Rachael Gillibrand

Premodern Disability Scholar, Aberystwyth University

Hi there,

My name’s Rachael and I am currently employed as a lecturer of medieval history and heritage studies at Aberystwyth University. Prior to this, I worked as a Postgraduate Tutor at the University of Leeds (2015-2019), during which time I qualified as a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

I completed my PhD, entitled The Material Culture of Physical Impairment: Assistive Technology in the Late Medieval West, c.1400-1600, in September 2020. This project focussed on the material culture of late medieval ‘health technologies’ (be that prosthetic limbs, wheelchairs, crutches, or spectacles), discussing how these items were constructed, used, and viewed within urban society. Since then, I have extended my research to consider how current debates in the fields of transhumanism and cyborg theory can be applied to questions of historical dis/ability, technology, and the body. My expertise in this area is attested to by several published and forthcoming peer-reviewed works (which you can find on my ‘PUBLICATIONS‘ page).

Building on this work, I am currently working with the Medical Heritage Library as the 2021 Jaipreet Virdi Fellow for Disability Studies. In this role I will be producing a range of open-access primary source sets relating to the theme of disability technology, which I will share on my blog.

I love to chat about my work and hear about the exciting things other people are up to, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to me via email or Twitter.