India Whiteley (QMUL) - 2022-23 Students

Disability and the Home: Space, Domesticity, and Identity in London 1840 - 1945

This project will study the urban history of disability at home in London from 1840-1945. Based at the Centre for Studies of Home, a partnership between Queen Mary and the Museum of the Home, it will be the first research project to analyse the museum’s collections in relation to disability.

The research will make an original contribution to broader debates about home, housing, disability and the city through its analysis of the lived experience and spatial politics of home for people living with physical and cognitive disabilities in the century before the founding of the National Health Service. The project will recover the ways in which home and domesticity were experienced by people with various kinds of physical and cognitive disabilities. It will also chart how the experiences of living with disabilities at home were shaped by broader forces including urbanization, industrialization, and nationalism as well as ideologies such as self-help and the eugenics movement.

The research will focus on the lives of people with disabilities in urban domestic settings; diversify knowledge about urban homes and domestic life beyond able-bodied, middle-class lives; and establish how attitudes toward the accommodation of disability have evolved in the UK.

Primary academic supervisor: Matthew Rubery
Secondary academic supervisor: Alison Blunt
Collaborative Partner lead contact: Danielle Patten
Collaborative Partner supervisor: Rebecca Jacobs

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