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David Turner book Dr David Turner from Swansea University’s Department of History and Classics has won the Disability History Association’s Outstanding Publication Award 2012 for his book, Disability in Eighteenth-Century England: Imagining Physical Impairment (Routledge, 2012).

The prize is awarded to the best book published worldwide in English between 2010 and 2012 on any aspect of disability history. The research for Dr Turner’s book was funded by a prestigious Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Fellowship.

The prize adds to Swansea University’s growing reputation as a centre of international excellence in disability history, and follows the award in 2011 of a grant of nearly £1million from the Wellcome Trust.

The grant was for a research project on ‘Disability and Industrial Society: A Comparative Cultural History of British Coalfields 1780-1948’ led by Professor Anne Borsay of the College of Human and Health Sciences and Dr Turner, which involves collaboration with the Universities of Aberystwyth, Strathclyde and Northumbria.

The Disability History Association’s prize committee said: “The selection committee very much appreciated the book’s wide scope, deep engagement with disability history and theory, and the ways Turner used archival sources both to make an overarching argument and reveal individual stories from both elites and the lower classes. 

“Disability in Eighteenth-Century England weaved the ideas of popular culture and individual representation together in nuanced and often humorous, but always respectful, ways. Turner’s witty and very readable prose combined with his thorough analysis of archival material make Disability in Eighteenth-Century England as a must-read for students and specialists.”

Dr Turner, who is based in the College of Arts and Humanities, said: “I am delighted and honoured to have won this award. My book tries to uncover hidden experiences and cultural meanings of disability in the past and to show the relevance of historical research for understanding issues affecting people with disabilities and their families today.”

To purchase the book visit http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415886444/, and for more information on ‘Disability and Industrial Society: A Comparative Cultural History of British Coalfields 1780-1948’ see http://www.swan.ac.uk/news_centre/latestresearch/disabilityandindustrialsocietyprojectresultsinmillionpoundaward.php, and http://www.swansea.ac.uk/humanandhealthsciences/research/researchcentresandgroups/healthhistoryandculture/healthhistoryandcultureresearchprojects/.