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The University of Alabama

Nielsen to Discuss Disability in American History at UA’s Gladney Lecture

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Dr. Kim Nielsen knows American history is made up of disparate voices, but some of those voices are often overlooked. Nielsen, a professor at the University of Toledo, works to include those voices and viewpoints in The University of Alabama’s 2014 Rose Gladney Lecture for Justice and Social Change Nov. 3 at 5:30 p.m. in room 205 of Smith Hall.

Nielsen addresses “Disability and the American Story,” showing viewpoints and voices rarely investigated by historians.

Her latest book, “A Disability History of the United States,” has been hailed as “groundbreaking” and “marvelous” by critics. In her work, Nielsen excavates the long-buried history of physical difference in Amer­ica and shows how disability has been a significant factor in the formation of democratic values.

Nielsen has previously published scholarly works on Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan.

The Gladney lecture series was founded in 2003 to honor Margaret Rose Gladney, a retired professor who taught in both New College and American studies.

In 2010 the Organization of American Historians honored Nielsen by appointing her a distinguished lecturer. Nielsen chairs the OAH committee on disability and disability history, and was founding president of the Disability History Association. She arrived at the University of Toledo in 2012 after 14 years at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

“The Rose Gladney Lecture for Justice and Social Change was founded to honor the work and commitments of Margaret Rose Gladney and to increase the connections between UA and the Tuscaloosa community,” said Dr. Lynne Adrian, chair of the department of American studies. “We are delighted to see the concerns of the Gladney Lecture continue to expand issues of social justice and equality.”

Gladney worked in New College when she first joined The University of Alabama faculty in 1975, and she also taught in American studies. She helped craft the master’s degree program in the department of women’s studies and was the recipient of the first Autherine Lucy Award for service, leadership and support for minority programming at UA in 1987.

The Gladney Lecture is sponsored by the Rose Gladney Lecture Fund, the College of Arts and Sciences, the department of religious studies, the department of American studies, New College, the history department and the Summersell Center for the Study of the South, the College of Education, education leadership, policy & technology studies and the department of cultural studies in education.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.