Meet the Speakers
Find out more about the speakers at Invisible and Under-Represented
Find out more about the speakers at Invisible and Under-Represented
* Please note that speaker biographies are organised alphabetically according to the surnames of each speaker.
Day 1: Tuesday 22nd March 2022
Philippa Campsie is an adjunct professor in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto and a freelance writer and researcher. Her interest in Charles Barbier began when she was given access to his papers in Paris, and she pursued her research at the Association Valentin Haüy, the Institut National des Jeunes Aveugles, and the Musée Louis Braille. Her article, “Charles Barbier: A Hidden Story” was published by Disability Studies Quarterly in June 2021. She is currently at work on a longer treatment of Barbier’s life and inventions.
Dr Rafie Cecillia
Dr Rafie Cecilia is a researcher at UCL and the Global Disability Innovation Hub. Her research examines how visually impaired museum visitors make meaning of their visit through embodied experiences of technology. She has extensive experience working in museums, conducting audience research projects, coordinating public engagement activities, and university teaching. Rafie collaborates with Wellcome Collection, the Fitzwilliam Museum, and the British Museum as an audience researcher and access consultant. She is an advocate for equality, social justice, and sustainable change, and her work is in service to the idea that cultural heritage must be accessible to everyone in society.
I’m currently completing the RCA’s MA programme in History of Design and Material Culture. Run jointly with the V&A Museum, this offers an environment that fosters interdisciplinarity as well as being rich in access to objects and their curators. Beyond the primary focus of the research interest informing my paper, I’m involved in several projects looking to address issues of structural inequality; this includes participation in a V&A led forum addressing racist representations in the decorative ceramics collection, and co-leading an across-college workshop on this subject. Another recent project, on 1970s cotton-use, bears more relation to my decade-spanning career as a vintage clothing dealer. Before that, I worked in branding, including within the team that developed the Olympic/Paralympic logo for London 2012.
Miriam is in the process of writing up her PhD at Cardiff University, undertaking a collaborative doctoral award with the National Museum Wales – Amgueddfa Cymru. Her research is concerned with process of meaning-making and communication in museum galleries and representation of disabled people in museum spaces. In particular, she is interested in how museums engage with ideas around disability in the past and present, and how this affects disabled visitors.
Dr Amber Lloydlangston
Dr. Amber Lloydlangston is curator of regional history at Museum London, a position she has held since 2014. Prior to that, Amber worked for 10 years at the Canadian War Museum as an assistant historian. Amber holds a Master of Museum Studies from the University of Toronto and a Doctorate in history from the University of Ottawa. In addition to her position at Museum London, Amber also teaches "Introduction to Museology," a course within Western University's Master of Public History program, as well as "Museums in Context," a course offered as part of the Ontario Museums Association's Certificate in Museum Studies.
Katherine Ott is a queer, typically abled, white curator in the Division of Medicine and Science at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. She thinks, talks, and writes about how and why people in the past were tagged for being different—because of disease, gender, disability, sexuality, race, or just being annoying. It is clear that ableism is so deeply embedded in museums that it is hard to flag it without threatening the very nature of museums. She has published on the history of disability, medicine and material culture, and tweets sporadically @amhistcurator. Among the exhibitions that she has curated are ones on the history of disability, HIV and AIDS, polio, acupuncture, Special Olympics, and the Stonewall anniversary.
Henriette Pleiger has been working as an exhibition curator and manager at the Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (www.bundeskunsthalle.de) in Bonn, Germany, since 2002. In this position she has co-curated and organized several large temporary exhibitions often combining art, cultural history and science. She is currently studying for a PhD Museum Practice at the Institute for Cultural Practices at the University of Manchester (6thyear part-time). Her PhD research project is titled ‘Interdisciplinary Exhibitions and the Production of Knowledge.’
Emma is a second year ESRC funded PhD student at Durham University researching communal experiences of mortality crises in early modern North East England, using a combination of demographic analysis and qualitative methods. Her autoethnographic study for this paper was influenced by her experiences as part of an interdisciplinary student-led autoethnography group throughout the pandemic.
Day 2: Wednesday 23rd March 2022
Jenna is completing her PhD at the University of Brighton, researching amateur filmmaking at the intersection of queer learning disability. She also completed her BA in Fashion and Dress History and MA in History of Design and Material Culture at the University of Brighton. She works as Associate Lecturer at Northumbria University and as Visiting Lecturer at the University of Brighton, teaching design history/critical theory on Graphic Design, Illustration, 3D Craft and Design and Fashion Design. She is Administrator of the Design History Society and in 2019 completed a six-month AHRC funded placement at the North East Film Archive, UK.
Vicky is currently the CEO of the National Paralympic Heritage Trust and Heritage Centre. Having attended an integrated sixth form disability and inclusion has played a central role in her 30 years working in the arts and heritage sector. The Approach to disability access at the heritage centre is held up as a national centre of excellence.
Jenni has recently completed a PhD undertaken at the University of Leicester, examining how museums in Britain are addressing stories around disability, considering how disabled voices are being heard and integrated within broader narratives. She is working as a community engagement officer at the Old Operating Theatre in London, and her research interest lies in exploring how hidden histories can be shown within museum collections. She runs the twitter account @Our_Objects which aims to showcase the range of objects linked to disability that are held by museums.
Mattie Kennedy is an artist, filmmaker and writer. Living and working in Glasgow, they've so far made five short films, their most recent one being ‘Not Mythmakers’ (2022). Their films focus mainly on Experimental/LGBTQIA+/Learning Disability subjects. They've also started up a blog in which they write essays and creative written work as well as interviews around the learning disability arts community, from a cultural and personal perspective.
A practicing artist since 1972, Nicola uses a variety of media to explore her experience of limb loss and prosthetics, including participation in 2001’s groundbreaking exhibition Adorn Equip, exploring the craft and technology of prosthetics from the users’ point of view. In 2011 she founded Pegleg Productions, and in 2019 became Project Lead for Searching for the Grey Lady: A Ghost from WW1 at the RNOH , researching FWW era traces, objects, and legacies of rehabilitation, and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Due to COVID19 this project has evolved through funding from the Culture Recovery Fund and is ongoing.
Linda Marsh has been involved in the Disabled People’s Movement for 28 years. Her background is as Information / community development worker and trainer. A career change in 2018 led to Linda progressing work on the GMCDP collection of the Disabled People’s Archive.
Dr Philip Milnes-Smith
After a teaching career, mostly working in Special Education, he subsequently qualified as an archivist. He is the Digital Archivist at Shakespeare’s Globe. He also volunteers for the Archives and Records Association, overseeing the publication of their recently published Toolkit for Accessible Learning, and as a Diversity Ally is on working parties including disability access and decolonising catalogues. As freelance archival consultant for Pegleg Productions’ Searching for the Grey Lady project he has been researching the brief history of the Cripples’ Training College at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore.
Dr Aparna Nair
I am a historian of disability, public health, and Empire, and am currently working on my first book Fungible Bodies for the University of Illinois Press on the disability and colonialism in India.
Katie Sawyer is the Access and Inclusion Worker at the Disabled People’s Archive. This project combines both her interests of heritage and disability, after completing an archaeology degree in 2019 and a trainee curatorship in 2020. She then worked as a freelancer for several organisations including Heritage Lincolnshire, Gawthorpe Textile Collection and Astriid.
Professor David Turner
David Turner is Professor of History at Swansea University. He has published 3 books on disability history, most recently Disability in the Industrial Revolution: Physical Impairment in British Coalmining 1780-1880 (Manchester University Press, 2018), co-authored with Daniel Blackie. His work in public disability history includes being academic advisor on Disability: A New History (BBC Radio 4, 2013 and BBC Sounds) and Silenced: The Hidden Story of Disabled Britain (BBC2 TV, 2021). He led a team that co-curated an exhibition, From Pithead to Sickbed and Beyond: the Buried History of Disability in Welsh Coalmining Before the NHS, with Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales. He has also supported various archives in winning funding to have medical and disability history collections catalogued and conserved.