Other Bodies: Disability and Bodily Impairment in Early and Medieval China

What constituted ‘disability’ in early and medieval China? What were the limits of ability and disability in the eyes of Chinese society of the time? How were physical and mental impairments perceived and how (or to what extent) were the disabled to be cared for? This workshop brings together academics to discuss these questions and examine topics relating to disability and bodily impairment in early and medieval Chinese history, with an eye on their socio-political implications. Drawing on the field of Disability History, we examine ‘disability’ not merely as an individual ailment but as a social construct, which in turn sheds light on the cultural values and worldviews of a given society.

Please join us online, 19-21 April 2021. Attendance is free (but registration required).

For registration, please contact Dr Avital Rom at ahr33@cam.ac.uk or fill in the form in the following link:


Roel Sterckx (University of Cambridge)
Robin D.S. Yates (McGill University)
Olivia Milburn (Seoul National University)
Mark G. Pitner (Elmira College)
Leslie Wallace (Coastal Carolina University)
Michael Hoeckelmann (Friedrich-Alexander Universität)
Jesse Chapman (NYU)
Avital Rom (University of Cambridge/ Needham Research Institute)

Session Moderators:
Wai-yee Li (Harvard University)
Uffe Bergeton (University of North Carolina)
Christian Laes (University of Manchester)