TOC (Journal): Zeithistorische Forschungen/Studies in Contemporary History 19 (2022), 2: Disability History

Jan-Holger Kirsch's picture

Dear readers,

only recently has contemporary history research begun to take into account the structural category of disability, its intersections, and the history of people living with disabilities or chronic illnesses. The contributions to the special issue demonstrate the range that the disability history perspective could achieve in contemporary history research. Characteristic are the activist origins of the research field, which many researchers continue to follow, but disability history is basically connectable to all subfields and approaches of historical scholarship. It can broaden the spectrum of historiographical approaches, serve as a corrective to previous master narratives about the sociocultural dynamics of the recent past, and be both a partial history and a new comprehensive approach to the study of historical societies and cultures. For all the controversy over the heuristic scope of this concept, ›disability‹ is understood as contingent and historical. Moreover, historical scholarship as an instance of social reflection has the task of focusing precisely on the system of science, which not only exhibits numerous mechanisms of exclusion, but is also significantly involved in the definition and constitution of disability. In contemporary history, for example, disability history is able to convey how a more comprehensive inclusion of the topic of (non-)disability can be designed and how the category of disability can be addressed in its complexity.

The articles in this special issue highlight the innovative potential of disability history, partly on the basis of empirical examples and partly on a theoretical level. Case studies deal, for example, with the activism of deaf industrial workers in the 1930s in the USSR, with housing, work, and vacations of people with disabilities in the GDR, and with wheelchairs as material sources for a contemporary history of human-thing relations. In theoretical-methodological terms, the possibilities of an intersectional disability history and the inverted perspective of a critical ability history are discussed, among other topics.

Ideas for contributions and manuscript submissions (in German or English) on the entire spectrum of contemporary history are always welcome for future issues. Please note the more detailed information at


Zeithistorische Forschungen/Studies in Contemporary History

Jahrgang/Volume 19 (2022)

Heft/Issue 2: Disability History


Herausgeber:innen dieses Hefts/Editors of this issue:

Sebastian Barsch/Elsbeth Bösl/Gabriele Lingelbach/Raphael Rössel


Sebastian Barsch/Elsbeth Bösl

Disability History.

Behinderung sichtbar machen: Emanzipationsbewegung und Forschungsfeld

(Druckausgabe: S. 219-234)




Michael Rembis

‘We Had Very Good Times Together’.

A Mad People’s History of Life on Asylum Wards in the Early-Twentieth Century United States

(Druckausgabe: S. 235-258)


Claire Shaw

Take Care of Your Hearing!

Fighting Deafness in the Stalinist 1930s

(Druckausgabe: S. 259-280)


Ulrike Winkler

Für „unsere Menschen“?

Materielle Barrieren und deren Abbau im Alltag von Menschen mit Behinderungen in der DDR

(Druckausgabe: S. 281-302)


Gabriele Lingelbach/Raphael Rössel

Kuren, Rüsten, Urlaube.

Freizeiten behinderter Menschen und ihrer Familien in Ost- und Westdeutschland

(Druckausgabe: S. 303-327)





Sebastian Schlund

Intersektionale Disability History.

Genese und Methoden zwischen normativer Kritik und innovativem Potential

(Druckausgabe: S. 328-340)


Nina Mackert

Critical Ability History.

(Druckausgabe: S. 341-354)

Für eine Zeitgeschichte der Fähigkeitsnormen





Pia Schmüser

Bitten und Fordern.

Eingaben als Quellen für die Alltagsgeschichte von Menschen mit Behinderungen in der DDR

(Druckausgabe: S. 355-366)


Nicholas Watson

Access Activism.

The Politicization of Wheelchairs and Wheelchair Users in the Twentieth Century

(Druckausgabe: S. 367-379)





Neu gelesen/Literature Revisited:

Esme Cleall

Decolonising Deaf History.

Harlan Lane, Postcolonialism, and Critical Colonial History

(Druckausgabe: S. 380-387)


Neu gesehen/Film & TV Revisited:

Raphael Rössel

„Das muß ertragen werden“.

Die Serie „Unser Walter“ (ZDF 1974) und die Familiarisierung von Behinderungen

(Druckausgabe: S. 388-397)



Rezensionen bei H-Soz-Kult/Zeitgeschichte“

(Druckausgabe: S. 398-400)


Neu bei Docupedia-Zeitgeschichte“, „Visual History“ und zeitgeschichte | online

(Druckausgabe: S. 401)



Extra: Besprechungen/Reviews


Neu gelesen/Literature Revisited:

Philipp Sarasin

Schlecht gealtert.

Joseph Weizenbaums „Die Macht der Computer und die Ohnmacht der Vernunft“ (1976/78)

(Druckausgabe: S. 402-410)



Gesamtregister der Rubrik „Neu gelesen (2004–2022):