Monthly Archives: July 2015

Guide Dogs, State Socialism, and Disability Studies

guest post by Monika Baár  read Monika’s article in the May 2015 issue of the journal No one would question today that the concepts of class, race and gender are indispensable for historical analysis, but for quite some time mainstream scholarship was reluctant to embrace the work of historians who had made innovative use of those notions. Over the last few decades, the burgeoning interdisciplinary field of disability studies has added another useful concept to the scholarly toolbox which has opened up new vistas for uncovering the underlying values of society. Nevertheless, the study of disability has not yet fully found its way into the disciplinary confines of history. Many a historian would consider such research ‘grim’, ‘obscure’ and ‘not exactly prestigious’. Not so long ago perhaps I was myself not immune to these prejudices and my interest in this topic did not develop organically, but was sparked by serendipity. In fact, the article which appeared in the May 2015 issue of Past and Present ‘Disability and Civil Courage under State Socialism: the Scandal over the Hungarian Guide-Dog School’ was my first excursion into the subject. It evolved from my interest in the history of guide dogs for the blind (a […]