LINGUIST List 26.3011

Wed Jun 24 2015

FYI: Digital Medieval Disability Glossary

Editor for this issue: Ashley Parker <>

Date: 24-Jun-2015
From: Moira Fitzgibbons <>
Subject: Digital Medieval Disability Glossary
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The Digital Medieval Disability Glossary working group invites graduate and undergraduate course projects exploring specific disability-related terms for potential inclusion in the Glossary. Participants in courses on the history of the English language and in medieval languages and cultures are particularly encouraged to submit contributions to this collaborative web-based project.

The Glossary seeks to “tell the story” of medieval terms used for embodied difference, illness, and impairment. Building on invaluable resources such as the Middle English Dictionary and Oxford English Dictionary, the Glossary will function as an accessible resource demonstrating the complexity of medieval attitudes toward bodies, minds, and communities.

As indicated in its preliminary Wiki version, the Glossary contains entries developed by faculty and students at Southeastern University (guided by Dr. Cameron Hunt McNabb), Miami University at Hamilton (Dr. Tory V. Pearman), and George Washington University (Dr. Jonathan Hsy). In each instance, entries provide straightforward definitions of the terms under consideration; broader insights into each word’s use and evolution; and a list of works cited/resources for further study. The working group is currently engaged in converting the Wiki into a full-fledged web resource.

The project provides students and faculty with the opportunity to participate in the creation of a vital new resource in the digital humanities. Entries should focus primarily on the term’s functioning within a medieval context (ca. roughly 700-1500 C.E.). Analysis of terms drawn from a wide variety of medieval languages are welcome. At this point, we ask that entries be written in English. Sample assignments that have been used to generate existing entries are available upon request.

The Glossary working group will conduct open peer review of entries. All faculty and student contributors to entries will be credited by name on the site. Proposed entries may be sent on a rolling basis. Ideally, material from Fall 2015 courses would be sent by January 31, 2016; from Spring 2016 courses, by June 30, 2016.

To learn more about this project or to submit an entry, please consult the Wiki at and contact Dr. Jonathan Hsy (George Washington University) at & Dr. Moira Fitzgibbons (Marist College) at

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics

Language Family(ies): Indo-European

Page Updated: 24-Jun-2015