Those they called Idiots: the idea of the disabled mind from 1700 to the present day

 We are delighted to announce the online launch of Simon Jarrett’s acclaimed new book, Those they called Idiots: the idea of the disabled mind from 1700 to the present day (Reaktion Books)

6.30pm – 7.30pm, Thursday 28th January 2021

Online. To register contact Katy Pettit

This event shall be recorded; by registering you consent to being recorded

Jarrett’s study of the history of the people known as ‘idiots’ in the past and ‘people with learning disabilities’ today has been described as ‘mesmerizing’ (Joanna Bourke), ‘magisterial’ (Daily Telegraph) and a ‘humane history… elegant and provocative’ (David Turner)

The launch will be chaired by Birkbeck historian Julia Laite, and will include an interview with Simon Jarrett by Professor Joanne Bourke, a contribution by author and journalist Saba Salman and an ‘in conversation’ discussion by leading theatre director and writer Stephen Unwin and  author/ researcher/ parent activist Sara Ryan.

Reaktion Books will be offering discounted copies on the night. Reaktion Books

Joanna Bourke – Professor of History at Birkbeck and author of What it means to be Human (amongst many other things)

Julia Laite – Birkbeck Director of the Raphael Samuel History Centre, Reader in Modern History at Birkbeck, and author of  Common Prostitutes and Ordinary Citizens (amongst many other things)

Stephen Unwin – Theatre and Opera Director, founder of English Touring Theatre and Rose Theatre, Kingston, author of the play All our Children about the Nazi genocide of disabled people, and father of Joey.

Saba Salman, author and freelance journalist, writing for the Guardian and Independent amongst others, specialist in learning disability, welfare and community issues, editor of the anthology Made Possible: stories of success by people with learning disabilities – in their own words, and sister of Raana

Sara Ryan, Associate Professor in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, researcher, author and parent activist . She wrote about the preventable death of her son Connor in Justice for Laughing Boy  and has just published Love, Learning Disabilities and Pockets of Brilliance.

@SimonJarrett6   @ReaktionBooks    @RSHistCentre

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