Aimi Hamraie deposited Historical Epistemology as Disability Studies Methodology: From the Models Framework to Foucault’s Archaeology of Cure in the group Critical Disability Studies on Humanities Commons 5 years, 9 months ago
In this paper, I argue for historical epistemology as a methodology for critical disability studies (DS) by looking to Foucault’s archaeology of cure in History of Madness. While the moral, medical, and social models of disability frame disability history as a progressive movement and replacement of moral and medical authority with sociopolitical knowledge, I argue that the overall framing of these models—the models framework—requires a more nuanced perspective from historical epistemology. In particular, it requires greater use of epistemology as an analytical tool for understanding the historical construction of disability. Turning to History of Madness, I excavate one particular archaeological strand in the text—the archaeology of cure—and demonstrate how this narrative disrupts some of the key assumptions of the models framework, challenging DS to consider the epistemological force of non-medical fields of knowledge for framing disability and procedures for its cure and elimination. I conclude by arguing that DS must pay attention not only to the social construction of scientific and biomedical knowledge, but also develop historical epistemological methodologies that are more sensitive to the complex overlays of moral, medical, and social knowledge.