A Digital Reader: 19th Century Disability—Cultures & Contexts

By Jaipreet Virdi-Dhesi (University of Toronto) Based on an idea jestingly put forth in The Spectator, Ugly Face Clubs were gentleman’s clubs whose members prided themselves on their facial eccentricities and pledged their theoretical allegiance to physiognomy.[1] Spanning throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, these clubs provide us with a compelling case study of deformity as a paradoxical practice of social exclusion and aesthetic inclusion. Ugly Clubs also offer us a window into the relationship between culture and disability.  While

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