UCL Events


CCHS seminar series: Curating Medieval Mental Disabilities

10 April 2019, 12:30 pm–2:00 pm

Church stained glass window

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to

All | UCL staff | UCL students | UCL alumni | Invitation Only




Cecile Bremont


Room 101
16-18 Gordon Square

Studies of trauma in museums as well as how medieval disability in general is represented in these spaces makes it clear that historical mental disability is underrepresented in heritage spaces. There are many reasons for this. One is the lingering stigma of mental illness and a general reluctance to engage with related subjects. Another is the difficulty in analysing mental disability in historical contexts, especially in time periods prior to psychoanalysis and its terminology. A further significant barrier is how to represent what are often invisible disabilities in a physical manner. Acquiescing to these limitations has the consequence of erasing people with mental disabilities from history, which is both a misrepresentation of the past and damaging to modern peoples.

This talk will introduce the study of medieval mental disabilities and the significance of (mis)representation as well as the possibilities in terms of inclusion in museum spaces..

About the Speaker

Kisha G. Tracy, Associate Professor of English Studies, Fitchburg State University, Dr. Kisha G. Tracy is an Associate Professor of English Studies and Coordinator of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts. She received her Ph.D. in Medieval Studies from the University of Connecticut in 2010. In addition to several articles, her first book was published by Palgrave in 2017 and is entitled Memory and Confession in Middle English Literature. Her other main research interests include medieval disability, particularly mental illness, and the scholarship of teaching and learning. This particular presentation stems both out of an essay published in a recent collection, The State of Museums: Voices from the Field, entitled "Trauma and New England Museums," which begins to collect and analyze the appearance of disability, especially trauma-related, in New England museums of varying sizes and her current book project, The Middle Ages and the Modern Curriculum: Accessing the Medieval Past, under contract with ARC Humanities Press..