Call for applicants: DHA Mentorship program

The Disability History Association’s Mentorship Program was founded as part of the American Historical Association’s Advisory Committee on Disability, to assist in facilitating network connections between graduate students and established faculty working on disability history. 

Mentoring is a crucial process of academic learning. For graduate students, it offers an opportunity to ask questions about challenges they may face in the duration of their career: doing research, preparing for their exams and defense, learning about effective teaching strategies, dealing with administrative roadblocks, and more. For faculty volunteers, mentoring serves as an extension of teaching skills and presents an opportunity to guide rising scholars in the field. 

The DHA Mentorship Program aims to match volunteer mentors with students who are either pursuing a graduate degree in the same subfield of history or who have the same disability, if that information is disclosed. The mentor is not meant to replace or interfere with the supervisor-student relationship, but rather to serve as a helpful resource in the field for general advice and professional development. 

This informal Program is based on communication through email, phone, or Skype. The frequency and mode of contact will depend on the mentee and mentor, but DHA recommends it must be no less than 1-2 hours every 4-6 weeks for at least a year.



  • Graduate students doing a MA or PhD in history, disability history, history of science or history of medicine with a specialization in disability history. Students working in related disciplines, such as American studies, historical sociology, historical anthropology, or material culture studies are also welcome. Students working outside the U.S. are welcome to apply.
  • Demonstrated an interest in developing a career as a researcher and teacher/faculty in the history of disability
  • Students with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply


  • Scholars worldwide working in the area of disability history or related fields 
  • Faculty with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply

To apply, please send an email to Dr. Jaipreet Virdi, director of the Mentorship Program at with a short paragraph outlining:

  • Your name, affiliation, and email
  • Your field of study/program, year of graduation (mentees), and area(s) of specialty.
  • What do you aim to achieve from this program?
  • If so desired, you are welcome to disclose your disability/disabilities 
  • For mentors: how many mentees are you willing to take on if they are a good match? (DHA recommendation is 1-3) 

Applications for the fall semester are due AUGUST 19. Mentee-mentor matches will be set by September 1. The next round of applications will be in December for a January match. 

If you have any questions, please contact the director of the Mentorship Program, Dr. Jaipreet Virdi at

A Word Document of this call is available here.

Podcast Episode 13 – Disability, Childhood, and an African American Prodigy

Disability History Association Podcast – Episode 13 (June 2019): Disability, Childhood, and an African American Prodigy

Camille Owens (Yale University) tells the story of nineteenth-century child performer Oscar Moore.

Download mp3 here.
Download pdf transcript here

Camille S. Owens is a PhD Candidate in African American Studies and American Studies at Yale University. Her dissertation, “Blackness and the Human Child: Race, Prodigy, and the Logic of American Childhood,” traces a genealogy of 19th- and 20th-century black prodigy performances to explore intersections of race and child-development as measures of the Human.

Podcast Episode 12 – Disability History in Scotland

Disability History Association Podcast – Episode 12 (May 2019): Disability History in Scotland

Iain Hutchison (University of Glasgow) discusses his work on disability history in Scotland.

Download mp3 here.
Download pdf transcript here.

Iain Hutchison completed his undergraduate degree as a mature student in 2000, at the University of Strathclyde, where he remained until completion of his PhD in 2004. He is currently a research affiliate at the University of Glasgow. He is a board member of the Disability History Association, and reviews editor for H-Disability.

More information about the Seeing Our History podcasts, and particularly the theme song, can be found at

[Music: Easygoing by Nicolai Heidlas Music | | Creative Commons — Attribution 4.0 International]

Podcast Episode 11 – Deafness, Quackery, and More!

Disability History Association Podcast – Episode 11 (April 2019): Deafness, Quackery, and More!

Jaipreet Virdi (University of Delaware) discusses her new book, the power of social media, teaching disability history, and more.

Audio is not available for this episode. Please download the pdf transcript here.

Jaipreet Virdi is an Assistant Professor of history of medicine, technology, and disability at the University of Delaware. She received a B.A. from York University, a M.A. and PhD from the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology at the University of Toronto. She is currently completing her first book, Hearing Happiness: Fakes, Frauds, and Fads in Deafness Cures, to be published by the University of Chicago Press. She is also working on three other projects: Objects of Disability, an online resource database of historical artifacts used by, and/or crafted by disabled people; a second book project, From Prevention to Conservation: American Research on Hearing Impairment, 1910-1960, which focuses on collaborative programs that constructed hearing loss as a public health issue; and a co-authored project with Dr. Coreen McGuire on scientific research on deafness, nutrition deficiencies, and breathlessness, titled Instrumental Injustices: Women Scientists and the Politics of Disability in Interwar Britain. She is also Contributing Editor of the journal Pharmacy in History and Co-Editor of Communiqué, the newsletter of the Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Science. She runs a history of medicine blog,From the Hands of Quacks and is on Twitter as @jaivirdi .

Podcast Episode 10 – Psychiatric Jim Crow

Disability History Association Podcast – Episode 10 (March 2019): Psychiatric Jim Crow

Ayah Nuriddin (Johns Hopkins University) discusses the history of Maryland’s Crownsville State Hospital.

Download mp3 here.
Download pdf transcript here.

Ayah Nuriddin is a PhD candidate in the Department of the History of Medicine, and Graduate Fellow in the Center for Medical Humanities and Social Medicine​ at Johns Hopkins University. For this academic year (2018-19), she is a Dissertation Fellow at the Consortium for the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine (CHSTM). She holds a Masters in History and Masters of Library Science (MLS) from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her dissertation, entitled “Liberation Eugenics: African Americans and the Science of Black Freedom Struggles, 1890-1970,” analyzes African American engagement with eugenics, hereditarian thought, and racial science as part of a broader strategy of racial improvement and black liberation. ​She can be reached via email at or on Twitter @AyahNerd.

[Music: Easygoing by Nicolai Heidlas Music | | Creative Commons — Attribution 4.0 International]