The interviews in this episode of Classics Confidential were recorded at a workshop entitled The Forgotten Other: Disability Studies and the Classical Body. The workshop took place at Kings College in June 2018: it was organised by Dr Ellen Adams, Senior Lecturer in Classical Art & Archaeology at Kings College London, and Dr Emma-Jayne Graham, Senior Lecturer in Classical Studies at The Open University.

The programme features, in order of appearance:

Dr Ellen Adams, Senior Lecturer in Classical Art & Archaeology at King’s College London.

Professor Lennard J. Davis, Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Professor Christian Laes, Professor of Ancient History at The University of Manchester.

Professor Edith Hall, Professor of Classics at King’s College London.

Professor Michael Squire, Professor of Classical Art at King’s College London

Stephanie Evelyn Wright, PhD student at the University of Southampton.

Dr Jane Draycott, Lecturer in Classics at the University of Glasgow.

Professor Tom Shakespeare

It was recorded and produced by Jessica Hughes, Senior Lecturer in Classical Studies at The Open University.

Listen on Soundcloud, or search for ‘Classics Confidential’ on iTunes.

Programme Structure and Timecodes

0.00 Introduction to the programme; Ellen Adams on the background to the workshop.

3.31 Lennard Davis on the background to Disability Studies, and the language of disability in the modern world (and its retrospective application to antiquity)

6.41 Ellen Adams on previous scholarship on disability in antiquity

8.39 Christian Laes on Greek and Latin vocabulary

13.04 Edith Hall on the myth of Hephaestus, Orion and Cedalion, and pain in the Philoctetes.

17.55 Michael Squire on classical sculpture and the Venus De Milo

20.18 Lennard Davis on (non)representations of disability in the contemporary film industry

22.44 Stephanie Evelyn Wright on skeletal evidence from Roman burials

26.55 Jane Draycott on the literary and archaeological evidence for ancient prostheses

30.20 Tom Shakespeare on studying disability in the past, and the importance and danger of imagination.

33.19 Ellen Adams on the surprises, highlights and challenges of the workshop

37.07 Conclusion and acknowledgements


Further Reading/Listening:

Professor Tom Shakespeare remembers his school Latin lessons


Dr Ellen Adams talks us through an Equal Opportunities form.


The following is a very short introductory bibliography – you can click on speaker names above to find many more readings and resources.

Adams, Ellen (ed, forthcoming) The Forgotten Other: Disability Studies and the Classical Body, Routledge.

Lennard J. Davis (1995, reprinted 2000) Enforcing Normalcy: Disablity, Deafness, and the Body, London: Verso).

Christian Laes (ed.) (2017) Disability in Antiquity (Rewriting Antiquities series). London and New York, Routledge.

Christian Laes (ed.) (2020) A Cultural History of Disability in Antiquity, London: Bloomsbury

Tom Shakespeare (2017) Disability: The Basics, Routledge.