On Friday, March 29, at 11 a.m., Sarah Handley‐Cousins ’07, Ph.D. will return to campus to present “Disability and the American Civil War,” as part of the “There and Then” Wells College Biannual History Lecture Series. Her talk, which will take place in 307 Zabriskie Hall, will be followed by snacks and discussion.
The Civil War has long been associated with disability—after all, piles of disembodied limbs feature heavily on battlefield tours, military histories, even television and film depictions. We often assume that disabled veterans held places of honor in the mid‐19th-century America, but the experience of disability in the Civil War era was not quite so simple. Disabled soldiers walked a fine line between honor and emasculation, and their struggle helps us to better understand the Civil War and its aftermath.
Sarah Handley‐Cousins '07 is a clinical assistant professor of history and associate director of the Center for Disability Studies at the University at Buffalo. She is also an editor for the history blog Nursing Clio and a producer of Dig: A History Podcast.