2016 DHA Outstanding Book Award

The DHA publication award committee faced an especially difficult challenge this year. It received the most submissions to date, reflecting both the breadth and the depth of the rich and growing field of disability history.

After careful consideration, the committee found that one book rose to the top of this very competitive field. Congratulations to Sara Scalenghe’s Disability in the Ottoman Arab World, 1500-1800 (Cambridge University Press, 2014), the 2016 DHA Outstanding Book Award!

Comments from the prize committee:

“[Disability in the Ottoman Arab World, 1500-1800 is an] excellent contribution to disability history that helps open up a new and much needed non-Western (and preindustrial) perspective in the field. Beautifully written in clear and accessible prose, Scalenghe’s book is also a very enjoyable read.”

“Wonderful intervention on disability history: unique for its non-Western and pre-modern focus (as well as its points about “academic imperialism” in disability history)… Terrific examples and analysis of contingencies and ‘loopholes’ in Ottoman legal practices and categories.”

“…accessible and informative. [Disability in the Ottoman Arab World] continues the important work of globalizing disability studies; it opens up new possibilities for comparative approaches; and it challenges the category of disability itself.”


Paul K. Longmore, Telethons: Spectacle, Disability, and the Business of Charity (Oxford University Press, 2016)

The prize committee remarked:

“[Telethons is a] superb study and a model of how to write disability history. Longmore’s book will surely be consulted by disability scholars and historians for years to come. Engagingly written and full of profound insights into a wide range of issues, it compellingly demonstrates the significance of disability to modern American culture.”

“… in-depth look at a common cultural phenomenon in America, impressive research and consideration of different factors (gender/social class, etc.), well-written and cited… [Longmore makes an] important intervention into the links between politics, the media, and private interests in constructing and presenting disability in modern U.S. discourse.”

Thanks to Cathy Kudlick and a dedicated group of disability scholars for working on bringing this book to publication and for making sure that Paul’s legacy, scholarship and impact upon our field and its genesis, lives on. Congratulations and deep felt gratitude to Paul for his monumental contributions to our field.