Bibliography: De-Colonizing Medieval Disability Studies

By Kisha G. Tracy (Fitchburg State University)
Compiled for the “De-Colonizing Medieval Disability Studies” Workshop sponsored by the Society for the Study of Disability in the Middle Ages at the 56th International Congress on Medieval Studies (15 May 2021). Updated post-workshop with resources suggested by participants.

See also Bibliography: Disability in the Global Middle Ages.


YouTube Playlist

African Folktales. Selected and retold by Roger D. Abrahams. Pantheon Books, 1983.

African Myths of Origin. Selected and retold by Stephen Belcher. Penguin, 2005.

An Aztec Herbal: The Classic Codex of 1552. Translated by William Gates. Dover Publications, 2000.

“Borgia Group Codices.” John Pohl’s MESOAMERICA,  Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies.

Díaz, Gisele, and Alan Rodgers. The Codex Borgia: A Full-Color Restoration of the Ancient Mexican Manuscript. Dover Publications, 1993.

Favor, Leslie J. The Iroquois Constitution: A Primary Source Investigation of the Law of the Iroquois. Rosen Publishing Group, 2003.

The Florentine Codex: An Encyclopedia of the Nahua World in Sixteenth–Century Mexico. Edited by Jeanette Favrot Peterson and Kevin Terrachiano. University of Texas Press, 2019.

Hakuin. Wild Ivy: The Spiritual Autobiography of Zen Master Hakuin. Translated by Norman Waddell. Shambhala, 2010.

Houston, Jean. Manual for the Peacemaker: An Iroquois Legend to Heal Self and Society. Quest Books, 1995.

The Iroquois Book of Rites. Edited by Horatio Hale. Project Gutenberg EBook. 

Japanese No Dramas. Translated by Royall Tyler. Penguin, 1993. 

Japanese Tales from Times Past: Stories of Fantasy and Folklore from the Konjaku Monogatari Shu. Translated by Naoshi Koriyama and Bruce Allen. Tuttle Publishing, 2015.

Niane, D.T. Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali. Translated by G.D. Pickett. Longman, 1965.

Owomoyela, Oyekan. Yoruba Proverbs. University of Nebraska Press, 2008.

Stavans, Ilan. Popol Vuh: A Retelling. Restless Books, 2020.

Sugawara no Takasue no Musume. The Sarashina Diary: A Woman’s Life in Eleventh-Century Japan. Translated by Sonja Arntzen and Moriyuki Itō. Columbia University Press, 2014. (Also As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams: Recollections of a Woman in 11th-Century Japan. Translated by Ivan Morris. Penguin, 1989.)


Ajuwon, Paul M. “Disabilities and Disability Services in Nigeria: Past, Present and Future.” In The Routledge History of Disability, edited by Roy Hanes, Ivan Brown, Nancy E. Hansen, 133-150. Routledge, 2017.

Antoine, Asma-na-hi, Rachel Mason, Roberta Mason, Sophia Palahicky, and Carmen Rodriguez de France. Pulling Together: A Guide for Indigenization of Post-Secondary Institutions. BCcampus, 2018.

Arnold, Denise Y. Situating the Andean Colonial Experience: Ayllu Tales of History and Hagiography in the Time of the Spanish. ARC Humanities Press, 2021.

Barclay, Jennifer L. “Differently Abled: Africanisms, Disability, and Power in the Age of Transatlantic Slavery.” In Bioarchaeology of Impairment and Disability, edited by Jennifer F. Byrnes and Jennifer Muller, 77-94. Springer, 2017.

Bascom, William W. Sixteen Cowries: Yoruba Divination from Africa to the New World. Indiana University Press, 1993.

Bearden, Elizabeth C. “Moctezuma’s Zoo or Cortes’s Couriers: Geographies of Disability in Mexica and European Courts.” In Monstrous Kinds: Body, Space, and Narrative in Renaissance Representations of Disability, by Elizabeth Bearden, 109-139. University of Michigan Press, 2019.

Belcourt, Billy-Ray. “Animal Bodies, Colonial Subjects: (Re)locating Animality in Decolonial Thought.” Societies 5, no. 1 (2015): 1-11.

Berns, Marla C. “Modeling Therapies: Vessels for Healing and Protection in the Western Gongola Valley.” In Central Nigeria Unmasked: Arts of the Benue River Valley, edited by Marla C. Berns, Richard Fardon, and Sidney Littlefield, 477-501. Fowler Museum at UCLA, 2011.

Blench, Roger. “The role of disease in African prehistory.” Circulation draft, presentation at the Society for African Archaeology Conference, 2016.

Blier, Suzanne Preston. Art and Risk in Ancient Yoruba: Ife History, Power, and Identity, c. 1300. Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Christoph, Henning. “The Secret of the Putchu Guinadji.” The Soul of Africa Museum, 2013.

De León, Ann. “Coatlicue or How to Write the Dismembered Body.” MLN 125, no. 2 (2010): 259-286.

De Vos, Paula. “Methodological challenges involved in compiling the Nahua pharmacopeia.” History of Science 55, no. 2 (2017): 210-233.

Dufendach, Rebecca Ann. “Nahua and Spanish Concepts of Health and Disease in Colonial Mexico, 1519-1615.” Dissertation, University of California Los Angeles, 2017.

Ebenso, Bassey, Gbenga Adeyemi, Adegboyega O. Adegoke, and Nick Emmel. “Using indigenous proverbs to understand social knowledge and attitudes to leprosy among the Yoruba of southwest Nigeria.” Journal of African Cultural Studies 24, no. 2 (2012): 208-222.

Furst, Peter. “‘This Little Book of Herbs’: Psychoactive Plants as Therapeutic Agents in the Badianus Manuscript of 1552.” In Ethnobotany: Evolution of the Discipline, edited by R. Schultes and S. von Reis, 108-130. Discorides Press, 1995.

“Healing Ways.” Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2015.

Houston, Stephen, David Stuart, andKarl Taube. The Memory of Bones: Body, Being, and Experience among the Classic Maya. University of Texas Press, 2006.

Indigenous Futures and Medieval Pasts. Special Issue, edited by Tarren Andrews and Tiffany Beechy. English Language Notes 58, no. 2 (2020).

Kasonde-Ng’andou, Sophie. “Bio-Medical versus Indigenous Approaches to Disability.” In Disability in Different Cultures, edited by Brigitte Holzer, Arthur Vreede, Gabriele Weigt, 114-122. Die Deutsche Bibliothek, 1999.

Kuriyama, Shigehisa. The Expressiveness of the Body and the Divergence of Greek and Chinese Medicine. Zone Books, 2002.

Learn, Teach, Challenge: Approaching Indigenous Literatures. Edited by Deanna Reder and Linda M. Morra. Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2016.

LaFever, Marcella. “Switching from Bloom to the Medicine Wheel: creating learning outcomes that support Indigenous ways of knowing in post-secondary education.” Intercultural Education 27, no. 5 (2016): 409-424.

Lopez Austin, Alfredo. “Sahagun’s Work and the Medicine of the Ancient Nahuas: Possibilities for Study.” In Sixteenth-Century Mexico: The Work of Sahagún, edited by Munro S. Edmonson.  University of New Mexico Press, 1974.

McCafferty, Geoffrey G., and Sharisse D. McCafferty. “The metamorphosis of Xochiquetzal: a window on womanhood in pre- and post-conquest Mexico.” In Manifesting Power: Gender and the interpretation of power in archaeology, edited by Tracy L. Sweely, 103-125. Routledge, 1999.

McCafferty, Sharisse D., and Geoffrey G. McCafferty. “Alternative and Ambiguous Gender Identities in Postclassic Central Mexico.” In Que(e)rying Archaeology, edited by Susan Terendy, Natasha Lyons, and Michelle Janse-Smekal, 196-206. University of Calgary Press, 2009.

Mecca, Selamawit. “Hagiographies of Ethiopian Female Saints: With Special Reference to ‘Gädlä Krestos Sämra’ and ‘Gädlä Feqertä Krestos’.” Journal of African Cultural Studies 18, no. 2 (2006): 153-167.

Mercier, Jacques. Art That Heals: The Image as Medicine in Ethiopia. Prestel, 1997.

Mokgobi, M.G. “Understanding traditional African healing.” African Journal for PhysicalHealth EducationRecreation, and Dance 20 (2014): 24–34.

Ndlovu, Hebron L. “African Beliefs Concerning People with Disabilities: Implications for Theological Education.” Journal of Disability & Religion 20, no. 1-2 (2016): 29-39.

Ndlovu-Gatsheni, Sabelo J. “Can Women’s Voices Be Recovered from the Past? Grappling with the Absence of Women Voices in Pre-Colonial History of Zimbabwe,” Wagadu 2, no. 1 (2005).

Nielsen, Kim E. “The poor, vicious, and infirm: Colonial Communities, 1492-1700.” In A Disability History of the United States, by Kim E. Nielsen. Beacon Press, 2013. 

Ortiz de Montellano, Bernard R. Aztec Medicine, Health, and Nutrition. Rutgers University Press, 1990.

Presley, Rachel. “Decolonizing the Body: Indigenizing Our Approach to Disability Studies.” The Activist History Review, October 29, 2019. 

Richardson, Kristina. Difference and Disability in the Medieval Islamic World. Oxford University Press, 2012.

Setzer, Rachel. “Decolonization as a Strategy for Accommodating Disabilities.” Disability Visibility Project.

Shelemay, Kay Kaufman. “The Musician and Transmission of Religious Tradition: the Multiple Roles of the Ethiopian Dabtara.” Journal of Religion in Africa 22, no. 3 (1992): 242-260.

Solomon, Andrew. The Noonday Demon. Scribner, 2001.

Thorn, Audrin. “Decolonizing Disability: An Independent Research Project.” Western Washington University Scholars Week, 2020.

Thrush, Coll. Indigenous London. Yale University Press, 2016.

Whittaker, Gordon. Deciphering Aztec Hieroglyphs: A Guide to Nahuatl Writing. University of California Press, 2020.

Wilson, Shawn. Research Is Ceremony: Indigenous Research Methods. Fernwood, 2008.

Windmuller-Luna, Kristen. “Ethiopian Healing Scrolls.” Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2015.