Martha Stoddard Holmes is Professor and Department Chair of Literature and Writing Studies at California State University, San Marcos, where she teaches British literature, body studies, film, and children’s literature. She has also taught medical humanities at Dartmouth and UCSD medical schools. Author of Fictions of Affliction: Physical Disability in Victorian Culture (U Michigan Press, 2004/2009) and coeditor of The Teacher’s Body: Embodiment, Authority, and Identity in the Academy (SUNY Press, 2003), she has published extensively on the cultural history of the body from Victorian representations of disability to the public culture of cancer in the twenty-first century. A past recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellowship, as well as Summer Faculty Institute Awards from the NEH and National Institutes of Health, Stoddard Holmes is an Associate Editor of Literature and Medicine, Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, Journal of Medical Humanities, and Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies.
David Wright is Professor of History and Canada Research Chair at McGill University, Montreal, where he holds a joint appointment in the Department of History and the Institute for Health and Social Policy. Dr Wright is an historian by training, having graduated from McGill University and the University of Oxford. As a post-doctoral research fellow he specialized in the history of medicine at Oxford’s Wellcome Unit whilst holding an honorary appointment in the Faculty of Modern History and a Junior Research Fellowship at Linacre College. In 1996, he was appointed Wellcome Trust Award Holder (Wellcome Lecturer) at the University of Nottingham before returning to Canada to take up the Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario (1999-2011).
Dr Wright has had an active research career, with grants from various organizations and funding councils including: The Wellcome Trust; Canadian Institutes for Health Research; Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada; and Associated Medical Services (Hannah Foundation for the History of Medicine), Toronto. He is the author and co-editor of eight books and three dozen peer reviewed articles, chapters, and guest introductions, primarily on the history of mental disability and mental hospitals. He is the former Chair of the international Society for the Social History of Medicine and former Associate Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, McMaster University. His latest book -- DOWNS: The History of a Disability -- was published in 2011 by Oxford University Press.
Professor Vanessa Toulmin is founder and director of the National Fairground Archive at the University of Sheffield Library and Chair in Early Film and Popular Entertainment. She is also Head of Cultural Engagement for the University of Sheffieldand. She has acted as specialist advisor for heritage and regeneration for Blackpool Council for the last five years and is the author of fifteen book and numerious articles on 19th century popular entertaiment. Vanessa has written about the venues of entertainment culture, the overlap between early film and entertainment culture with particular reference to the 19th century and is the author of Electric Edwardians: The story of the Mitchell & Kenyon Collection and three book on the history of Blackpool as a resort with the most recent being on Blackpool Tower. Professor Toulmin has acted as co-producer for both the BBc and Channel 4 on the issues and history of the fairground sideshow with reference to the 'f'reak show and its history and representations. TV documentaries include Born Freak for Channel 4, All the Fun of the Fair for Timeshift, the Circus Comes to Town and the History of the Elephant Man for Discovery Channel. The National Fairground Archive holds the largest material relating to sideshow performers in the United Kingdom consisting of over 6000 images, handbills and biographical details.
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