus” and the Publication of Material Technologies for Disability in the Early Nineteenth Century

Laurel Daen (College of William & Mary, Williamsberg, Virgina)

“Non-medical men, or medical speculators in patents”:The Business and Ethics of Antebellum Artificial Limbs

Caroline Lieffers (Yale University) 

10.30 – 11.30am Session 4: Disability and Prostheses in Nineteenth Century Literature (Chair/commentator: Jamie Stark)

Disabling the Stigma: Charles Dickens and Disability in Victorian London

Kristen Starkowski (Princeton University)

An Exegesis on Prosthesis in Victorian Marriage Plots

Ryan Sweet (University of Exeter) 

11. 30 – 11.45am, Coffee

11.45 – 1.15pm, Session 5: Disability and Prostheses in the Twentieth Century (Chair/commentator: Graeme Gooday)

Amputation in the First World War and Patented Practice

Julie Anderson (University of Kent)

The “Moment of Recovery” in American Campaigns Against Colon Cancer in the 1950s

David Cantor (NIH)

Access to Assisting Technologies for Disabled Persons: Role of Patent System

Rujitha Shenoy (Gujarat National Law University)

1.15 – 2.15pm Lunch

2.15 – 3.15pm, Closing Discussion: ‘What can we learn from the history of patenting and disability?’ (Chair: Graeme Gooday)

Mara Mills, Zorina Khan, Claire Jones

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